I am a US citizen who met my Mexican born fiance in Texas 15 years ago. He was deported from the US 13 years ago after serving time in prison for a marijuana charge. He was told that he could reapply after 10 years. I was thinking of either applying for the fiance visa or marrying him in Mexico then applying for his visa. What's the best way to get him into the United States?
The 10 years probably refers to the 10-year INA 212(a)(9)(A)(ii) ban for being deported from inside the US, which is already over. However, I believe he also has a lifetime INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) ban for a drug conviction, and he will need a waiver for this ban.
At his fiance visa or immigrant visa interview, the officer will determine that he has a ban and needs to apply for an immigrant waiver with Form I-601. A waiver for this ban is only available if there was only a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana (for more serious drug convictions, there is no immigrant waiver), and either:
- He can show there would be "extreme hardship" to his US citizen or permanent resident spouse (including fiance), child, or parent if he can't be in the US. Note that "extreme hardship" is very hard to demonstrate; mere separation from one's spouse is not enough. Or
- 15 years has passed since the drug activities, he has been rehabilitated, and the officer determines that his admission to the US will not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security