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Waivers for Certain Criminal Inadmissibility Grounds

For which criminal activities can I still obtain a waiver of inadmissibility?

Criminal activity can render a foreign national inadmissible and subject to removal. If you are inadmissible due to criminal activity, you may have a waiver available to you for certain types of crimes: (1) a crime involving moral turpitude, (2) multiple criminal convictions, (3) prostitution and commercialized vice, and (4) possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana. You must be aware that the governments can erroneously label a certain crime as a deportable offense, when in fact it should not be. A skillful immigration lawyer can argue that the statute under which the foreign national was convicted does not cause the foreign national to be inadmissible. If the attorney is successful, the foreign national does not have to file a waiver. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA have decades of combined experience successfully representing clients in removal proceeding.

How can I qualify for a waiver of criminal admissibility?

There are three requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible for a waiver. Either the USCIS or the Immigration Court has jurisdiction to grant a waiver depending on whether you are filing an application with the USCIS or if you are in removal proceedings before the immigration judge (IJ). First, the USCIS or the IJ must have consented to your applying for a visa, admission to the U.S., or adjustment of status. Second, you must not have been convicted of or admitted committing murder, torture, or attempt or conspiracy to commit those crimes. Third, if you are a permanent resident, you must not have been convicted of an aggravated felony, and you must have resided lawfully and continuously in the U.S. for seven years.

Two types of waivers are available for criminal admissibility

There are two waivers for criminal inadmissibility. For the first waiver, if the inadmissibility ground is based on crimes involving prostitution or commercialized vice, or for activities that occurred more than fifteen years ago, you may be eligible for a waiver if your admission would not be contrary to the welfare or security of the U.S. and if you have been rehabilitated. For the second waiver, if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and you have a relative who is your spouse, parent, son, or daughter, you may be eligible for a waiver if it can be established that refusing your admission would result in extreme hardship to your relative.

Waivers are granted in the USCIS or IJ’s discretion

Since the government has discretion whether to grant or deny these waivers, you must present evidence showing that the positive factors in your case outweigh the negative factors. The USCIS and IJ generally will not grant a waiver in cases involving violent or dangerous crimes, except in extraordinary circumstances and extremely unusual hardship. An experienced attorney can assist you in gathering as much information and evidence as possible and practicable in order to present your case in the best possible light.

Contact us for a consultation

If you have questions about a waiver of criminal inadmissibility grounds or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. The competent attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates are experienced in defending foreign nationals in areas of inadmissibility, as well as other areas of immigration. We represent clients nationwide in various matters including green cards and permanent residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H1B visas, investor visas, PERM applications, and many more. We will not tire until we get the desired results for you within the bounds of the law. Contact us for a consultation.

Client Reviews
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