Unlawful Presence

The definition of ULP or Unlawful Presence is as follows: presence of an individual without being paroled or admitted or after the period of stay which has been authorized by the Department of Homeland Security.

Unlawful presence has several triggers which include the following:

  • Unless they are otherwise protected from the ULP accrual, an individual who, without inspection accrues ULP from their unlawful arrival date, and is present in the United States
  • Much the same as the previous trigger, unless they are otherwise protected from the ULP accrual, once parole is no longer in effect, an individual will accumulate ULP once they are paroled into the United States
  • As a special notation, an individual will accrue ULP from their arrival date if they obtained permission for entry into the United States by knowingly making a false claim to United States citizenship and/or if they were admitted without being inspected
  • An authorized period of stay can either created by USCIS policy or by statute, or an authorized stay period is usually noted on the I-94

Lawful presence has its consequences. A 10-year bar or a 3-year bar can be enacted. If an alien has been in the United States unlawfully for more than 364 they can be refused admission again within 10 years of the date of their departure or removal. Additionally, if an alien was in the United States unlawfully for less than a year but more than 180 days they can be made inadmissible to the United States if they again seek admission within three years of their removal or departure.

There is also something known as a permanent bar which states that without being admitted to the United States lawfully, an alien who has been ULP for more than 364 and then attempts to re-enter or does enter the United States without being lawfully admitted will never again be admissible lawfully into the United States.