The Crime of Improper Re-entry After Deportation

The crime of improper re-entry into the United States after deportation is a serious offence under federal law, and if you attempt it, you could face legal consequences.

Individuals who are removed from the United States are usually not permitted to re-enter. Under 8 USC § 1326(a), it is a criminal offence for an alien to attempt to re-enter the United States.

Re-entry to the United States is considered illegal under these conditions:

  • Being denied admission to the United States
  • Excluded from the United States
  • Removed or deported from the United States
  • Attempting to enter the United States while an order for removal, exclusion, or deportation remains outstanding

Consequences of Illegal Re-Entry

Under the statute 8 USC §1326 (a), you can receive a maximum of 2 years imprisonment for re-entry or attempted re-entry to the United States after deportation.

Further to this, if you were removed due to misdemeanors involving drugs, felony, or criminal actions against another person, the maximum penalty can be up to 10 years imprisonment.

If an alien was deported after a conviction of “aggravated felony,” the term of imprisonment could be up to 20 years. It’s worth noting that many crimes classified as a misdemeanor under state law can still be considered “aggravated felony” under federal immigration laws.

Further consequences for individuals seeking re-entry after deportation or removal may also include heavy monetary fines.

Once convicted of illegal re-entry to the United States, your ability to re-enter later can be seriously hampered. This can result in increased immigration security checks when attempting to enter the United States through official channels.

Re-entry Permits

With the United States being an attractive place to live and work, thousands of people seek to enter each year. When you’ve gone through naturalization and become a lawful permanent resident, you may need to apply for a re-entry permit. This is only the case if you plan to leave the US for a period of more than 1 year.

Re-entry permits can help to prevent a lawful permanent resident from becoming invalid for re-entry after being absent for more than 1 year. It also prevents the United States government from considering your residence as abandoned if you take up residence in another country.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding After Deportation, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.