Featured News 2013 Inadmissible to the United States? There May Be a Way Around This

Inadmissible to the United States? There May Be a Way Around This

Even if you have been denied a visa or green card for a legal or criminal issue, you may be able to overcome this barrier. There are a few different waivers that might enable you to still become a lawful permanent resident, even if your application has been denied on grounds of inadmissibility. It is vital for you to understand the options you have for getting a green card, and what it takes to qualify for any of these waivers.

One of the top grounds of inadmissibility is unlawful presence. If you have unlawful presence on your record, then you might get a ban of three to ten years before you can apply for a green card again—unless you get a waiver. This waiver is possible for those who have an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. In this case, an immediate relative means either your spouse, fiancé, or parent. To qualify for this waiver, one of the things you must prove is that your being removed from the United States would place your relative under "extreme" hardship. There are no set guidelines about what qualifies for this kind of hardship; it will up to the officer going over your case. There are ways to strengthen your case though. Perhaps you did not realize you were present unlawfully and it was an honest mistake. Or you can disprove any allegations against you, such as accusations of committing fraud. An immigration attorney can help you put together the strongest application possible. If you get this waiver, a history of unlawful presence will no longer stand in the way of a green card or visa.

Perhaps you were denied a green card because you were found to have committed fraud or to have misrepresented yourself in an immigration application. There are no waivers if you have pretended to be a U.S. citizen. If the fraud involved any other immigration issue, however, you may be able to overcome this obstacle through a waiver similar to the waiver of unlawful presence. You need a spouse, fiancé, or parent who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and you need to demonstrate that you need to be in the U.S., otherwise your relative would suffer undue hardship. Just as with the waiver for unlawful presence, you would need to build a strong body of evidence that there would be hardship, and you need to bolster your application in any other way that you can.

If your immigration application was denied because of a criminal record, then there is still a chance that there is a waiver for you. Even if you were found guilty of a crime of moral turpitude, prostitution, or possession of marijuana (no more than 30 grams' worth), then you may still be able to get a waiver for this ground of inadmissibility. Other offenses may still be overcome by this waiver too. To qualify, it also has to have been more than 15 years since you committed the offense, or you have to have a spouse, fiancé, parent, or child who would suffer extreme hardship if you did not stay in the country. If you are applying because enough time has passed, then an immigration officer will also have to be convinced that you have rehabilitated.

There are criminal records that cannot be waived, however. This includes a criminal history with murder, torture, any other controlled substance offense, or aggravated felonies. These felonies include rape, certain weapons crimes, kidnapping, spying, human smuggling, and more. Contact an immigration attorney if you have concerns about a criminal record taking away your immigration opportunities.

If you have any more questions about getting a green card or visa and your eligibility, do not hesitate to contact an immigration attorney today. With a legal advocate on your side, you may be able to overcome any barriers your way.

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