Waivers of Inadmissibility

Waivers of Inadmissibility

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) an individual who seeks entry into the United States or who would like to become a legal resident of the United States must be admissible to the United States.   

Certain foreign citizens who are not eligible to immigrate to the United States because they are “inadmissible” can request a waiver (forgiveness) of inadmissibility. If the waiver is granted, then the individual can enter the United States or remain in the United States and apply for adjustment of status if already here.  

Whether or not the U.S. government will grant a waiver is dependent on various factors and, in most cases, requires the individual to have a qualifying relative who is a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident.

Different grounds of inadmissibility have different waiver requirements, however, so make sure you meet the basic criteria to submit an application. The application itself will need to be carefully prepared and documented.

Extreme Hardship is used to apply for a 601A waiver which has particular qualifications. The applicant must establish that his or her deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship to a parent, spouse, son, or daughter who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident alien.

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. In some circumstances, 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 willfully 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


Other Miscellaneous Grounds

A person who has committed international child abduction, practicing polygamy, falsely claiming citizenship.

Applying for waivers of grounds of inadmissibility is a complex process.  It is critical that the application has supporting documentation that supports the claim for being granted a waiver.

Orlando Immigration Attorney Zaida Kovacsik will evaluate your case carefully to determine if you require and qualify for a waiver of a ground(s) of inadmissibility. She can walk you through the process of applying for waivers and help you gather supporting documentation to prepare and file the application with the U.S. government.