Waivers Of Inadmissibility

Any person who seeks entry into the United States or who would like to become a legal resident of the United States must be admissible to (allowed to enter into) the United States. Some foreign citizens who are not eligible to immigrate to the United States because they are “inadmissible” can request a Waiver of Inadmissibility (ask for forgiveness) of inadmissibility. If the waiver is granted, the person can enter and/or remain in the United States and apply for adjustment of status if they are already here.

A person who is ineligible to be admitted to the United States as an immigrant or to adjust status in the United States, and certain nonimmigrant applicants who are inadmissible, must file this application to seek a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility. Reasons for Inadmissibility. An individual may be declared inadmissible to the United States for various reasons, including:

  • Unlawful Presence in the United States
    • A person who has been unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days but less than one year is inadmissible for three years.
    • A person unlawfully present for one year or more is inadmissible for ten years. This bar is commonly referred to as the 3/10-year bar. Sometimes, this waiver may be applied for before applying for residence by applying for a provisional waiver.
    • Illegal entry, illegal immigration, and overstaying the period of stay authorized in the visa count as a status violation in the immigration laws and accrue unlawful presence.

  • Fraud or Misrepresentation. A person who has fraudulently or wilfully misrepresented a material fact in order to obtain an immigration benefit.

  • Criminal Grounds. A person who commits two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentences to confinement were more than 5 years is inadmissible.

  • Health-Related Grounds. Four basic medical conditions may make an applicant inadmissible on health-related grounds:
    • Communicable disease of public health significance,
    • a failure to show proof of required vaccinations,
    • physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior,
    • and drug abuse or addiction.

  • Likely to Become a Public Charge. A person who is considered primarily dependent on the government in the future.

  • Prior Removal. A person who was removed through summary exclusion proceedings or through removal proceedings initiated upon the person’s arrival in the United States is inadmissible for five years.

  • Inadmissibility on Moral Grounds. A person who has committed a crime of moral turpitude.

  • Security and Related Grounds. A person who has committed espionage, sabotage, or prohibited export of sensitive technology, or sensitive information.

  • Smuggling

  • Other Miscellaneous Grounds. A person who has committed international child abduction, practicing polygamy, falsely claiming citizenship.

Employers in the United States may employ foreign nationals in specialty occupations pursuant to H-1B visa status.  A “specialty occupation” is defined as requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a field of human endeavor, including, but not limited to, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, law, accounting, business specialties, theology, and the arts.  A specialty occupation requires the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent (at a minimum).  The foreign national worker must possess at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) and state licensure if required in the occupation.  H-1B work authorization is limited to the employment position described in the H-1B petition and the petitioning employer.

Spouses and unmarried minor children of the H-1B visa holder may obtainH-4 visas to reside and study in the United States; however, they are not eligible to work in this visa classification.

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