Complete Guide to Form I-212

Posted by in Immigrants | Updated on August 24, 2022

Have you been deported from the United States recently? If yes, you are not eligible for a visa for the next few years. It could be five, ten, or twenty years. It could even be a permanent bar from eligibility, depending on why you were deported in the first place. If you want consent to reapply for eligibility to enter the U.S. again, you will have to file Form I-212.

You might be inadmissible for five years from the date of your removal if you were deported or removed from the U.S. upon arrival. This could also apply if you were placed in proceedings when you arrived and then an immigration judge ordered that you be removed. You are subject to the five-year ban on reentry from the date of your removal.

A ten-year ban will apply if you were placed in removal proceedings after you entered the U.S. or left the country at your own will before removal proceedings were concluded.

Twenty years of inadmissibility will be applicable if you have been removed from the U.S. on more than one occasion.

A permanent ban will apply if an aggravated felony has led to your conviction. You will be banned from reapplying for a U.S. visa forever without filing Form I-212. However, you must wait ten years before filing Form I-212 if you accumulated one year’s unlawful stay in the country and left or if your removal was ordered removed. 

What Is Form I-212?

Form I-212 is a form that can be filed by immigrant and non-immigrant people who are not allowed to enter the country under the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) section 212(a)(9)(A) or (C). It can be filed by people who want to reapply for entry into the U.S. after being removed, deported, or excluded.

You can also file this form if you want re-admission after you were illegally inside the U.S. for more than a year and then attempted to enter or re-enter the country without getting admitted. This form is one of many waivers that allow the deported population to get consent from the U.S. government to apply for lawful re-admission into the country after being deported.


Who Should Submit This Form?

In the INA, there are three main sections. These address the reapplication of deported non-migrants ahead of applying for admission into the U.S. Under these three sections, you can determine if you can file Form I-212 and become eligible to apply for a visa to the U.S.

These three sections are:

  • Section 212(a)(9)(A)
  • Section 212(a)(9)(C)
  • Section 276

How to Complete Form I-212

There are different criteria for filing Form I-212 depending on the section of the INA used in each case.

If you need a visa to enter the U.S. and are a non-immigrant:

  • If you are a non-immigrant who is not allowed under INA section 212(a)(9)(A), but not INA section 212(a)(9)(C), and you have applied for a non-immigrant visa, it is possible that you don’t have to file Form I-212. The U.S. consulate will help you determine this.
  • If you are an applicant for a non-immigrant visa and are not allowed under INA section 212(a)(9)(C), you should contact the U.S. consulate. 

If you are not required to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. and are a non-immigrant:

  • If you are not allowed to enter the U.S. under INA section 212(a)(9)(A) and/or 212(a)(9)(C) but do not need a visa to enter the country as a non-immigrant, filing Form I-212 electronically is an option for you. You may also file the form at a CBP designated entry port. Be sure to file Form I-212 and the required documents before traveling.
  • You may have to file Form I-192 if you need permission to reapply to the U.S. because of other reasons.
  • You may use the Electronic Secured Adjudication Forms Environment (e-SAFE) and biometrics (starting mid-2019) if you are a non-immigrant who isn’t required to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. Generally, it takes two to three months for processing from the day the biometrics are done.

Where to File Form I-212

If you are a citizen of Palau, the Marshall Islands, or the Federated States of Micronesia, you can contact the nearest U.S. Department of State consulate to get information about how to submit the form.

Required Documents

The following documentation should be provided at the U.S. consulate or embassy when you go for your visa interview, in addition to the required evidence stated on the form instructions.

For non-immigrants requiring a visa to enter the U.S.:

  • If points in 212(a)(9)(C) are why you are inadmissible, it is important for you to provide information that you think will legitimize your departure from the country.
  • You must provide documentation as proof of your timely departure if you were provided voluntary departure by an immigration judge.
  • Also include Form G-28.

Non-immigrants that don’t require a visa to enter the U.S.:

Provide evidence of your citizenship.

  • Include a properly filed Form G-28 with your application.
  • Have biometrics completed by a U.S. CBP officer at a designated port of entry.
  • You won’t need Form G-325A when filing the latest Form I-212. 
  • In case you have a criminal record in another country, procure a copy of the record. You may also obtain an official letter from the court explaining why the required copy is not available.

Form I-212 Filing Fee

For non-immigrants that required a visa to enter the U.S.:

  • You must obtain either cashier’s checks, money orders, bank drafts, personal checks, or certified checks from U.S. financial institutions that are payable in U.S. funds.
  • You may find the latest fee information on the USCIS website.
  • Submit the application fee with Form I-212 and supporting documents. Send it to:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Admissibility Review Office
22685 Holiday Park Dr. Suite 10, Sterling, VA

For non-immigrants who do not need a visa to enter the U.S.:

  • You must obtain either cashier’s checks, bank drafts, personal checks, certified checks, or money orders from U.S. financial institutions that are payable in U.S. funds.
  • Make sure the fee is made payable to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
  • You may find updated details about the fee at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. You can also find this updated information at the port of entry where your application will be submitted.

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Applying for consent to reapply can be a long and tedious process, so ensure you have all your documents and statements in order before you apply. It can take roughly five months from the day you submit the form before receiving an official answer. It might even take over six months if a full review is required.

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