If you are “inadmissible” to enter the United States for one or more reasons, it may seem that you have no hope. But that does not mean there is zero legal recourse, either. Those who know about waivers of inadmissibility may find that they do indeed have a potential case to be allowed into the United States. But not everybody qualifies for a waiver of inadmissibility. It is important for you to find out whether your prior actions can be waived, and if so, how you might be granted a waiver of inadmissibility.

Why Are You Inadmissible?
The first question to ask is why your inadmissibility even exists in the first place. Although it makes sense to most why the United States would have rules in place to govern its immigration procedures, knowing those specific rules can be a little more difficult. That’s why it’s important to review some of the reasons you might be inadmissible to the U.S. in the first place. Here are two of the more common reasons why a person may be found inadmissible to the U.S.

 •Immigration violators includes people who have obtained or attempted to obtain immigration benefits by committing fraud or by making a material misrepresentation of a material fact.  This is perhaps most commonly done by a person entering the U.S. under an assumed name, by claiming to be a permanent resident through showing a fake green card, or by falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen.  It may also include people who have overstayed their allowable time in the U.S., or who entered the U.S. without authorization.  All of the situations listed above can lead to significant problems, including a bar on entering the U.S. for a certain number of years, or even for the remainder of a person’s life.

 •Criminal and related problems can also get in the way of admissibility, such as violating the laws governing controlled substances. The United States is strict about enforcing such rules, making sure that anyone admitted to the United States has a clear history of avoiding these problems. However, ineligibility for a green card is not just limited to people who have previously had issues with drugs. It also includes people who have also been convicted of various crimes, such as theft, burglary, prostitution, etc. It often requires a detailed review of your case to determine whether your conviction is for a “crime involving moral turpitude.”

Eligibility for Waivers of Inadmissibility
When is a person eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility? It depends on a variety of factors. Just a few of the many factors that must be considered include the following:

 •Why are you inadmissible to the U.S.? Criminal convictions or immigration violations, such as unlawful presence or illegal entries into the U.S.?

•If you are inadmissible due to a criminal conviction, for what offense were you convicted? Did it involve a controlled substance? Was it a “crime involving moral turpitude?”

•If it was for an immigration violation, what was the violation? Did you enter the U.S. by claiming to be single when you were really married? Did you enter the U.S. with another person’s U.S. passport?

•Do you have a spouse, parent or child that is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident?

•Have you ever been granted permanent resident status (green card) in the U.S.?

As you can see, a detailed analysis must be done before it is possible to determine whether a person is eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility.

Establishing Extreme Hardship to a Qualifying Relative
Although a waiver might seem like an easy way out for those who have had troubles with the law or with immigration in the past, it is not easy at all. Though each waiver has its own specific requirements, it is common for a person to be required to demonstrate that a “qualifying relative” will suffer an extreme hardship if the waiver is not granted. Potential qualifying relatives include U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parents or spouses, and depending on the waiver, potentially U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident children.

Assuming the applicant does have a sufficient qualifying relative, they must then demonstrate that their family member will suffer an extreme hardship if the waiver is not granted. In determining whether extreme hardship exists, the following factors will be considered:

•The presence of lawful permanent resident or United States citizen family ties to the United States

•The qualifying relative’s family ties outside the United States

•The country conditions in the country of relocation and the qualifying relative’s ties to that country

•The financial impact of departure from the United States

•Significant health conditions, particularly when tied to the unavailability of suitable medical care in the country of relocation.

Establishing extreme hardship is challenging. While possible, a person must remember that an applicant’s waiver will not be granted solely because a family member would miss them.

Contact Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza for a Confidential Consultation
Don’t understand the process? Don’t understand why some people can apply for Waivers of Inadmissibility and others can’t? Admittedly, the process can seem vague and complicated, even if you’ve done a lot of reading up on the issues. But the key is to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney to better understand these processes. The skilled legal team at Reeves Miller Zhang & Diza will help you understand if you are eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility, and if so, how to go about obtaining it!

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