The permanent bar prevents certain immigrants from receiving immigration benefits even if they are otherwise eligible. (See below for a description of the permanent bar, or visit the "Unlawful Presence Bans" page under the "Learn" tab.)
We believe some attorneys don't tell their clients about the permanent bar because they (a) don't know about it or (b) pretend not to be responsible for it. The latter is particularly despicable. We hate to hear stories from clients who've gone to lawyers - or people trying to serve in the capacity of lawyers - who've taken their money, prepared their cases, and then disappear when the clients find out the bad news.
At BKR, we'll never take your case if we don't believe we can win it. And we'll tell you the truth - even when it hurts.
For tips on how to stay clear of people who would take advantage of you, visit our "Avoid Fraud" page under the "Learn" tab.
About the Permanent Bar:
Starting April 1, 1997, a law went into effect that punishes people who return to the U.S. after living here illegally. The time you live in the U.S. illegally is called "unlawful presence." The punishment for unlawful presence hits you the second time you try to come back into the country.
Many people who have lived in the U.S. illegally have long periods of unlawful presence. They're subject to three- or ten- year bars, meaning they can't receive immigration benefits until after they've lived for three or ten years outside the U.S. (The length of the ban depends on whether they lived in the U.S. illegally for more or less than one year.) Fortunately, these punishments can often be waived so that the person can get a green card without having to serve them.
What is more complicated - and more disappointing - is the permanent bar. It applies to people who live illegally in the U.S. for more than a year, leave the country, and then come back again.
Except in very rare circumstances (such as if the person becomes the victim of a crime and is eligible for a U-visa), the permanent bar cannot be waived or excused. If you have a permanent bar, you have to live outside the U.S. for ten years before you can even think about asking for an exception. Even then, exceptions are very hard to get.