Three- and Ten-Year Time Bars (Inadmissibility) for Unlawful Presence

One of the most confusing parts of U.S. immigration law in recent years is one that punishes people who have lived in the United States unlawfully (for example, after an entry without inspection or a visa overstay). It makes them "inadmissible" -- that is, ineligible for a green card or visa or other U.S. entry -- for either three or ten years, depending on the length of their unlawful stay. Exceptions or waivers do exist, however, to lessen the effect of this law, as you'll learn about here.

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