Does the ten year bar still apply to me if I am divorced? 8 Answers as of December 02, 2011

I entered the USA on a F-1 visa, but because of some difficulties, I was forced to drop out of school and stayed for more than a year while out of status, my understanding is this automatically meant that if I had left the country, I would've been barred from re-entering for 10 years. I then met someone, we fell in love and got married, and I adjusted my status and received my conditional green card. However things didn't work out the way I anticipated, and we got a divorce, before the 2-year period. My question is, since I'm no longer married I have no interest in continue living here in the USA, however, because of a business that I started here, I will need to come over every once in a while to cater for my business, and I was wondering if I let the conditional green card expire, will I be able to apply for a tourist visa later on? In other words, does me getting the 2-year green card mean that the 10 year bar doesn't apply to me anymore?

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World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
The 10-year bar does not apply to you anymore since you were successful in adjusting your status in the US. You should be able to get a visitor's visa if you can convince the Consular Officer that you will only come to the US on a temporary basis and return to your home country. Make sure that you leave on your own without any pressure from the USCIS. However, if there is a chance for you to get the 10-year LPR card, then I recommend you pursue it since it will fix all your problems in terms of admission into the US. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/2/2011
Kriezelman, Burton & Associates | Matthew Scott Kriezelman
You would always be running the risk that they believe that you committed fraud when you first got the conditional green card. It would make more sense to get the conditions removed from your green card rather than just abandoning it. The 10 year bar would not apply to you anyways because students are generally admitted for duration of status or d/s.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/1/2011
All American Immigration
All American Immigration | Tom Youngjohn
While I have to recommend that you get a second opinion from another experienced immigration attorney, I believe that the previous one year overstay will not ever be an issue for you. Since you have a final divorce decree, at this time, and remember, get a second opinion, I think that the only safe thing for you to do is to go to, click on "forms", scroll down to I-751, look at the instructions and print out the rather short form. Besides the filing fee and biometrics fee, you would attach all the evidence of shared life that you had with your spouse, from, (I'll be conservative) before and after you got the green card, with all the emphasis being on after you got the green card, but if that doesn't make a 50+ page pile, then pick the best of the pre-green card shared life evidence as well. With a final divorce decree, you don't have to worry about having filed "late," after your two year card expired. But you do have to worry about becoming removable once the card has expired. I expect that all the time you have been in the US after your green card expired is unlawful presence, and, if it has been a year or more you face the ten year bar (3 year bar for 180 days to less than a year of unlawful presence). But if you can wait a month or so, once you have filed the I-751 (helps to have a medium-nice letter from the US citizen ex-spouse saying that, if you wish to stay in the US then he supports you in doing this), you will get a receipt back which extends your green card for a year. This only helps you to travel from and back to the US if you haven't been out of status for almost a year already, so it might not help you at this time. But, even if you have already been out of status for almost a year (or more) already, if you can wait six (or more) months to get your ten year green card, you would be able to travel from and back to the US at that point. Once you have your ten year green card, you can travel all you want. Let me give you an example: I once had a client who wanted a re-entry permit. She lived and worked in Japan, but would come to the US or Guam every 5 1/2 months just to get her passport stamped. She paid the US IRS annual income taxes based on her worldwide income. She always maitained some form of insurance in the US. She maintained a valid US driver's license and had a vaild "physical" mailing address in the US. She did this for ten years, then got tired of this and wanted to get a re-entry permit, which allows for travel out of the US for three (two?) years. But I will never, ever recommend the Re-entry permit. Most of the people that I've heard about who get the re-entry permit lose their green cards out of carelessly leaving the US past the duration of the card. But it's always smart to get a second opinion.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 12/1/2011
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
The answer will depend upon the individual adjudicating your application for a non-immigrant visa. Technically, you did overstay a prior non-immigrant visa and accrued unlawful presence. The fact that you were able to adjust your status does not mean that you did not have unlawful presence. Unlawful presence bars are typically triggered after an individual departs the United States. You can adjust status through an immediate relative petition even if you accrued unlawful presence so long as you did not depart the United States. Most officers will probably not deny a visa due to unlawful presence, because you received a green card; however, the fact that you previously overstayed and subsequently married and sought permanent residence will likely cause a problem. The U.S. Embassy will not issue a non-immigrant visa to someone they believe is an intended immigrant even if they are otherwise eligible to receive the visa. Your prior history will play a role in determining whether to issue you a visa. You will have to balance this with evidence to show you will return in compliance with your visa. The U.S. Embassy is likely to find you are an intended immigrant based upon your history and deny a visa. You may want to consider filing for your permanent green card if your marriage was bona fide. You should consider discussing your matter in more detail with an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 12/1/2011
Immigration Attorneys, LLP | Robert R. Gard
I would agree with your analysis (that the ten year bar no longer applies), but even a voluntary surrender of your permanent resident status (Form I-407), may not be enough to convince some U.S. Consular Official that you now have bona fide nonimmigrant intent. It certainly should be convincing, but these folks live in a bizzarro world where up is down and black is white. Something that should work in your favor is twisted around to work against you. If you are a citizen of one of the visa waiver program approved countries, you should look into registering for that program (see see also: and ) If you do need to go through the B-1 business visitor's visa process, be prepared to very thoroughly document your ties to your home country, and realize that having a business in the United States may be seen by a Consular Officer as an indication of immigrant intent, or impermissible "employment" in the U.S.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 12/1/2011
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella
    Law Offices of Caro Kinsella | Caro Kinsella, Esq.
    You self petition by using the I-751 as a waiver.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Baughman & Wang
    Baughman & Wang | Justin X. Wang
    The ten year bar does not apply to you because you has been granted permanent residency and also because as an F1 holder, your unlawful presence start accrue after CIS or immigration judge make that determination. You may apply for removal of the condition after the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
    You should apply and get your 10 year green card and then apply for a re-entry permit. Otherwise, you can have issues travelling in the future as a visitor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/30/2011
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