Newark, NJ- All immigrants who enter the United States with visas or green cards are screened for their admissibility. In a previous article, we discussed issues of inadmissibility for which no waivers are available. Here we will discuss classes of inadmissibility for which waivers are available.
When an immigrant applies for a waiver, they are asking the U.S. government to forgive or disregard a ground of inadmissibility and grant them a visa or green card. Waivers are granted for very specific reasons. Waivers are extremely difficult to obtain. During the application process aspiring immigrants in New Jersey can benefit from enlisting my services as an immigration attorney.
Classes of Inadmissibility for which waivers are available:
- Immigrants who have communicable diseases which include tuberculosis, syphilis, chancroid, gonorrhea, and leprosy. The list of communicable diseases that make and individual inadmissible are determined by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and can include diseases not mentioned above.
- Refusing required immunizations on religious or other grounds.
- Physical and mental diseases which causes a person to harm themselves.
- Minor drug offenses
- Crimes involving moral turpitude
- Criminal conviction for which the offender has applied for immunity
- Multiple criminal convictions
Immigrants can apply for waivers for criminal prosecutions if 15 or more years have passed since their conviction and they are able to prove they have been rehabilitated and do not pose a threat to the safety and security of U.S. citizens. Immigrants who are convicted of serious crimes such as aggravated felonies, murder, torture or drug charges other than possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana are not typically granted a waiver of inadmissibility.
- Entering the U.S. without permission
- Overstaying a visa
- Individuals who have made misrepresentations on previous immigration applications
- Individuals who have been previously deported
Unlawful presence is the most common ground for which an immigrants are denied inadmissibility. Immigrants who were unlawfully in the U.S. for 180 days (3 year bar) or 1 year (10 year bar) and voluntarily left the country can apply for an inadmissibility waiver. Immigrants who were unlawfully in the U.S. for a year, left the country and returned without permission may not be eligible for a waiver.
If any of the above applies to an immigrant they can submit a Waiver of Inadmissibility to the USCIS. The application will be evaluated and an agent will decide whether the applicant will be granted a green card or immigration parole.
Applying for these waivers can be difficult and your success in obtaining a waiver depends on the strength of your application, the evidence submitted and how clearly the hardships are explained to the reviewing officers. Waivers of inadmissibility are only granted when the applicant is able to prove their removal or denial of visa would be an extreme hardship on a qualifying relative: a parent, child, spouse, or fiancé who is a U.S. citizen. The Immigration Nationality Act does not define hardship, but it is understood to mean that your qualifying relative will experience more hardship than normal if you were denied admission.
Proving hardship requires a significant burden of proof. It is exceedingly complicated and unlikely to succeed if you have never prepared such an application before. Experience in this area cannot be overvalued. Because immigration law is one of my areas of specialty, I understand which mitigating circumstances will strengthen your application and increase your chances of obtaining a waiver. I also understand which facts will negatively affect your application.
When you need help with any immigration issues such as applying for a visa or a waiver of inadmissibility or need a deportation defense contact me at my Newark office. We can set up a consultation and discuss the assistance I can provide.