Steps for Filing an I-212 Application

If you need to file Form I-212 to request "permission to reapply" for a visa to enter the U.S. after having been deported (removed) and thus having become "inadmissible," these five basic steps will help guide you through the process.

If you need to file Form I-212 to request "permission to reapply" for a visa to enter the U.S. after having been deported (removed) and thus having become "inadmissible," these five basic steps will help guide you through the process:

1. Step one: complete the application form
2. Step two: gather and submitting documentation
3. Step three: file Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility
4. Step four: pay the filing fee; and
5. Step five: submit the application.

Step One: Completing the Application Form

The first step in filing Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States, is filling out the form itself. When doing so, you must use blue or black ink. If you type the form on a computer, use a basic black type-font. The newest form also allows you to save typed data and can be downloaded from USCIS website. There are six parts to the three-page form:

Part I: Information about you. In this section, you simply provide your basic personal information, name, date, place of birth, and so on. You will also enter your alien registration number (A#) and any other numbers Department of Homeland Security and USCIS associate with you. Check every document you may have that gives reference to a case number or file number, and include those numbers on the form. You must also enter any names that you have used or have ever been known by in public, including nicknames and aliases. In the box to the right of that, you will enter the exact name that was used during your immigrant court proceedings or before you were returned home if you were removed upon arrival in the U.S. (expedited removal). Failing to include all names you have been known by can result in denial of the application.

Part II: Reason for filing this form. This section is used to determine the underlying basis of your removal, the number of times you were removed, and the date you last departed the U.S.:

  • If you were stopped upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry and were immediately sent back to your home country, or then placed in removal proceedings and later ordered removed by an immigration judge, you will mark the first box next to the bold text. Directly under that box, select the box indicating the number of times you were removed and the applicable number of years. If you were removed for an aggravated felony, check the applicable box.
  • If you were already present in the U.S., and removal proceedings were later initiated, resulting in a removal order by an immigration judge, or if you departed the U.S. before removal proceedings were completed, check the second box next to the bold text and the applicable box below that.
  • If you entered or attempted to enter the U.S. without a valid visa, select the appropriate box at the top of page three followed by the last date you departed the United States.

Part III: Information about your removal/deportation and departure. In this section you will enter information pertaining to your presence and departure from the United States, including:

  • The date you were deported or last departed
  • The number of years you were present in the U.S.
  • Your place of residence while in the U.S.
  • Whether or not were detained or jailed before the removal order, and if so, where (in what facility and city)
  • Where your removal proceedings took place, and
  • The port or location from which you departed the U.S.

Part IV: Reason(s) for your request for permission to reapply. In this section, indicate the type of visa application you intend to file in order to return to the U.S., state your reason(s) for requesting permission to reapply, indicate the U.S. consulate or embassy (city and country) where you will submit the application, and list any U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, and children in the U.S. and indicate the relationship.  

Part V: Applicant’s signature and certification. This section is where you sign and date the form and provide basic personal contact information. By signing the form, you are certifying under penalty of perjury that its contents and the evidence submitted are “true and correct to the best of your knowledge and abilities.” Providing false information is a crime. So, at this point go back and review the form. Check each section to make sure you filled in all of the requested information and that the information is correct. If you are unsure as to the accuracy of the information on your form, you may want to seek assistance from an experienced immigration attorney. If you are sure the information is correct, sign the form.

Part VI: Preparer's Signature and Certification. If you were assisted in preparing your form, the person must provide his or her personal information and declare that you requested help filling out the form, that you provided the information entered, and that the person has not knowingly withheld any information.

Step Two: Gathering Documentation

When you submit your form, you must also include all paperwork and correspondence relating to your removal or last date of departure, and documentation of your relationship to anyone you listed as a relative in Part IV, such as birth and marriage certificates.If the relative is a U.S. citizen, provide proof of the person’s citizenship, such as a birth certificate or passport. If your relative is a lawful permanent resident, you will need to include a copy of the person’s green card, date and place of birth, alien number, and date and place of admission to the U.S. You should send copies of all documents and retain the originals. 

In addition to the basic documentation above, you must also submit as much evidence as possible explaining/demonstrating why your application should be approved. Consulting an immigration attorney will significantly improve your chances for approval by helping you to gather appropriate and sufficient documentation.

Step Three: Preparing Form I-601

If you were deported and wish to apply for a permanent resident visa, you will likely also need to submit Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. Form I-212 only gives you permission to apply for a visa. Form I-601 is used to request forgiveness for the underlying cause for your deportation, such as a crime of moral turpitude. You can find out more about the I-601 in the article: Filing an I-601 Application.

Step Four: Paying the Filing Fee

When filing your application, you must include the nonrefundable filing fee. The fee is currently $930 (as of 2017). However, you should check the USCIS website before filing to ensure the fee is current. If you file from the U.S., include a check drawn from a U.S. bank, payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If you live outside the U.S., or in Guam or the Virgin Islands, you should contact the U.S. embassy nearest you for payment instructions

Step Five: Filing the Application

Where to file Form I-212 depends on the reason you are inadmissible to the U.S. and your current location. You will file with either U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Department of State (DOS), the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), or USCIS. You can determine which location is applicable to you using the chart at Appendix 1 of the Instructions for Form I-212. If you are represented, your attorney will determine the proper filing location for you.

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