For persons wishing to immigrate to the US, the process of getting a green card can become very difficult if they have accumulated a certain amount of “unlawful presence” in the US. Unlawful presence is a term of art and is not the same as being undocumented or illegal.
In this immigration video, Attorney Carl Shusterman discusses the meaning of unlawful presence as it relates to persons who: (1) entered the US without inspection; (2) overstayed this authorized period of stay; or (3) violated their temporary visa status in the United States. He explains who is subject to the 3-year bar, the 10-year bar, and the permanent bar and touches upon how to obtain a waiver of unlawful presence.
It is possible to obtain waivers of the 3 and the 10-year bars by showing that certain qualifying relatives would suffer “extreme hardship” if the person were not permitted to return to the US for 3 or 10 years. In the past, most people had to go abroad to apply for a waiver. However, in 2013, it became possible to apply for a provisional I-601A waiver without leaving the US. In 2016, it became easier to qualify for a provisional waiver.
Go to a Law Firm which is Professional and Knowledgeable
“Very professional law firm. We had a difficult issue and Mr. Shusterman’s office got right onto the case and resolved the issue with USCIS. Because of their efforts, me and my family were able to get our Legal Permanent Residency card. My suggestion to those trying to obtain employment based card. Don’t look for money saving attorney. They will cost you lot more in long run. Go to a law firm which is professional and knowledgeable. It pays in the long term.”
- Nilesh Patel, Chicago, Illinois
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For additional information, please see our Unlawful Presence Bars & Waivers page.
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Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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