Here’s the transcript to our latest video on Youtube. Many people are under the misimpression that despite a removal or deportation order, it is quite easy to fix one’s status if married to a US Citizen. The reality, of course, is that these types of matters are much more complicated. Like everything in the law, everything is case and circumstance specific. Is the person still here in the US? Has the person already left the US? In the latter, a departure under an order will usually execute a ten year bar: in order for the individual to return to the US, even with an approved petition, he or she must usually request special permission on Form I-212 to return to the US before the expiration of the ten years. If the person has stayed in the US in violation of the order, things can get dicey: if ICE were to apprehend the person–who is, in essence, a fugitive–the government would normally just take steps to execute the order. On the other hand, depending on the circumstances, ie., an approved I-130 filed by an Immediate Relative, there may be an opportunity to reopen the court case, rescind the order, and possibly apply for relief.
If you have already been ordered removed or deported from the United States but have never left, then you will face a substantial problem in applying for your green card. In most cases, the practical effect of a deportation or removal order is to bar a person from the United States for a certain period of time, in most cases 10 years. Staying in the United States with a deportation or removal order for 10 years and then applying for a green card does not necessarily solve the problem because the 10 years starts counting after the individual has left the United States. To put it simply, a person does not legally benefit from being an immigration fugitive who has never left. Unless and until a removal or deportation order is vacated, an individual will, under most circumstances, be unable to adjust his or her status in the United States.
In some cases, however, depending on the circumstances, an individual with an outstanding removal or deportation order who is still in the United States may petition the Immigration Court to reopen his/her court matter. If the Court reopens a person’s court case, the order is vacated and the person is back at square one, facing the original charges-this time, hopefully, with some sort of relief that he or she qualifies for.
There are many rules regarding the time within which and number of applications that one can file to reopen one’s case. If you have an outstanding order of removal or deportation but think you qualify for a green card now, consult with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your matter. If your court case originated out of New Jersey, the Law Office of Lee and Garasia, LLC, can help. For a confidential consultation, contact the office now.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. For specific legal advice, please consult with an attorney.