U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently issued a new policy on the 3- and 10-year bars. As it is known, under section INA 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), noncitizens are inadmissible if they accrue more than 180 days of unlawful presence, departs the U.S., and again seek admission within the 3- or 10-years, respectively, after their departures.
The statute does not give the details of the impact of returning to the U.S. after departing but during the statutory 3- or 10-year period. The policy emphasized that USCIS has previously held that these persons must complete the 3- or 10 years outside the U.S. According to the policy, such persons are inadmissible if they completed that wait time in the U.S. However, this policy has now changed. With this new regulation, USCIS’ policy is now that the statutory 3- or 10-year period runs from their departure date without interruption and regardless of whether they spent their entire time inside or outside the U.S.
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