What is the 3-10 year bar?

The 3-10 year bar can become a problem for individuals trying to reenter the United States without a form of citizenship or status. If they previously were in the country with an undocumented status and left, they may be barred from entering again. This bar can last for years. It can be a 3-year bar or a 10-year bar depending on each situation.Immigrants may think they have an advantage if they have family members or a spouse that is a legal U.S. citizen, but the 3-10 year bar can still cause a hazard for them. The bar can risk the immigrant’s ability to gain citizenship or green card access to enter the country.

There is a way to combat this bar. Immigrants may be able to apply for a hardship waiver. This waiver is used to prove that your family in the United States needs your support. Without your support, they will suffer through hard times. The hardship waiver cannot be used to show that you will suffer, but rather that your family will be affected.

What counts as a hardship?

To waive the three or 10 year bar, specific circumstances must be met to qualify for a hardship waiver. The waiver is known as an extreme hardship waiver that can be used to establish a familial need in the United States. Examples of extreme hardships include: a spouse or parent that needs your care for a medical condition, a spouse or parent that is financially dependent on you and you cannot provide adequate support overseas, a spouse or parent that has financial debts in the U.S. and cannot pay without your aid or a spouse or parent that has another sick family member and will be unable to care for them without your support. Since these individuals may suffer as a result of you being barred, this may be able to prove that your presence is needed.

How can I prove my hardship to waive the bar?

A hardship that is recognized by the law must be proven to remove the bar you are facing. Once you apply for a hardship waiver, you should provide a statement about the hardship. A qualifying relative will also be asked to provide a statement to prove the hardship is real. This can be used to show if you are able to have your bar waived.

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.