What Is Inadmissibility?
If you are rendered “inadmissible” to the United States, you are not permitted to enter, live, or work in the country. This disqualifies you from legal immigration avenues. One can become inadmissible on the grounds of a prior immigration record, criminal history, public charge concerns, and more.
A ruling of inadmissibility can be earth-shattering for those attempting to reunite with their families, expand their careers, or build on the promise of the American dream. Being ruled inadmissible does not have to mean you cannot live or work in the United States. Waivers exist specifically to overcome these challenges and authorize legal immigration, including lawful permanent residency and citizenship.
Our Manhattan immigration waivers lawyer at John Nicelli & Associates has over 30 years of legal experience and is prepared to assist you in finding a path forward. Our team can evaluate why you were rendered inadmissible as well as other facts pertinent to your case before advising if waivers of inadmissibility can help you.
Why Have I Been Rendered Inadmissible?
One can become rendered inadmissible into the country for several possible reasons. Each category of inadmissible carries its own weight, and some are easier to overcome than others. Some types of inadmissibility cannot be typically overcome via waivers. Our team will never mislead you on the likelihood of success and will be honest if we do not think we can help.
Types of inadmissibility include:
- Accumulation of unlawful presence. When a nonimmigrant resides in the United States without a valid visa, they begin accruing what is called “unlawful presence.” Accumulate too much, and you become inadmissible. Waivers exist to facilitate legal immigration depending on the type of inadmissibility you are subject to.
- Criminal history. Having a substantial criminal record can render one inadmissible. This is especially true in cases involving violent crimes, crimes of “moral turpitude,” crimes involving controlled substances, or crimes involving commercialized vice. If you were granted immunity in a crime, one of the conditions may include inadmissibility. Even two summary convictions for more minor crimes can trigger inadmissibility. Waivers exist to help those with criminal histories overcome inadmissibility in certain situations.
- Immigration fraud. Any act of misrepresentation in an immigration matter can trigger inadmissibility, particularly in cases where documents or applications to submitted to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) were found to be fraudulent. However, there are means of overcoming inadmissibility on these grounds.
- Deportation history. If you have ever been removed from the country through deportation, you are automatically rendered inadmissible for a set amount of time. You can request for permission to reapply for a new visa despite these bans.
- Security concerns. If you are suspected by the U.S. government of being a spy, terrorist, affiliate of Nazism or other totalitarian organizations, or otherwise represent some threat to the country's national security, you can be rendered inadmissible. This can also be true if you have any known ties or associations to any terrorist or totalitarian groups. In most circumstances, you will not be able to circumnavigate inadmissibility on the grounds of security.
- Public charge concerns. In the past several years, USCIS has increased the threshold required to prove an otherwise eligible immigrant is not likely to become a “public charge,” or someone who is more likely than not to become dependent on government benefit programs. Not only will an immigrant's household income have to meet or exceed 125% of the federal poverty level, they must not use (or be expected to use) one of several benefit programs for more than 12 months in a 36 month period. Public charge inadmissibility can be tough to overcome generally, as it is part of a newer set of rules designed to curb immigration.
- Failure to appear at immigration hearings. If you receive a Notice to Appear or are otherwise summoned by an immigration court, you are obligated to appear at the scheduled hearing. It is critical that you appear at all immigration hearings.
- Health concerns. USCIS can sometimes rule those with dangerous contagious diseases or other conditions producing material negative effects may be inadmissible out of concern for the welfare of the country. The odds of overcoming these situations depends on the specific condition being cited and will often need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
USCIS can also rule inadmissibility on other miscellaneous grounds. This can include abuse of student visas, child sex traffickers, and those who enter the country illegally, among others. If your reason for inadmissibility is not listed above, we can assess the circumstances of your case and advise whether a waiver of inadmissibility could help you.
It is important to reiterate that waivers of inadmissibility will not work for everyone. Our Manhattan immigration waivers attorney will always be realistic with you about productive legal options and will never suggest strategies that are not likely to produce positive results.
Call (212) 227-8020 or contact us online to learn more about how we can leverage waivers of inadmissibility to help you seek legal immigration solutions. We offer services in English, Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese.
Waivers for Unlawful Presence
It is very easy to begin accruing unlawful presence, even without realizing it. You start accruing unlawful presence for every day you spend in the United States without a valid visa. This is common in situations where you entered the country lawfully on a temporary visa but failed to renew or change your status. You start accumulating unlawful presence the day after your visa expires, which is why it is important to be responsible in filing immigration documents on-time.
If you acquire too much unlawful presence time, you will be temporarily banned from reentering the United States. In more formal terms, you will be ruled inadmissible on the grounds of unlawful presence,if you accumulate anywhere between 180 days and 1 year (365 days) of unlawful presence, you will be inadmissible for 3 years. If you accumulate more than 1 year, you will be inadmissible for 10 years.
These rules can create contradictory scenarios where an immigrant who has lived in the United States without status attempts to legally immigrate. In many cases, especially with family immigration, a foreign national will need to leave the United States to complete the process and then return to receive their green card..
Grounds of Admissibility For Unlawful Presence could be waived by filing Form I- 601A or I-601. Depending on your particular situation, we will determine which waiver is appropriate for your situation. Grounds of Admissibility For Unlawful Presence could be waived by filing Form I- 601A or I-601. Depending on your particular situation, we will determine which waiver is appropriate for your situation.
Waivers for Immigration Fraud
If you ever made a false or misleading statement to an Immigration Officer or counsular official, you could be charged with misrepresentation. The same would apply if you submitted documents which were fake or misleading.
Waivers for Deportation History
If you have ever been deported, you are barred from reentering the country for a minimum of 5 years. The exact amount of time increases dramatically depending on the nature of the offenses that led to your removal, and the inadmissibility can even be permanent in cases of violent criminal convictions.
Many are eligible to file Form I-212, the Application to Reapply for Admission to the United States.This waiver can be granted if you are otherwise eligible for a visa, with deportation/removability inadmissibility being the only factor preventing you from doing so. Note that successfully receiving this waiver does not restore any previous visa status you may have enjoyed. It only gives you the ability to reapply for legal immigration.
USCIS tends to consider the following factors when making decisions involving Form I-212:
- Extreme hardship on the part of your immediate family members (who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents) should you continue to be denied entry into the country
- Your level of rehabilitation if you were deported on certain criminal grounds
- Your moral character
- Any previous time spent in the United States, lawfully or unlawfully
- Any security risks your entry might represent to the United States
Let Us Help You Explore Waivers of Inadmissibility
Learning that you are inadmissible can feel like the end of the road, but it does not have to be. At John Nicelli & Associates, we are committed to treating every case with the respect and integrity it deserves. No matter your situation, we can review the circumstances surrounding your inadmissibility and determine if you may be eligible for a waiver. Our Manhattan immigration waivers lawyer will use every tool available to fight for you.