If you have stayed in the U.S. unlawfully at any time after April 1997, you might be barred from entering the United States 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 United States 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 United States for 10 years.
These bars apply only to the people who have left the U.S. and are seeking reentry. It does 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, the 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 the continuous unlawful time spent in the U.S.; it does not apply if you visited 10 times and spent 2 months each time unlawfully.
Permanent Bar: If you spent more than 1 year in the United States unlawfully and were deported or left and are returning, have returned, or are caught trying to return to the United States illegally, you will never be allowed to enter the United States.
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