Immigration Waivers Lawyer
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Navigating the immigration system can be an incredibly complex task. When you’re facing such high stakes, such as being apart from your family, it’s crucial that every step you take is well informed.
A foreign national may be deemed inadmissible to the United States on one or more of several grounds, for a period lasting as little as three years to lifetime inadmissibility. However, a foreign national deemed inadmissible may seek a waiver of inadmissibility or may apply for permission to seek entry to the U.S.
Immigration waivers may only be granted to foreign nationals who meet certain eligibility criteria. Waivers are often only granted at the government’s discretion. Therefore, having a knowledgeable immigration waiver lawyer on your side can make the difference in obtaining a waiver of inadmissibility.
Types of Waivers
A foreign national who has been deemed inadmissible may be able to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility. U.S. immigration laws provide for several types of inadmissibility waivers, including:
- I-601 Hardship Waiver – This waiver can be granted to a foreign national who was deemed inadmissible when that national has a qualifying relative moving to the U.S. and that relative can’t remain in the U.S. without the inadmissible foreign national. Hardships that may qualify for the waiver include a medical/physical condition that cannot be managed without the inadmissible foreign national remaining in the U.S., extreme financial hardships, or conditions in the applicant’s home country.
- I-601(a) Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver – This waiver can be granted to a foreign national who has overstayed a valid visa and has been subjected to the unlawful presence bar. The foreign national must typically establish that denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. This type of waiver can be applied for while the applicant is located in the U.S. The applicant can also remain in the U.S. while awaiting a decision on the application.
- Unlawful Presence Waiver – This waiver is similar to the “provisional unlawful presence waiver,” except that the applicant must apply for and await a decision on the waiver in his or her home country.
- Criminal Conviction Waiver – If a criminal conviction occurred within the past 15 years, a criminal conviction inadmissibility waiver cannot be granted unless the applicant shows that a family member, who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, will suffer “extreme and unusual hardship” if the waiver is denied. Drug convictions can only be granted a waiver when the conviction was imposed for a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.
- Misrepresentation or Fraud Waiver – If an individual is believed to have misrepresented himself or herself or committed fraud in relation to a visa or green card, the person may be found to be inadmissible. You may choose to challenge those findings, or you can try to secure a misrepresentation or fraud waiver by showing that you or a family member would be facing “extreme hardship” as a result of your separation.
Grounds for Inadmissibility
A foreign national can be deemed ineligible for admission to the United States on several grounds, such as:
- Past violation(s) of immigration laws and regulations or violation of unlawful presence laws – These can include being previously removed and deported from the U.S., being caught trying to unlawfully enter the U.S., entering the U.S. without an inspection, or overstaying a valid immigration visa for 180 days or more. Even if you have never been “caught” committing a violation, if your violation is discovered, it can affect your future immigration proceedings.
- Criminal grounds – Inadmissibility is usually imposed for convictions for crimes “involving moral turpitude” and for crimes involving controlled substances. However, not all criminal convictions render a foreign national inadmissible.
- Health-related grounds – This includes being diagnosed with a communicable disease of public health significance, failing to present documentation of vaccinations, or having a physical or mental disorder that renders a person a threat to the community (including being an alcohol or drug addict).
- Economic grounds – This means that a person is “likely to become a public charge,” or likely to seek access to public benefits if admitted to the U.S.
- Fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact, made in connection with an application for a visa or other immigration benefit.
- Moral grounds
- False claim of U.S. citizenship
- Security-related grounds, including spying, sabotage, terrorist activity, membership in extremist political parties (such as Marxist or Neo-Nazi parties), committing torture, religious persecution, or genocide, or otherwise participating in illegal activity.
A foreign national who has been deemed inadmissible on one or more of these grounds may be entitled to seek a waiver of their inadmissibility.
Waivers After Deporting
Once you are deported, you may not attempt to reenter the U.S. for a certain period of time established in your deportation order. If you try to reenter the U.S. during the period of your inadmissibility, the immigration officer can send you back to your home country without letting you seek a hearing before an immigration judge. Depending on the circumstances, you can also be charged with the crime of illegal reentry.
After being deported, you will need to seek a waiver of your inadmissibility and permission to return to the U.S. If you have a new or separate basis to request a visa or lawful permanent residency, you may file Form I-212 for “Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal.”
Consideration of a Form I-212 application has no specific standards, nor must an applicant have a qualifying relative inside the U.S. Instead, the immigration officer will consider factors such as the reason you were deported, how recently you were removed, the length of time you lived in the U.S., your moral character and law-abiding behavior, your family obligations, any hardship you might suffer if denied permission to reapply for admission to the U.S., and any other reasons that the government might refuse to admit you to the U.S.
How an Immigration Waiver Lawyer Can Help You
If you are applying for a waiver of inadmissibility or permission to reapply for entry to the U.S., an immigration lawyer can help you by:
- Determining whether you may be eligible for an immigration waiver
- Collecting evidence of eligibility to help create a strong, persuasive application
- Drafting a brief in support of the waiver application to clearly present your case in favor of approval of the waiver
Having experienced legal representation on your side can make the difference between your waiver application being approved or denied.
Need Immigration Legal Advice? Contact Brooks Law
It can be incredibly tough to understand and make your way through the immigration process, especially when you are seeking a waiver of a designation of inadmissibility imposed upon you, or are seeking permission to apply for admission to the U.S.
The decision to readmit you to the U.S. can be largely dependent on the discretion of immigration officers, so having experienced, persuasive legal representation on your side can give you the best chance at securing a favorable decision on your application.