People who have been illegally present in the United States for longer than a year normally will be required to leave the country for a period of 10 years before applying for reentry. There are certain circumstances under which a person may avoid this mandatory deportation and ban against reentry, however.
A person who has been deemed to be inadmissible may apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. Waivers are available to people even if they were unlawfully present in the country.
In order to prevail on an application for a waiver, people must demonstrate their deportation and removal will pose an extreme hardship on a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or who is legally residing in the country. Separation from a child is not considered to be an extreme hardship. Instead, people must demonstrate that they have a sick or disabled relative who depends on them for care. They may also receive a waiver if deportation will prevent them from being able to repay debts or if their home country is undergoing significant political upheaval. Others whom may be granted waivers include domestic violence victims who help prosecute their abusers and those who were brought to the U.S. as children.
A person who is facing possible deportation may want to discuss applying for a waiver of inadmissibility with an immigration and naturalization attorney. Legal counsel can advise the client of the likelihood of success of seeking a waiver and can also help gather needed documentation to prove that the client's deportation would result in extreme hardship for his or her spouse and family. Although a pending deportation and removal may pose significant stress, an applicant may be successful in obtaining a waiver of inadmissibility. The determination will in part depend on the relevant facts of the situation.
Source: FindLaw, "Extreme Hardship and the 601 Waiver: Can I Avoid Deportation?", accessed on March 16, 2015