Can I return to the United States after deportation?

In this week's Consulta Migratoria® column I answer the question of a reader who wishes to return to the United States through a family petition after being deported to Peru.

Each case is different and the answers vary depending on the immigration history of each person. Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before beginning any process.

This is the column:

My wife and I are Peruvian and we were deported from the United States in August 2004 and the punishment imposed on us was 10 years. At that time we filed a petition for political asylum which was unsuccessful and that is why we were deported.

We have an American citizen daughter who filed a petition for us to obtain permanent residency, which is in process. The question is if we, having already served the punishment of 10 years outside the United States, when applying for the residency visa, we have to ask for a waiver, or we do not need it because we have already served more than 11 years outside the country. -Hugo P.

Hugo, you did not give me enough information to answer your question. However, I can tell you that your immigration case and your wife's case are complicated because they were deported.

There are certain cases in which a person can never return to the United States, but this is not the situation for all deportees. The government has strict regulations on who qualifies and under what circumstances one can return to the country after a deportation.

Your case needs to be analyzed in detail. I recommend that you immediately hire an immigration attorney and request your immigration records from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the immigration court. The government will send you the documents in approximately 6 to 12 months.

The attorney will review their immigration records to determine what happened with their cases in immigration court, under what circumstances they were deported from the United States and whether they need to apply for any kind of waiver to return to the country.

In particular, any immigration applications they filed in the past and statements they made to the federal government will need to be reviewed to determine if they did anything improper that may be punishable under immigration law.

Also, you should review the family petitions that your U.S. citizen daughter has filed to make sure that they meet all the requirements for her to petition. For example, your daughter must demonstrate that she has the ability to support them in the United States.

Hugo, consult with an immigration attorney as soon as possible before moving forward with your immigration proceedings.

For more information and immigration tips, read my blog

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