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Immigrations Question

Fort Worth, TX |

If someone was punished by immigration for 10 yrs but 4 yrs they came back illegally and received a driver licenses. Now that his son is 21 he want to submit immigration documents to be able to get his status fixed. Will he be pushed for this obeying the 10 year punishment?

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer


I'm not quite certain what you mean by "punished by immigration for ten years". Does this mean that someone either was deported or left the U.S. after being here for more than one year without any lawful immigration status?

If so, and if the person did not either remain outside the U.S. for the full 10 years or receive approval of an unlawful presence waiver from the Immigration Service prior to returning to the United States, then unfortunately there will be a problem trying to immigrate now.

Being in the U.S. for more than one year without lawful immigration status, departing, and then returning unlawfully without being outside the U.S. for at least 10 years results in what is called a "permanent bar" to immigration eligibility. The only exceptions are proving that someone has remained outside the U.S. for at least ten years or that he/she departed and/or returned to the U.S. due to domestic violence and otherwise is eligible to apply under the Violence Against Women Act.

So yes, he would be "punished" for disobeying the 10 year bar.

Best wishes,

Ms. Doerrie's answer to your question is general in nature, as not all facts and circumstances relating to the specific person(s) and situations involved are known to her. Ms. Doerrie recommends consulting with an immigration attorney regarding your specific facts and circumstances prior to making any legal decision or submitting any form or application. This response does not create an attorney/client relationship.

Carl Michael Shusterman

Carl Michael Shusterman


Excellent answer!


I agree with Attorney Doerrie.

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


This "someone" needs to consult with a licensed immigration attorney before deciding to file anything at all. I agree with my collegue that this person now faces the "permanent bar" and would have had to have waited 10 years outside the U.S. AND seek permission to apply to return... Applying and being found in the U.S. after deportation for certain crimes is itself a felony with prison terms of up to 20 years! So...this is serious and should be looked at by a good immigration lawer.


Far more information is needed for any immigration attorney to accurately assess the situation. For starters, clarification is needed as to what "punished" means, as well as what you mean by "came back illegally". Please consult an experienced immigration attorney.

The answers provided herein neither constitute legal advice, nor create an attorney/client relationship.