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Waivers of Inadmissibility

Waiver of Inadmissibility

Persons who have certain communicable diseases or severe mental health issues, criminal convictions (even if spent for British purposes), previous U.S. immigration violations, or in any way pose a threat to U.S. security may be inadmissible to enter the United States. Such inadmissibility applies even to brief visits under the visa waiver program. In order for these persons to enter the U.S., they must be granted a visa as well as a waiver of inadmissibility (“waiver”). An application for a waiver can be made at the time of a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate or at the time of filing an application to change, extend or adjust status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The types of waivers available depend on the specific visa category. For example, a person who merely wants to visit the U.S. but was previously convicted of cannabis possession may be eligible for a waiver. However, if that same person wanted to immigrate to the U.S., he or she may not be eligible for a waiver unless he or she has a spouse, parent, son or daughter who is either a U.S. citizen or a U.S. permanent resident and it can be shown that the U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident relative will suffer extreme hardship if the person is not allowed to immigrate to the U.S. Waivers for nonimmigrant visa applicants (i.e., those who wish to go to the U.S. temporarily) are processed by the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C. based on a recommendation by a consular officer. Waivers for immigrant visa applicants (those who wish to have U.S. permanent residence) are processed by the USCIS with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence.

How We Can Help You:

The laws pertaining to inadmissibility and waivers are very complex and technical. Thus, if you think that you might be inadmissible to the United States, we strongly encourage you to contact us well before any intended trip to the United States. We will assess your situation and determine if you need a waiver. If so, we will also determine if you are eligible for a waiver. If you are eligible, we will prepare your visa application and assist you with the documentation for the waiver application. We will schedule your visa and waiver interview at the U.S. Embassy and prepare you for that interview.