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Waivers for Fraud, Inadmissibility, and Criminal Convictions

United States immigration law includes a long list of grounds of “inadmissibility,” which means that an individual can be denied admission to the United States as either a nonimmigrant or an immigrant and can be denied adjustment of status (a “green card”).

This list includes both non-criminal and criminal grounds. The non-criminal grounds include previous immigration violations, unprosecuted acts of misrepresentation, certain medical conditions, insufficient financial support, application of the two-year home residency requirement for certain J-1 visa holders and security-related issues.

Criminal grounds include both the commission and conviction of various crimes such as those involving fraud, perjury, theft, personal violence and controlled substances. Some grounds of inadmissibility contain exceptions, for example there is a “petty offense” exception that might apply to certain minor criminal convictions.

It is important to consult with a knowledgeable immigration attorney who can determine whether any ground of inadmissibility might apply prior to filing an application or petition with the USCIS or at the consulate abroad.

Once an individual is placed in removal proceedings, all hopes are not lost.

The individual is given an opportunity to challenge the charges made by the government before an Immigration Judge, and appeals are available to challenge the conclusions reached by the Immigration Judge.

Waivers are also available for criminal grounds of deportation, particularly where the conviction occurred many years ago.

Example of Waivers Available for Adjustment of Status and Deportation Proceedings

EXTREME HARDSHIP WAIVERS: Under US immigration law, an alien needs an exceptional hardship waiver or an extreme hardship waiver in order to overcome a finding of misrepresentation or fraud during a visa application. For example, if an alien marries an American citizen and files for an adjustment of status, the application will be denied if the alien used a fraudulent passport to enter the U.S.A. or lied to the USCIS.

However, if the alien's USC or LPR spouse, parent, child will suffer exceptional hardship, then such USC or LPR relative may file for an exceptional hardship waiver.

The hardship waiver application process looks deceptively simplistic. If you need a fraud waiver, it is best to leave the task to an experienced US Immigration attorney. "Extreme hardship" is not defined by law. Instead, many factors are considered, including severe financial hardship to USC and/or LPR relatives, medical facilities, religious tolerance, educational opportunities, and economic conditions in the alien's country. The alien's criminal history, community ties are also weighed, although hardship to the alien is largely irrelevant

Waivers for Applicants Seeking Immigrant Visas or Adjustment of Status

Waivers are also available to individuals seeking immigrant visas or adjustment of status in the United States. An applicant for an immigrant visa also can seek a waiver of certain medical conditions, and the two-year home residency requirement for J-1 visa holders.

These waivers require the applicant to have a qualifying relative (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) who will suffer hardship if the waiver is not granted. Such waivers generally require a clear explanation of eligibility and extensive supporting documentary evidence. They are extremely complicated. You should definitely seek the help of an experienced immigration lawyer to determine whether you are eligible.

NOTE: The grant or denial of an immigrant waiver is within the discretion of the USCIS, or an Immigration Judge, in the event that the proceedings are conducted before an Immigration Judge.

Waivers for Applicants of Non-Immigrant Visas

A waiver is also available to an individual seeking a nonimmigrant visa, which will waive almost all grounds of inadmissibility, except those relating to security, foreign policy considerations and participation in Nazi persecutions.

NOTE:It is within the discretion of the USCIS to grant or deny a nonimmigrant waiver, or an Immigration Judge in the event that the proceedings are conducted before an Immigration Judge.

Waivers for Applicants Convicted of Crimes

Conviction of criminal charges can have serious consequences for non-immigrants and immigrants.

As the result of certain convictions, individuals already admitted to the United States could be faced with grounds of deportability that could lead to removal from the United States and lengthy, perhaps permanent, bars to returning to the U.S.

The list of criminal activities that could lead to deportation is long and complicated. Convictions for relatively minor crimes, including misdemeanors, can subject an individual to deportation.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is increasing its cooperation with police and local authorities to identify people who have been convicted of offenses that constitute immigration violations and are subject to being placed in deportation proceedings.

However, you should know that there are available waivers that you may be eligible for. Even if you are in the process of deportation proceedings, there are still forms of relief from deportation available to those who are eligible. These forms of relief should be discussed with an experienced immigration lawyer. Do not take the government on by yourself. Don’t do yourself a disservice.

If you are under deportation proceedings, it is essential that you seek legal representation from an experienced Immigration lawyer.



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The information provided on this site is intended to teach individuals and corporations their rights and protect them from fraud. It is not a substitute for professional advice from an experienced immigration attorney and should not be taken as legal advice. Please consult a lawyer for advice regarding your specific situation.

Our FRAUD ALERT section contains important information to be aware of before seeking assistance.

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