What is an I-212 Application?
An I-212 application is an application for readmission to the United States after being legally deported, or removed. Be aware that illegal reentry after deportation or removal is a federal crime pursuant to INA 276. The penalty includes imprisonment of up to 2 years, or 10 years if the past removal was based on a conviction for 3 or more misdemeanors involving drugs, crimes against the person, or both, of a felony (other than an aggravated felony, for which the penalty can be 20 years).
Those who have opted for voluntary departure are not exempted from having to file the I-212 application for readmission. Note that foreign nationals are subjected to inadmissibility bars after being previously expelled. There is a 5-year bar for a first offender (including those subjected to an order of expedited removal), a 10-year bar for aliens ordered removed after a removal order20 years for a second or subsequent removal, and a permanent bar for removal based on conviction of an “aggravated felony.” If the bar time has passed, the I-212 is not necessary.