How Does the Three and Ten Year Bars Affect a Relative on a Visitor Visa for Four Years?
Recently, an old client of mine came here to the office and asked me about her cousin who had been here on a visitor visa for four years. She had a reason to go outside the US and was hoping to interview for her visa at the US embassy in her home country. I’m glad she discussed this with me because this would have been a real problem. This woman would have been subject to the three and ten year bar. She would have triggered the bar the moment she left the country. In 1996, Congress passed what’s affectionately, or not so affectionately, known as the Three and Ten Year Bar, which means that if people have been in the US for over six months and up to a year and they leave the US they will trigger a three-year bar, a permanent freeze outside the US, and if they have been in the US in unlawful status for over twelve months, they will trigger a ten-year bar which is like being frozen outside of the US for ten years.
Sometimes it is possible to get a waiver of that three or ten year bar, but not always. In fact, most of the time not. I always caution people who come to my office once I learn that they’ve been in the US out of status for a period of time exceeding six months or one year to be very, very careful. If they choose to travel outside the US, they should be totally aware of the consequences.
Do you have questions or concerns on how a three-ten year back can affect a relative? Contact our dedicated Immigration Attorneys in NJ for guidance.