If you are in the United States for any more than 180 days without first having obtained admittance or parole, or outside of a “period of authorized stay,” the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must declare you “inadmissible.” The ground for inadmissibility is “unlawful presence.”
There are three types of inadmissibility due to unlawful presence. The first lasts for three years. The second lasts for 10 years. The third and most extreme is permanent. The USCIS explains when a permanent unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility may apply to you.
When you may be inadmissible forever
For the USCIS to declare you inadmissible, you must have accrued extensive unlawful time in the United States. If you accrued, in total, more than one year of unlawful time in the U.S. beginning on or after April 1, 1997, you may be inadmissible for re-entry. However, you must also have departed the U.S. or undergone removal and attempted or succeeded at reentry without permission.
When the USCIS deems you inadmissible forever
If the USCIS deems you inadmissible forever, you will become ineligible for a few key benefits. For starters, you will not be able to obtain a nonimmigrant or immigrant visa to the United States. If you are a Green Card holder, the USCIS will not grant you an adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident. Finally, you will be unable to enter the U.S. through a port of entry.
Receiving a permanent inadmissibility declaration can be devastating. However, it does not have to be definitive. By taking swift and precise action, you may be able to overturn the bar and become admissible to the U.S. once again.