Understanding waivers of inadmissibility

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Immigration |

Inadmissibility means that a person is not allowed to enter or stay in the United States due to specific reasons outlined by immigration laws. For many individuals, being deemed inadmissible can be a significant hurdle in their immigration journey.

Thankfully, there are waivers of inadmissibility, which may provide them a way into the country.

Types of inadmissibility grounds

U.S. immigration law recognizes several grounds of inadmissibility. Common grounds include health-related issues, such as communicable diseases, and criminal activities, such as drug offenses or serious crimes. Other grounds include previous immigration violations, like overstaying a visa, and security concerns, such as involvement in terrorist activities. Each ground has specific criteria and implications for the individual’s immigration status.

How waivers work

Waivers of inadmissibility provide a way for individuals to seek forgiveness for their inadmissibility grounds. To obtain a waiver, individuals must apply and demonstrate that their admission to the United States would not pose a risk. Additionally, they must show that denying them entry would cause extreme hardship to themselves or their qualifying relatives. This includes a U.S. citizen relative or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent.

The application process

First, the person must submit Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. The application must also include supporting documentation. This includes evidence of the hardship that would result from denial of entry and any mitigating factors, such as good moral character or rehabilitation from past criminal activities. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reviews these applications on a case-by-case basis.

Criteria for approval

Approval of a waiver depends on several factors. These include the severity of the inadmissibility grounds, the applicant’s history and character, and the level of hardship that denial of entry would cause. USCIS considers all circumstances when making their decision. The goal is to balance the applicant’s need to enter or stay in the U.S. with the country’s safety and legal standards.

Waivers of inadmissibility offer a vital opportunity for individuals barred from entering the United States to seek forgiveness and continue their immigration process. By understanding how the waivers work, individuals can navigate this challenging aspect of immigration law and work towards achieving their goals.