Deportation (or removal) is when an immigrant is officially ordered to be deported or removed from the country by the Immigration Judge because he or she has violated immigration laws, or often committed a criminal offense making him or her deportable. Deportation occurs for a variety of reasons, the most common of which are listed below.
1. Criminal Behavior
Immigrants committing crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated felonies may face risk of deportation. This includes things like embezzlement, perjury, fraud, murder, certain drug-related offenses, rape, or firearm offenses. The laws are very complex so if you find yourself in this situation, it is best to seek advice of an experienced lawyer right away!
2. Failing to Obey the Terms of Your Visa
Many non-immigrant visas are issued for different reasons like education, employment, and family preference. These visas usually come with a defined expiration date at which time the immigrant must file for legal resident status if eligible or leave the country voluntarily as promised when they applied for the non-immigrant visa. Failing to depart as promised and staying after expiration of the non-immigrant visa can result in a person landing in deportation proceedings in Immigration Court.
It doesn’t always seem fair since sometimes major life events change your plans, but the laws are very strict! An experienced immigration attorney can help, no matter the curveballs are thrown at you, to determine if there are any good options for you or advice how to best maneuver the situation, if you must leave.
3. Fraudulent Activities
Fraud or misrepresentations, including common misstatements, on immigration paperwork, including falsified documents or errors on application, may lead to deportation. Document fraud and marriage fraud are both pretty common in immigration and are thoroughly investigated by enforcing agencies, and both often lead to deportation in many cases.
4. Deportation for Immigration Violations
Non-immigrant visa violations include things like overstaying a visa or violating the terms of a visa. Once a visa is set to expire, an immigrant needs to voluntarily leave the country by the expiration date or they will fall into an undocumented status which can lead to deportation. There may be exceptions if eligible to file for an extension of status, change of status, or an immigrant visa even, but it’s best to talk to a lawyer early enough in advance of your last authorized day in valid lawful status in the US so that you have time to plan and act accordingly before you are out of status!