My wife, a Texan native, married me in my home country, the United Kingdom, in 2011, but shortly after had to return to the States for family matters. Six months later I joined her in Texas on a 90-day visa waiver, but stayed in the country for over 2 years.

I was arrested on a misdemeanor charge and spent 2 months in a deportation center whilst my consulate arranged for me to get back to the UK.

I asked why I was not taken to court for the misdemeanor and was told that ICE overrules state law, and they just prefer to waive misdemeanor charges as it slows down deportation proceedings. I recall signing something that confirmed I volunteered to leave the country.

My question is, how long is my ban from the USA? Is it worth me trying to overturn or get a waiver of some sort? Or should my wife just apply to join me in the UK?

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    If you're asking about moving to the US, you should be asking at Expatriates. – phoog May 28 '18 at 5:16
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    Google in the US "immigration attorneys". Maybe choose one near wherever it is your wife lives in the US. Good luck! – Fattie May 28 '18 at 19:33
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    Please clarify if you're intending to move there or just visit so we can best direct you to an answer. This site deals with travel in the temporary sense, not relocating – blackbird May 29 '18 at 17:31

The law here is somewhat complicated, but if you have more than a year of unlawful presence in the US, you face a 10 year ban. This guide for those in similar situations may be helpful: Returning to the United States After Deportation.

Since you left voluntarily and have a US citizen spouse, it may be possible to receive a waiver and then apply for an immigrant visa to move to the US. This requires you to show "extreme hardship" to your spouse (which goes beyond simply missing you, see the link). The details on a waiver application quickly become complex and will depend on all the details of your case (including the nature of the criminal charges that led to your departure). You would want to hire a reputable US immigration attorney to examine all the factors, advise you as to your options and the likelihood of success, and if you want to move forward, prepare your application.

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    +1 This one catches my eye: "Your relative has many close family members in the U.S., and he or she only has a few or no family relationships in your home country." How is this an extreme hardship? Isn't it the opposite? It means they have pretty much everyone they might need around them except you... which is the best thing you can hope for if you yourself can't be around. Am I missing something? – user541686 May 29 '18 at 5:19
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    @Mehrdad I think the idea is that it would be a hardship for them to move to your country to be with you, because they would have to leave all their family in the US. It's only one factor, and it's not determinative, so that alone wouldn't necessarily be enough. You are right that being alone could arguably be a hardship too. – Zach Lipton May 29 '18 at 5:45
  • I... guess? Though they seem to worried about what happens to your spouse in the US, and they seem to be okay with your spouse missing you while you're away so that seems a bit contradictory. And more than that, this is something many immigrants go through all the time: they go to a new country with no one but their family. It's by no means easy but it's also far from what I'd imagine to be extreme hardship (as opposed to, say, their other examples)... otherwise you could say the US itself is a nation of extreme-hardshippers... which then suggests maybe it isn't so extreme after all... – user541686 May 29 '18 at 5:55
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    If you're looking for logical consistency and things in perfect harmony, US immigration policy is not the right place to look :) – Zach Lipton May 29 '18 at 6:00
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    @Skipper do you mean breaking? – John May 29 '18 at 12:37

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