I am a French citizen.

2003 -> 2012 : I have lived and worked in US under lawful visas.
2012 -> 2019 : I overstayed in US.

2008 : I got married in US with a green card holder non-US citizen.
2015 : I had a kid with my green card holder non-US citizen wife. My kid is a US citizen.
2016 : My wife became a US Citizen.
2016 : I applied for green card as a US citizen husband (and father)
2017 : My wife broke up with me. She does not support my green card application anymore.
2018 : I am divorced.
2019 : I came back to France without my son.

I am now barred for ten years. Is there anyway I can get back to US just for a few days to see my son?

Thank you for any help or lead you could give me.

  • 48
    Borders are shut anyway. Forget about it for the next 12-18 months.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 21:44
  • 14
    Why don't you have your son travel to France or another country (perhaps Canada) and visit him there?
    – JoelFan
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 21:58
  • 33
    @JoelFan given that the son is ~5 years old, and the mother seems to be non-cooperating, this is unlikely to happen. Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 22:14
  • 4
    @PaŭloEbermann if mother is non-cooperating, I don't think that it'd be easy to actually get to visit the kid, even if OP didn't have a ban.
    – ave
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 13:45
  • 30
    @Ave if the wife is totally non-cooperating, then the French diplomatic channels might be able to do something, assuming that the child is also a French citizen. A French father not being able to see his French son held by a non-French mother is something that the diplomats of most countries would not be happy about.
    – Jsl
    Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 14:32

3 Answers 3


It is extremely unlikely that you will be able to visit the US

When under a ban like this the only technical way to make a visit is to apply for a Waiver of Ineligibility. However these are granted only in very exceptional circumstances. In your case, with seven years of overstay, you are unlikely to be granted a waiver ever, and "visiting my son" is not an exceptional circumstance.

Your best bet for visiting your son is to pay for him to visit you in France.

  • 31
    Doesn't have to be an unaccompanied visit. Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 13:46
  • 29
    If your wife and kid live in the northern US, then visiting Canada may be possible, likewise for the southern US a visit to Mexico may be possible; your wife and kid can then travel to meet you. Both countries are normally visa-free for French citizens. However, given that you have picked up a ban for overstaying in the US, then both countries may well require that you visa to visit them
    – CSM
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 13:54
  • 34
    @Crazydre OP is inadmissible to the US, which is rather more significant than being ineligible for the VWP. Even if there's no policy for Canada to deny admission automatically, it could still be a significant hurdle to overcome.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 16:06
  • 9
    @HeyJude It is illegal. Being married to a US citizen does not give you automatic right to reside in the US. Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 13:00
  • 31
    If your ex-wife is uncooperative about the kid traveling at your expense, keep a paper trail of the discussion to the extent possible. If worse comes to worse, it will be useful to prove to an older kid that you in fact tried to meet them. Commented Apr 6, 2020 at 19:54

My wife has a 10 year bar and we tried to apply for a Waiver of Ineligibility twice. Short answer, don't waste your time and your money.

The US immigration will deny you no matter what the circumstances. We were told by the US embassy in Switzerland that they have an inside rule: no waiver during the first 7 years of a 10 year bar.

And because they will deny you under INA 214(b), you will also be excluded from the visa waiver program in the future.

  • 2
    Did your wife manage to enter the US after the 10 years have passed?
    – pts
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 16:21
  • 4
    We have not tried again (it's been 8 years now). I went to the US a couple of times with my daughter (she also overstayed her visa but she was < 18 when we all left so she doesn't have the 10 year bar). A friend of mine who was deported in 2011, was able to get a B2 visa last year and had no problem going back. I think my wife would have a much better chance now but we have no plan to go back in the near future
    – HermitCrab
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 17:00

The process to get a nonimmigrant waiver for someone from a Visa Waiver Program country is to apply for a nonimmigrant visa (e.g. B2 visitor visa). If you are denied the visa due solely to the ban, and not due to immigrant intent, and if the visa officer recommends you for a waiver, then they will let you know about the steps to apply for the waiver. See 9 FAM 305.4-3.

In your case, given your history of having lived in the US for 16 years, including several years of overstay and also having applied for a green card, you are almost certainly going to be denied the visa under INA 214(b) for failure to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent, in addition to being denied for the ban. There is no waiver for immigrant intent, so you would not even get to the stage where you would be considered for a waiver for the ban.

There is also humanitarian parole, but I really do not think your situation would qualify as an urgent humanitarian reason.

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