When does 10 year ban from reentering US starts counting?


New Member
Hello everybody,
I am having trouble understanding when a 10 year ban from reentering the USA starts.
My history: I entered the country on the VWP as my plan was to visit friends of my US-American now husband, back then boyfriend. I already had a ticket to Peru a month later because i was offered a job in south America. BUT things changed while being in the US, I couldnt take that Job in south America and my boyfriend asked me to marry him, which was a surprise to me.
We got married in California and were planning on applying for a green card for me. As we are simple people, we could not afford the fees and I ended up staying in the country for about 2,5 years on my VWP.
We left to my European homecountry, I did not have any trouble, nobody asked me any questions at the departure. We now live her, my American husband is very happy and does not want to go back to America as it seems.
So far so good. I am very sure I have a 10 year ban from reentering. But as I understand the 10 years start ticking on the day I am trying to reenter. Is that right? Does that mean, I have to try entering the US so that the 10 years start counting? I was hoping that, if I stay away for 10 years they might let me in again, but that information changes things a bit. I am hoping to get a B2 visa one day as I would love to hike the PCT. How does this work now? I would appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.


Well-Known Member
The ban starts the day you left.


The relevant part for you:

If you are a foreign national and are not a lawful permanent resident of the United States, you may be inadmissible for 10 years if:

You accrued 1 year or more of unlawful presence during a single stay in the United States on or after April 1, 1997; and
You voluntarily departed the United States or were removed from the United States under any provision of law.
The 10-year unlawful presence bar applies whether you leave before, during, or after removal proceedings.

This 10-year inadmissibility period starts when you depart or are removed from the United States. During this 10-year inadmissibility period you are not eligible to:

Receive an immigrant or a nonimmigrant visa to come to the United States;
Adjust your status in the United States to that of a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder); or
Be admitted to the United States at a port of entry.
If you are subject to the 3-year or the 10-year unlawful presence bars, you may receive a visa and/or be admitted to the United States if you apply for and receive a waiver of inadmissibility. The legal requirements and procedures for applying for the waiver depend on the immigration benefit you seek.