The I-212 Waiver can be used to let you re-enter the U.S. if you are currently ineligible to do so. Immigration law says that previous removals from the U.S., including at a port of entry, and unlawful living in the U.S. makes visa applicants ineligible to re-enter the U.S. and ineligible to re-apply for a new immigrant (permanent, resident) visa. The I-212 can be used to waive your ineligibility regardless of previous removal history or history of illegal presence in the U.S.
The I-212 should be filed at the same time or after any other forms necessary for your readmission. If you are applying for an immigrant visa, you should submit your waiver alongside your application for residence. If you are required to submit any other waivers for re-entry, you should file the I-212 at the same time and at the same office. Where you should file your forms will depend on the reason for your ineligibility and the type of visa you will be applying for. Make sure to check that you are applying with the correct office or department. Possible application destinations could be a local office of the U.S. Consulate, an office of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Border and Customs Patrol office, or an office of the U.S. Department of State. Whether or not you can file your waiver while also present in the U.S. will depend on the grounds of your ineligibility. If you have previously lived illegally in the U.S. and this is the reason for your waiver application, you must depart the U.S. before filing your waiver.
Once you know whether or not you need to file the I-212 and where you should be applying, you are ready to file your form. The I-212 will require in-depth writing in English explaining your previous migration history and other personal information. The I-212 waiver has a filing fee currently at $585 U.S. dollars. Take care to send your filing fee to the correct office, in the correct amount to avoid delays in processing your application. Applicants filing with the USCIS office should pay to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Some applicants may be eligible for a fee waiver, so see if you qualify to avoid the filing fee.
You will be required to submit documents along with your waiver. If your application is pending and being reviewed, the person in charge of reviewing your waiver may look at additional information, both positive and negative, associated with your re-entry to the U.S. You should submit as much documentation as possible with your waiver to strengthen your case for admission to the U.S. Any documents written in a language other than English should include a full English translation in order to be reviewed. You should also take care not to submit your original documents and submit only copies. Make sure to keep your original personal documents because you may need them later. When filing the I-212, you are required to submit copies of your immigration history and records of any previous removals, departures, or deportations. This is required of all waiver applicants.
You should also submit documentation that strengthens and proves any claims about your positive moral character, good community standing, need for U.S. medical treatment or social services, or any close ties to the U.S. You must also submit documentation about negative qualities that may play a factor in your admission to the U.S. Having no major negative factors on your application will be reviewed positively. You can also aim to demonstrate that denying your admission to the U.S. would cause extreme hardship to you or your family. The grounds for claiming extreme hardship can be broad but there are guidelines you should look into. Records that can demonstrate these factors can include police or criminal records, medical records, school records, employment history, official state documents such as birth or marriage certificates and so on. You can also submit documentation that would show poor conditions to which you or your family would be returned if your application was denied.
Overall, you should pay close attention to the correct filing method for the waiver. Only correctly filed and completed forms will be reviewed and only properly submitted documentation will be included in your case. Failing to properly file your I-212 waiver or any other forms will result in a significant delay in your application’s processing time.
For more information and help with filing for a visa, contact immigration attorney Phillip Kim.