This article applies to most of the non-immigrants though it is being published here mainly as it pertains to the non-immigrants on F-1 or H-1 status.
Unlawful presence is the period of time when one is in the United States without being admitted or paroled or when one is not in a “period of stay authorized by the appropriate governmental agency/authorized personnel.
One may be barred from reentering the United States for:
- 3 years, if one depart’s the United States after having accrued more than 180 days but less than 1 year of unlawful presence during a single stay and before the commencement of removal proceedings
- 10 years, if one depart’s the United States after having accrued one year or more of unlawful presence during a single stay, regardless of whether you leave before, during, or after removal proceedings; or
- Permanently, if one reenter’s or try to re-enter the United States without being admitted or paroled after having accrued more than one year of unlawful presence in the aggregate during one or more stays in the United States.
One needs to be extremely cautious to ensure that unlawful presence does not exceed 180 days to avoid the mandatory bars.