How to get a visa after being deported

Updated November 22, 2016

A person can be deported or forcibly removed from the United States for various reasons. Grounds for deportation include filing a fraudulent immigration petition, such as a fake marriage to a U.S. citizen. People without legal status, such as undocumented aliens, are subject to deportation. Even lawful permanent residents can be deported upon being convicted of aggravated felonies.

Remain outside of the United States. If you re-enter illegally after getting deported (without a visa), you ruin your opportunity to obtain legal status.

Review your immigration record to understand all of the charges against you. You can file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain copies of your record. Individuals are fingerprinted before getting deported, so the deportation will remain permanently in their records.

Research the immigration penalties that you face. There are serious consequences associated with getting deported, which vary based on the reason(s) for deportation. You might have a three-year bar that requires you to remain outside the United States for at least three years from when you were deported. You might have a 10-year bar, requiring you to remain outside of the country for 10 years. Some people might qualify for a waiver, such as an I-601 waiver.

Consult with an experienced immigration attorney to evaluate your case. You can file a visa application tomorrow if you want and pay hefty filing fees -- but the main obstacle will be getting the application approved. If you have a permanent bar, then under current law, you do not qualify for any immigration relief. You will remain ineligible unless U.S. immigration law changes.

Apply for a waiver if you qualify for relief and have completed the penalty associated with your deportation. You might qualify, such as through a petition based on marriage to a U.S. citizen. Understand that there is no guarantee that your waiver will be approved. Tell the truth on all immigration applications, especially as your past record will be analysed and inconsistencies can be quickly identified.


Contact the American Immigration Lawyers Association for a referral to an immigration lawyer.


Avoid filing frivolous petitions -- there is no easy, quick way to get a visa after being deported.

Things You'll Need

  • Immigration records
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About the Author

Maggie Gebremichael has been a freelance writer since 2002. She speaks Spanish fluently and resides in Texas. When she is not writing articles for, Gebremichael loves to travel internationally and learn about different cultures. She obtained an undergraduate degree with a focus on anthropology and business from the University of Texas and enjoys writing about her various interests.