Deportation, or removal, is when government forces a person to leave the country because they broke immigration law. A person who has done something that could lead to deportation is called inadmissible or deportable.
You should consult an immigration lawyer before applying for a visa or green card if you have any doubts about whether you are inadmissible or deportable. This area of law is very complicated, and making a mistake can be very serious.
An immigrant who is inadmissible is someone who would not be allowed to enter the U.S. if they try to enter. At the same time, a person may be inadmissible even if they are already in the U.S.
An immigrant who is deportable is usually someone who came into the U.S. after being inspected at the border, but faced problems in the U.S. These problems include some criminal convictions, becoming a public charge, or using fake documents.
What makes you inadmissible or deportable?
Some common grounds of both inadmissibility and deportability are:
- Criminal convictions
- Prior deportation or removal order
- Being in the U.S. without lawful status as an undocumented immigrant
- Voting, if you are not a U.S. citizen
- Falsely saying that you are a U.S. citizen
What happens if I am inadmissible or deportable?
When you apply for a visa, green card, or citizenship, you will be fingerprinted, and the government will use these to do a background check. If they find out that you are inadmissible or deportable, you may be deported.
Some people may be able to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. These waivers are complicated and require many documents. You should consult with an immigration attorney before applying for a waiver.
To learn more, view this video on Going to a removal hearing in immigration court
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Updated: September 2017