How To Avoid Deportation

Generally speaking, deportation refers to the forced removal of foreign nationals from the United States and occurs when foreign nationals are caught breaking US immigration laws. To discover how you can prevent being deported from the United States as a foreign national, simply continue reading.

Respect The Laws Of The United States

If you are a law-abiding resident, you will not be deported from the United States. So aim to be mindful and respectful of the laws which govern the United States.

Avoid Being Deported From The U.S. If You Believe You Are Eligible For Deportation Or If You Are Already In Deportation Proceedings

Aim To Become A Citizen Of The United States

You may be surprised to learn that legal permanent residents in the United States who hold valid green cards can be legally deported for committing certain crimes. For this reason, even if you become a green card holder, it’s a wise move to plan to become a fully-fledged US citizen. As U.S citizens can’t be deported.

In order to become eligible to apply for US citizenship as a foreign national, you’ll need to hold a green card for a period of five years. However, if you entered the United States as the spouse of a US citizen, you’ll only need to wait three years before you can start the formal process of applying for US citizenship.

Becoming A Naturalized U.S Citizen

If you want to enjoy the full rights of a US citizen, such as the right to remain in the United States indefinitely, there are several steps that you’ll need to take to become a naturalized U.S citizen.

If you are not the spouse of a US citizen, not only will you need to hold a green card for a period of five years but you’ll also need to have spent 30 months living in the United States out of the last five years. Which is equivalent to 2.5 years. If you are the spouse of a US citizen, you’ll need to have spent 1.5 years of the last 3 years in the United States before you’re eligible to become a naturalized US citizen.

Keep in mind that regardless of whether you’re married to a US citizen or not you must not have embarked on an overseas trip of six months or longer during this period. So be very careful, if you plan to visit your home country for extended periods of time before you become a fully-fledged US citizen.

Next, you’ll need to prove that you’re a moral individual who will be an asset to your community and to the United States as a whole. Be prepared to prove your character in a formal, sit-down interview. If you are caught trying to lie to your interviewer in order to become a citizen, your application will be declined.

The final step in your journey to becoming a US citizen will involve studying for and passing a two-part test that features a written English test and a civics test. The latter of which will test your knowledge of the US political system and US history. So it’s well worth studying for your citizenship test, before scheduling your test in order to increase your chances of passing and getting to attend your swearing-in ceremony to become a US citizen.

Apply For A Cancellation Of Removal

Even if you’re not a US citizen, you will have the opportunity to apply for cancellation of removal if you have held a green card for at least five years and can prove that you have not been convicted of an aggravated felony. It’s important to note that being convicted of possessing drugs with the intent of selling them is classed as an aggravated felony in the United States.

Avoiding Deportation As An Asylum Seeker

Regardless of whether you enter the United States legally or illegally, if you travel to the United States as an asylum seeker, you’ll be able to decrease your chances of being deported by applying for asylum within one year of entering the United States. To be eligible to apply for asylum in the United States you must have proof that you fled your home nation in order to avoid persecution.

For example, it’s likely that you’ll be an eligible candidate if you fear persecution and harm in your home nation for your culture, religion, or political beliefs. However, you will not be eligible to seek asylum in the United States if you were convicted of an aggravated felony and served five years or longer in prison.

If you have committed an aggravated felony but served less than five years in prison for your conviction, you can appeal a removal decision if you can prove that it’s likely that you would be tortured if you were to return to the country which you fled as an asylum seeker. In this circumstance, you must fill out an I-5 89 form. If you are in the United States as an asylum seeker, it’s within your best interests to contact an experienced attorney for assistance in appealing your removal.

Consider Voluntarily Exiting The United States

If you don’t think that you have a strong case to apply for the cancellation of your removal and want the option to be able to reenter the United States in the future, you may want to consider voluntarily leaving the country. As if you are deported from the United States, the process of returning to the United States in the future will be challenging.

In order to be eligible to voluntarily leave the country without being deported, you must be deemed an individual of sound moral character and must have legally resided in the country for 12 months. You also must have the financial means to pay for your plane ticket to your country of origin and must be willing to pay a departure bond. It’s worth keeping in mind that if you have committed an aggravated felony, your chances of being able to voluntarily enter the United States are higher if you apply for voluntary removal at the start of your immigration case.


If you’d like to remain in the United States and to build a new life for yourself and your family, you can avoid the possibility of forced deportation by respecting the laws of your new home. If you think that there’s already a possibility of being deported from the United States, ensure to either appeal your deportation or to voluntarily exit the country.

Punishment For Deportation

Get Help From An U.S Immigration Attorney

    How To Find Us

    Austin Office
    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1005 E 40th St
    Austin, TX 78751

    Waco Office

    Lincoln-Goldfinch Law

    1616 Austin Avenue, Suite A
    Waco, TX 76701
    By Appointment Only

    Austin & Waco

    Call or Text: (855) 502-0555
    Fax: (512) 323-9351