If you have stayed in the United States unlawfully at any time since April 1997, you might be barred from entering the U.S. again for a certain period of time.
3 Years: If you have spent more than 180 days in the United States unlawfully, you could be barred from returning to the U.S. for 3 years.
10 Years: If you have spent more than 1 year in the United States unlawfully, you could be barred returning to the U.S. for 10 years.
These bars apply only to people who have left the U.S. and are seeking reentry. They do not apply to people who are in the United States and have the right to apply for a change of status.
Unlawful time spent in the U.S. before April 1, 1997, does not count. Also, any unlawful time spent in the U.S. while the person was under the age of 18 does not count. In addition, the law applies only to continuous unlawful time spent in the U.S.; it does not apply if you visited 10 times and spent 2 months unlawfully each time.
Permanent Bar: If you spent more than 1 year in the United States unlawfully and were deported or left, and you are now illegally returning, have returned, or are caught trying to return to the United States, you will never again be allowed to enter the United States.
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