The I-212 waiver (under Section 212(a)(9)(C)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act) allows foreign nationals to apply for early readmission into the U.S. after having been previously removed and before they have met their statutory period of stay outside the U.S.
Background on statutory periods of stay outside the U.S.
Foreign nationals who have been ordered removed may not be readmitted to the United States until they have remained outside the country for a specified period of time:
- 5 years for individuals removed through summary exclusion or through removal proceedings initiated upon the person’s arrival into the U.S.
- 10 years for those otherwise ordered removed after a deportation hearing or who departed the U.S. while an order of removal was outstanding; and
- 20 years for a second or subsequent removal.
Foreign nationals who have been unlawfully present for more than one year, or who have been ordered removed, and who re-enter or attempt to re-enter without being admitted, are permanently inadmissible. They must file the I-212 waiver for permission to reapply for admission but may only do so if 10 years have passed since their last departure from the United States.