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USCIS Issues New Policy on 3/10 Year Unlawful Presence Bars

By August 19, 2022October 5th, 2023No Comments

On June 24, 2022, USCIS issued new policy guidance relating to inadmissibility under INA section 212(a)(9)(B) and the effect of returning to the U.S. during the statutory 3-year or 10-year bar after departure or removal. A noncitizen is inadmissible under INA 212(a)(9)(B) if the noncitizen accrues more than 180 days of unlawful presence, departs or is removed, and seeks admission again within the 3-years or 10-years after removal or departure (known as the “unlawful presence bars”). The policy guidance clarifies that the bars can be served in whole or in part inside the U.S. Previously, it was thought that the bars could only be served outside the U.S.

This policy is effective immediately and applies prospectively to USCIS inadmissibility determinations made on or after June 24, 2022. We are hopeful that this guidance will help to ensure efficient and consistent decisions. It should be noted that this policy is only beneficial to some applicants. In some cases, re-entering the U.S. without the appropriate waiver could subject the noncitizen to additional periods of unlawful presence. Careful analysis on a case-by-case basis is required to determine whether this update applies to your individual case. Please contact our office for more information.