Who is eligible to apply for criminal waiver?
Except for individuals with inadmissibility findings related to security and other narrow areas, all other individuals barred from the United States can apply for a nonimmigrant waiver of inadmissibility at a US Embassy.
What is the application process?
To apply for criminal waiver of inadmissibility, you must present a thoroughly prepared waiver application together with your nonimmigrant visa application and visa application fee. If the embassy officer determines, after careful questioning, that you should be granted a waiver, the officer makes a recommendation to the Customs and Border Protection Admissibility Review Office (ARO) in the United States. This agency will make a final determination.
What are the criminal grounds for inadmissibility?
There are six basic criminal grounds for inadmissibility:
- Crimes involving moral turpitude
- Violations of controlled substance laws
- Conviction of more than one offense
- Drug trafficking
- Prostitution and commercialized vice, and
- Commission of a serious crime in the US for which the immigrant asserted immunity from prosecution.
For crimes involving ‘moral turpitude’ there is no statutory definition, but typically involve elements of fraud, larceny, or attempt to harm persons or things. These crimes can be classified into three general categories:
- Crimes committed against property (for example, arson, blackmail, burglary, larceny, robbery, fraud, false pretences, theft, receiving stolen property);
- Crimes committed against governmental authority (for example, bribery, tax evasion, perjury, fraud against government functions); and
- Crimes committed against persons, family relationships, and sexual morality (for example, serious assaults, gross indecency, lewdness, kidnapping, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape).