Immigration waivers acquit some immigration disobedience on your record that hinders you from legally getting into the United States. If the USCIS turned down your petition, you would require an immigration waiver to get into the U.S.
Usually, it is hard to obtain waivers. That is why you need to hire an experienced attorney and have the skills to prepare and get releases. You can file for a release addressing and attempting to set aside the reasons that led to the turndown of your petition. If you are looking for a dedicated and skilled lawyer, get in touch with the California Immigration Attorney. We will use our expertise to obtain the best waiver for you.
What is a Waiver of Inadmissibility, and What Does it Entail?
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions, a waiver of inadmissibility is a legal remedy for individuals marked as removable from the United States. It is directly linked to the cancellation of removal, another form of relief that entails pardoning individuals subject to removal. Every American citizen qualifies for this waiver, but non-citizens have to not only apply by filing Form I-601 but also have to meet rigid guidelines to allow—individuals who have firmly resettled in the country as refugees also qualify for this waiver.
Grounds of Inadmissibility
In the United States, the immigration law is keener on the personal conduct of those who wish to enter the United States compared to those who are already in the U.S and have committed crimes and are subject to removal. Those who are already admitted in the U.S already have relatives, jobs, and friends that tie them to the country and should not be interrupted unless a person has shown unacceptable personal conduct. On the other hand, those who wish to be admitted can face stringent requirements since they do not have such ties.
Under section 212 of INA, the grounds of inadmissibility are clearly stated out. As a non-citizen, when you apply for a visa to visit the United States, the consular officer checks whether any of the grounds relate, but even if he/she finds that none of them relate, his/her say is not conclusive. The only person who determines your inadmissibility is the immigration office, who does it after getting into the port of entry.
Most of the grounds for other people’s welfare in personal cases, for instance, under INA 212(d)(3), the Secretary of Homeland Security can waive different settings apart from some security provisions.
The USCIS may fail to let you into the United States because of the following reasons:
Section 212(A) explains the grounds of inadmissibility, depending on a person’s health condition. People with mental or physical disorders and those with infectious diseases are inadmissible. It also applies to drug addicts and anyone whose health poses a threat to other people's welfare. Unless you provide documentation proving that you have been, you cannot also be allowed to enter the United States.
Sexually transmitted diseases and tuberculosis are some of the infectious diseases that also act as grounds of inadmissibility. Under INA 212(G), an immigrant with HIV and other contagious diseases is a parent, spouse, unmarried children, a child who is not married and is legally adopted by a permanent resident or a citizen of the United States is eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility. If a professional doctor suggests that the vaccinations required for you to enter the U.S can put your health at risk, the vaccination requirements can also be waived.
Criminal Related Grounds
Under INA 212(a)(2), any person becomes inadmissible if:
- You were arrested for carrying a "crime of moral turpitude" or violating controlled substances laws — the court takes the "crimes of moral turpitude" as crimes of violence. Some of these crimes include theft, rape, kidnapping, fraud, manslaughter, spousal abuse, and aggravated DUI offenses. When determining if a crime has moral turpitude, the court mainly looks at the statue you were charged under and not your behavior. Admitting to the crime is also enough to make you inadmissible.
- You were arrested for any serious crime that led to your sentencing of more than five years.
- You were intentionally involved in drug trafficking, or you benefited from drug trafficking activities.
- Your intention to move to the U.S is illegal (prostitution).
- You had previously committed a serious crime, which made you leave the U.S as a way of getting immunity from the prosecution.
- You violated religious freedoms while serving as an administrator in a foreign country.
- You were intentionally involved in human trafficking, or you benefited from social trafficking activities.
- You were involved in the laundering of money, or that is your intention of coming to the United States.
However, such waivers are not available for people who have lived in the U.S for several months and have committed an aggravated felony crime.
Security Related Grounds
The national security admissibility laws have evolved over the years, but the basics remain grounded; strict security precautions are taken. After President McKinley's assassination, a 1903 Immigration Act that excluded anarchists and individuals deemed to push for government overthrowing was passed. Through 32 Stat.1213 in the 1950s, the Congress blacklisted Communists, and any organization members considered subversive. In 1990 another Act was drafted restricting entry of any individual believed to have committed acts of terror. In the wake of the 1993 World Trade Centre and Oklahoma bombing, an AEDPA and IIRIRA were passed, adding any member or associates of any terror group. Moreover, in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, the act was expanded to include prominent non-citizens endorsing terror acts.
Currently, the blacklisted individuals include:
- Individuals associated with past or future terror acts
- Spokespersons or officials of terror groups
- Members of terrorist groups
- Prominent individuals endorsing terror acts
- Spouses or children of individuals associated with acts of terror who are privy to their actions
- The list further includes individuals entering with intentions of violent opposition to the US government or espionage.
- Individuals associated with genocide or Nazi actions
Violation of Immigration Law or Procedure
There are also several inadmissibility grounds in section 212 (a) related to immigration laws and procedures. This list could feature the following individuals:
- Illegal Entrants and Immigration Violators — Any non-citizen who gains entry into the US through undesignated entry points or without being paroled or admitted is inadmissible INA § 212(a)(6)(A)(i). Moreover, such individuals are subject to strict civic penalties ranging between $50 and $250 for illegal entry. These penalties double up if you have incurred any civic penalties before, INA § 275(b). This ground, however, exempts individuals fleeing from domestic violence, INA § 212(a)(6)(A)(ii).
This category further covers the following individuals:
- Individuals who do not show up for inadmissible proceedings
- Persons that presented wrong facts when applying for US citizenship or other government benefits, INA § 212(a)(6)(C).
- Individuals that have assisted other persons in gaining illegal entry
- Violators of the F-1 student visa, INA § 212(a)(6)(D),(E),(G)
However, these limitations do not apply for individuals with natural or adopted US parents, persons that might have obtained permanent residency before the age of 16, INA § 212(a)(6)(C).
- Previous Removal and Unlawful Presence — If you are unlawfully in the country or have been previously removed, you are considered inadmissible, especially if you re-entered illegally, 212(a)(6)(A), and INA § 212(a)(9)(A) respectively. Non-citizens that have previously been removed are inadmissible for up to five years, while those left before their removal proceedings remain inadmissible for ten years. A second subsequent removal attracts an inadmissible period of 20 years. To avoid such, you should engage the Secretary for Homeland Security accordingly before re-entry, INA § 212(a)(9)(A).
The Public Charge Ground
If you are believed to become a public charge likely, you are likely to be considered inadmissible. The Immigration and consular officers will always check your age, family status, health, resources, assets, and financial situation to determine this, INA § 212 (a)(4)(B).
Incoming immigrants are inadmissible without an affidavit of support, INA § 212 (a)(4)(C),(D). It means if they have a sponsor, he/she must agree in the affidavit to support them with an annual income of above 125% of the federal poverty guidelines for not less than ten years or until they gain full citizenship.
Other Grounds of Inadmissibility
Other grounds on which you could be considered inadmissible could include the following:
- Labor Certification — INA § 212(a)(5) provides guidelines that could render an immigrant inadmissible. Before outsourcing foreign employees, an employer must demonstrate to the Department of Labor that there are no other local employees suitable for that specific position.
- Documentation Requirement — Incoming immigrants must provide the relevant documents to get admitted, Section 212(a)(7) spells. Without these documents, an individual will be rendered inadmissible. Such could include a valid passport, identification and nationality documents, travel documents, border crossing card, immigrant visa, or other relevant documents.
- Persons Ineligible for Citizenship — Due to Selective Service laws, individuals that left or remained outside the country in a bid to avoid military training or enlisting during the war, are labeled ineligible for citizenship, INA § 101(a)(19). Such individuals are considered inadmissible, INA § 212(a)(8). This category could also accommodate non-citizens incarcerated for an aggravated felony.
- Miscellaneous — INA § 212(a)(10) provides a list of various grounds under which you could be rendered inadmissible. The plan accommodates the following:
- Non-citizens entering the country to practice polygamy
- International child abductors
- Unlawful voters
- Citizens that renounced citizenship to void taxation
If you are a non-citizen in the United States, you can be expelled on account of several issues. Such could include violating your status in the country, committing prohibited acts, or were inadmissible during your entry. The Immigration and Nationality Act highlights six categories that could subject you to removal:
- Inadmissible during entry
- Committing certain criminal acts
- Failure to register as expected and falsification of documents
- Engagement in acts of terror or threatened national security
- Becoming a public charge
- Unlawful voting
However, these categories have been expanded by recent Technical Amendments Acts of 1991, IIRIRA, and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA).
Requirements for Approval of Waiver of Inadmissibility
To get approved for a waiver of inadmissibility, you have to fall in line with a set of guidelines. These guidelines will determine whether you can be considered for a release or you will be removed from the country. The guidelines are spread out in the following categories of inadmissibility:
- Unlawful Presence — If you have been rendered inadmissible for unlawfully being in the country for more than 180 days or one year, three, and ten years bar, respectively, you can comfortably apply for a waiver. However, you might not be eligible if you have been unlawfully in the country for more than one year then returned illegally without being paroled or admitted by the relevant authorities. Moreover, you must be able to meet the following conditions:
- Establish that your legal US citizen spouse, partner, parent, or K visa petitioner will suffer extreme hardships should your application be denied.
- Follow special instructions if you are a self-petitioner applying for the waiver.
- Criminal Grounds — You can apply for a waiver of inadmissibility if you have been rendered the same on account of involvement in the following crimes:
- Moral turpitude crimes excluding politically motivated and related crimes
- Controlled substance violation according to the United States laws and regulations
- Several summary convictions excluding general assault or DUI dangerous driving
- Illegal commercialized vice-related or not related to prostitution.
- Being a non-citizen involved in severe acts of crime but have asserted immunity from prosecution
Other determinants that qualify you for an application include:
- Suppose you have been rendered inadmissible on account of prostitution. In that case, you must establish with proof that you have rehabilitated accordingly and your testimony is supported by the national welfare or the security agencies of the country.
- You can also apply if you have 15 years on your back since whatever activity that rendered you inadmissible has passed. You have rehabilitated, and your admission of the same will fall in line with the testimony of national welfare or security agencies.
- Application is also valid if your permanent resident spouse, parent, K visa petitioner, or loved one will experience extreme hardship if you do not get the waiver.
- Your application should also be approved and validated by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
- However, the Attorney General's office may not consent to the application for a waiver if your reason for inadmissibility or removal entailed involvement in dangerous and violent crimes unless it all means extreme hardships for your permanent resident partner.
- Fraud or Misrepresentation — If you were rendered inadmissible for presenting faulty materials or fraudulently procuring an immigration benefit, you qualify to apply for a waiver of inadmissible.
If you were removed or pronounced inadmissible on account of fraud or misrepresentation but you can prove that your permanent resident parent, partner, child, spouse, or a visa petitioner is likely to suffer extreme hardships if you do not receive a waiver.
- Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility — Your petition for a waiver may be approved if you are a spouse, unmarried son or daughter, parent, a minor unmarried lawfully adopted child of a US permanent resident you are an alien with an immigration visa or a VAWA self-petitioner.
If you are diagnosed with Class A Tuberculosis, Physical/ Mental Disorder, HIV, or harmful behavior, you might be prompted to make additional applications to qualify.
There are requirements for specific vaccinations that may be a requirement. However, if you have religious or moral objections to such vaccinations with credible proof, you can still apply for an inadmissible waiver.
- Membership to Totalitarian Parties or Organizations — If you were pronounced inadmissible for being a member or an affiliate of the communist or any other totalitarian organization, you are also eligible to apply for a waiver. However, you have to satisfy certain conditions, such as proof of rehabilitation.
Moreover, a waiver could be in order if your application is in the public interest if you are a parent, spouse, or child of a lawful permanent citizen. A waiver may also be acceptable if it is for humanitarian purposes. However, you must prove to the security agencies that you are not a threat to national security.
- Alien Smuggling — If you are applying for having been removed or declared inadmissible on account of smuggling aliens or assisting related acts by abetting or aiding individuals involved in such, you also qualify to apply.
Moreover, you must meet the following guidelines:
- You must be a legal citizen who temporarily left abroad not under any removal order, but you are inadmissible as a returning resident.
- You seek an adjustment of status as a close relative, a first, second, or third preference immigrant, or fiancé of a legal permanent resident.
- Your application is for humanitarian reasons or in the public interest.
How to Apply for an Inadmissible Waiver
To apply for an inadmissible waiver, you have to download a Form I-601 application form from the USCIS website. The application comes into forms; you can use it to adjust your status or apply for an immigration visa. You can also apply at the consular office, the immigration court, or USCIS. You can also file with the BIA at a fee of $ 930.
How To Prepare Your Form I-601 Application Form
Applying for an I-601 application form is not a complicated endeavor, but the 12 pages long might be quite intimidating. Most of the questions are straightforward, and you can fill the form in the comfort of your home online or download the form and fill it accordingly.
However, the secret to filling the form satisfactorily is prior preparation. The process includes the following:
- Filling Personal Information — The first part of the form seeks information about you. Here you fill in the necessary information and give citizenship-related information such as alien registration number, visa application location, and USCIS receipt number.
- Filling US Entry Information — Here, you will be prompted to enter details about your stay in the United States. You will also be needed to provide entry dates, immigration status, where you stayed, and the dates you left.
- Filling Biographic Information — Here, you just fill in necessary identifying information such as your race.
- Reasons for Inadmissibility — You are required to state in your own words the reasons for your inadmissibility. Be keen not to admit that you were rightly rendered inadmissible; stress that the government was wrong.
- Provide Information about A Dependent Loved One — Here, you provide information about a loved one such as a spouse, parent, or child who is legally a resident who would suffer extreme hardship if you are denied a waiver.
- Information about other Relatives in the USA — You will also be required to enter information about other relatives you might have living in the country. No matter how distant they might, present them accordingly since it could help your case. It shows that you have connections in the country who are permanent residents.
- Signatures — Part seven to nine accommodates signatures from you, the attorney, paralegal, or third party that could be part of your application process.
- Supporting Documents — Your application document should also be presented with other supporting documents. The application process has an overview of the documents that you should attach.
Seek Legal Assistance
It is always advisable to engage a recognized and experienced legal entity to represent you and prepare your I-601 application. An experienced attorney is bound to have handled several related cases hence better placed to get you a waiver. A good lawyer will collect the best evidence and act as an adjudicating officer.
Find an California Immigration Lawyer Near Me
Getting your inadmissible waiver can be a long and tedious process, but with the guidance of a skilled and experienced attorney, you can regain your citizenship effortlessly. At California Immigration Attorney, we have some of the best lawyers ready to help you accordingly. Contact us today at 424-789-8809.