Questions About US Waivers For People Denied Entry to the US
About US Waiver Applications
What is a US waiver?
- Most non-immigrants traveling to the United States need to apply for advance permission to enter as a non-immigrant.
- Immigrants and some specific types of non-immigrants may need to apply for a waiver on the grounds of inadmissibility.
- if you have criminal records for “crimes of moral turpitude”
- if you have been convicted twice or more of a crime with sentences amounting to 5 or more years in total
- if you have a communicable disease
- for drug possession and drug trafficking
- for money laundering
- for security violations
- for any type of international trafficking of minors
- immigration violations such as overstaying
Who is qualified for a waiver?
- As long as they satisfy a set of rules, some types of non-immigrants who go to the US for a business purpose or pleasure are qualified to apply for a waiver.
- Non-immigrants who are generally visa-exempt such as non-immigrant citizens from countries that are on Visa Waiver Program, and Canadians who are not usually required to apply for a visa.
- Non-immigrants who had obtained an entry visa in the past but had since been considered inadmissible may apply for a waiver.
Do I need a waiver if the charge against me was withdrawn or is pending?
Does a waiver have limitations?
When can I apply for a US waiver?
Will a Canada Pardon exempt me from the waiver requirement?
What must I do to obtain a waiver?
- Fill out form-I-192 and support your citizenship status with evidence. For biographical information, you will need to complete form G-325. Note that if a lawyer or a firm is assisting you in applying for a waiver, you must also fill out completely form G-28 or G-28i.
- When you submit your application, a CBP officer will take your finger prints on card FD-258 then submit your finger prints to RCMP on form C216C. Finger printing is not required if you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident.
- If you have a criminal record, you must submit a copy of your criminal record and provide a copy of the official record from the court that convicted you for every criminal offense for which you were convicted. You must write your own statement explaining each conviction and sentence and provide facts or information on your character reformation and rehabilitation.
- If your were held inadmissible for violating immigration rules, you have to produce evidence of:
- past US employment
- current employment in the country of residence
- immediate family residing in the US
- past or present business investments in the US
- all ties to your country of residence
What is the processing period for a US Waiver application?
Can I be denied of a waiver?
What types of crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude in the US?
- all forms of fraud and intent to defraud
- malicious destruction of property and arson
- embezzlement, blackmailing, extortion, and forgery
- robbery, theft, burglary, larceny, transporting or receiving stolen goods with foreknowledge
- perjury, bribery, and harboring a fugitive with knowledge
- tax evasion and fraud committed against the government
- adultery, bigamy, lewdness, and gross indecency
- kidnapping, willful abandonment of a minor or contributing to the delinquency of a minor
- some types of assault with intent to kill, with intent to rape, with intent to rob, with intent to commit serious bodily harm, with deadly or dangerous weapon, mayhem as permanently disabling someone
- incest involving rape and statutory rape
- pandering or procuring and prostitution
I am inadmissible on criminal grounds. Will I be eligible for a waiver?
- if your sentences on two or more convictions amounted to 5 or more years in total, and if you were convicted of a crime of moral turpitude
- a conviction for drug possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana
- if you acquired immunity from suit and prosecution for collaborating with authorities
- at least 15 years had already passed since the incident happened, and that you have a proof showing your reformation and rehabilitation
- you were held inadmissible only because of your participation in prostitution, but you have an evidence to prove your rehabilitation
- or your presence is highly needed by your immediate family who is a US citizen or permanent resident and that the latter will suffer extreme difficulties if you were denied entry
- or you are applying by virtue of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
What do you mean by extreme hardship?
- proof of family relation such as birth certificates and marriage certificates
- family ties outside the US of the US citizen or permanent resident
- financial effect on the US citizen or permanent resident if the application is denied
- critical health conditions and the kind of treatment expected in the country of relocation
- the effects that separation causes the family
- conditions in the country of relocation if an application is denied, and the ties of the US citizen or permanent resident to that country
- other conditions affecting the quality of life of the US citizen or permanent resident
What are the types of diseases that will amount to inadmissibility?
- infectious tuberculosis
- infectious leprosy
- certain STDs such as chancroid, gonorrrhea, donovanosis, Durand-Nicolas-Favre disease and syphilis
- other communicable diseases as the US Department of Health may determine
If I was inadmissible for health reasons, how can I get a waiver?
How do you define a security violation?
- jeopardizing US foreign policy
- committing or intending to commit sabotage, espionage, or terrorism
- becoming a voluntary member of a terrorist organization or a totalitarian political group
How is immigration violation committed?
- overstaying a visa
- an attempt to re-enter after having been expedited or deported
- Entry Without Inspection (EWI) – anyone who entered the US without proper admission at the port of entry regardless of whether the person had already been to the United States.
- if after leaving voluntarily, you return to the US through EWI
- any attempt to re-enter after deportation
- anybody who falsely claims to be a US citizen in order to benefit from being a citizen of the United States
Can I apply for a waiver even though I was held inadmissible for immigration fraud and violation?
I was involved in human trafficking. Can I apply for a waiver?
- if you meet the basis for humanitarian reasons provided that you have only been involved in the human trafficking of your immediate family member
- if you are seeking admittance or adjustment of status acquired through an immediate family who is a US citizen
- if you have already resided as a lawful permanent resident in the United States and have left voluntarily
- if you are facing a final court order, with no civil financial penalty, because of a document fraud you committed to help an immediate family member ONLY, you may be eligible for a waiver on the condition that you are seeking admittance or adjustment of a status acquired through an immediate family who is a US citizen or if you have already resided as a lawful permanent resident in the United States and have left voluntarily before the “final order” was used against you for your deportation.
Do I have to file separate applications for individual grounds of inadmissibility?
What is the 3-year and 10-year bar?
Can a 3-year or 10-year bar be waived?
How do I apply for a waiver under Violence Against Women Act?
Can you explain what a Temporary Protected Status is?
I have been considered inadmissible but my country has been given TPS. Can I apply for a waiver?
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About Michael Niren
Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more
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