Legal Forgiveness for Undocumented Immigrants
By Milton Aponte, Immigration Attorney
The “punishment law” that is under the immigration reform law of 1996, penalizes immigrants who have overstayed their visas for over six months in the United States. If they stayed six months but less than a year, they must leave the country and will not be allowed back in for three years. If they stayed for one year or more, then they will not be able to return for 10 years.
This is how it was, and the person needed to petition for a return and the condition was that he was forced to go back to his home country and wait there for the local immigration office to process the petition which sometimes was denied. Meanwhile, the petitioner was separated from his family which remained in USA and if he was denied, then the situation got complicated because he could not return and live here legally.
But not long ago, there came out another law that forgives the overstay violations of undocumented persons. What is that about? This law was implemented in January 2nd of 2013 and it states that those who have overshot their stay in USA can live here and change their status to legal.
This significant change since its implementation is that petitioners can apply for their new status from here. In other words, they do not have to go back to their home countries. So the waiting time is spent here in USA with his family by his side. So, when the embassy informs him of the approval of his status, he then travels to his country for a short period of time for the interview and to pick up his new visa. If his petition is denied, while he is here, he does not need to return to his country and wait for a different solution.
For more information, please call (954) 862-3632 for a consultation or visit www.aponteimmigration.com. The office of Aponte Immigration is located near Weston at 12401 Orange Dr. Suite #129, Davie FL 33330.