A Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility is an application presented to an embassy officer together with an application to request entry into the US or to adjust status within the US, where the applicant is currently deemed ineligible on one or more grounds.
The most common grounds for inadmissibility are prior history of criminal activity and prior periods of unlawful presence in the US potentially subjecting applicants to a 3 year bar (if overstay was a minimum of six months) or a 10 year bar (if overstay was one year or more) from entering the US.
Applications for waivers of ineligibility are known for being complex and time-consuming. Extensive evidence must be compiled and the applicant and the application will be subject to a high degree of scrutiny by the US immigration authorities. Adjudication can take around 12 months.
This makes it imperative to seek professional guidance through the waiver application process.
With exceptional knowledge and insight into US visa and immigration rules, NNU Immigration advise non-US nationals on criminal waiver applications.
Whether you are applying for a visa to enter the US or for permission to remain in the country, we can help. As dedicated US immigration attorneys, we undertake a detailed analysis of each case to determine the factual basis of your inadmissibility, the potential availability of a waiver of ineligibility and the likelihood of making a successful waiver application.
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For advice on any aspect of a US visa application, contact our US immigration attorneys.
For advice on any aspect of the waiver of inadmissibility application process, contact our US immigration attorneys.
There are six basic criminal grounds for inadmissibility:
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:
Except for individuals with inadmissibility findings related to security and other narrow areas, most other individuals barred from the United States can usually apply for a nonimmigrant waiver of inadmissibility at a US Embassy.
However, not all visa categories can apply for all the inadmissibility categories, so it will be important to take advice on your specific circumstances.
To apply for a 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.
Form I-601 is used to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility if you are seeking permission to enter the US or are seeking to adjust your status (such as applying for a Green Card).
Form I-601A is for individuals who are in the US without lawful status who have immediate relatives who are US citizens or Green Card holders. The waiver application has the specific purpose of waiving the time you are banned from re-entering the US as a result of your unlawful status and presence in the country.
The following factors are considered in granting a nonimmigrant waiver:
This type of behaviour cannot be predicted and is entirely discretionary. If unnecessary delays when entering the United States continue to occur even after a visa has been approved by the State Department then you will want to consider whether to file a complaint through the DHS Traveller Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP).
Factors to consider when building your waiver application include evidence of good moral character, such as community involvement and standing, and positive reasons and consquences as to why a waiver should be granted. If the waiver relies on a qualifying relative, you may be able to show that refusing admission would result in extreme hardship for your relative, which could cover medical, financial, emotional or parental issues.
The applicant is obligated to provide full disclosure to the authorities of any factors which may render them inadmissible, such as criminal convictions and immigration violations. You may also be required to provide further information or documents relating to the inadmissibility grounds. Failure to disclose or misrepresenting information in itself can provide grounds for inadmissibility.
A DHS TRIP submission can be made if you are facing the following issues:
If you have questions regarding the need for a waiver of inadmissibility or a DHS TRIP submission please contact us for a comprehensive review of your circumstances and a detailed discussion about strategy, procedures, timing and costs.