If your spouse is a U.S. citizen, you may be looking forward to filing a one-step application for legal permanent residency. With this comparatively speedy process, your spouse files an immigrant visa petition at the same time as you file your green card application. Unfortunately, though, a ground of inadmissibility may complicate matters for you.
Inadmissible individuals may neither enter the U.S. nor remain in the country legally. Fortunately, for some grounds of inadmissibility, a legal waiver is available.
What are common grounds of inadmissibility?
Although there are others, the following are common reasons immigration officials find intending immigrants to be inadmissible to the U.S.:
- Accruing unlawful presence
- Committing certain criminal offenses
- Having some types of diseases
- Being a threat to national security
- Making false claims to U.S. citizenship
What does an inadmissibility waiver do?
It is important to note not every ground of inadmissibility is waivable. For those that typically are, such as accruing unlawful presence, your waiver application essentially requests legal forgiveness. That is, you ask immigration officials to overlook the reason you are not admissible to the U.S.
When can you apply for an inadmissibility waiver?
When you should apply for a waiver may depend on your immigration status and the ground of inadmissibility you want to waive. For some grounds, you may request a provisional waiver that gives you peace of mind before departing the U.S. to attend a consular interview.
Ultimately, whether you can apply for a waiver and when you should do so are both legal and personal decisions. Still, if a ground of inadmissibility has derailed your immigration-related plans, exploring all available waivers may be your only option for securing legal permanent residency.