My husband is from Mexico. He crossed the border into the USA with no passport in 2004 and remained there until 2008. In 2008, his brother passed away in a car accident in California. After this, my husband went back to Mexico, crossing in Tijuana by bus, so there is no record of his departure.

Can he get still a tourist visa to the USA? We are planning a trip to Disneyland with our children. We have been in Argentina since 2010. He is a resident alien here, and we have a house and jobs. We don't plan to move to the USA and we have proof of that.

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    Am I correct that we are being asked to evaluate the risk of your husband lying on the visa application (stating he has never been in the USA unlawfully), as it appears there is no evidence of entry, exit, or residence for 2004-08? Jun 27, 2017 at 18:15
  • "He crossed the border into the USA with no passport in 2004" He crossed at a regular border crossing and the immigration officer saw him and let him through without a passport? Or he snuck across the border without being seen by an immigration officer?
    – user102008
    Jul 4, 2017 at 4:56

1 Answer 1


Your husband is probably not eligible for a US visa at the present time but may be eligible next year.

Your husband was in the USA unlawfully for over a year, so, if none of the exceptions apply (such as being under 18 or being a victim of human trafficking), he acquired a ten year ban when he departed in 2008. The ban will last until ten years have elapsed since his departure, which should be on his ten year anniversary of departure in 2018. After this, he is eligible for a visa, but, given his travel history (four years unlawful presence in the USA and evading passport control) it will likely be very difficult to convince a consular official that he will not overstay again.

  • As there is no record of the departure, how does US immigration know when to apply the ban from...?
    – user29788
    Jun 27, 2017 at 18:04
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    He is required to disclose it. Gather whatever evidence you have of his departure and be ready to share it. Jun 27, 2017 at 18:06
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    So if there is no convincing evidence of the departure, the ban could be in effect for much longer then?
    – user29788
    Jun 27, 2017 at 18:11
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    @Moo yes. The ten year ban establishes a minimum period of ineligibility. After this, one still has to establish their case to the satisfaction of consular officials. Jun 27, 2017 at 18:12
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    He crossed without a passport and departed without a passport. Chances are the US immigration authorities don't know if the OP was ever in the USA. However, lying could get him banned for life. Luckily, unlike less civilized countries the American officers will give the OP the chance to correct himself at the interview. It's still walking a fine line.
    – user58558
    Jun 28, 2017 at 5:31

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