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10 Year Ban

Sacramento, CA |

I was brought to the US illegally when I was 13 y/o and left when I turned 18 after I graduated from high school. I turned 18 in march and left in july of the same year of graduation. How can I provide proof that I left in july if I left by land throuhg Mexico. I went to college in another country but I started it in september a year after I left the US. Could I file for a visa or am I forbidden from entering the US?

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

From what you say you do not appear to be subject to an unlawful presence ban. Unlawful presence does not apply to time spent in the US BEFORE you turn 18. If you turned 18 in march and left July of the same year you would have about at most 5 months of unlawful presence. The bar kicks in once you reach 180 days, so you are ok on that front. Your challenge is to PROVE that you left when you claim that you did. Are there no records such as medical or other that would place you out of the US before you began college the following year?

Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104



Could I just fill the visa application saying what just told you, the initial date and the date I left to see what happens? Thank you for everything! God bless you and your family!I

Samuel Patrick Ouya Maina

Samuel Patrick Ouya Maina


If you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa, sure. Just be aware that you have the burden to prove when you left, and if you are unable, you may be denied. Good luck to you!


When did you enter the US while you were 13 years old? When did you leave the US through Mexico? You are probably subject to a 10 year bar if you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than a year, which it seems you were. You would therefore need a waiver if you wanted to enter prior to the expiration of the 10 years. You owe it to yourself to contact an immigration lawyer, whether myself or one of my colleagues. If you appreciate the time spent preparing this answer, kindly consider marking it BEST ANSWER or HELPFUL. Also, please be sure to read my disclaimer below. Good luck to you.

Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
T: (201)875-2600
F: (201)549-8700

Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during a face to face attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private consultation with an attorney. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, and attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual.