When applying for lawful status in the U.S., immigration authorities may deem you “inadmissible.” This may occur if you have a history of prior immigration violations, criminal activities, drug abuse, medical problems, or other characteristics that could prevent you from entering the U.S. or obtaining a green card or visa.
When you are found inadmissible, you must participate in a unique process. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you must complete and submit a waiver of inadmissibility. The type of waiver you will need depends on the reason you were found inadmissible, the circumstances of your case, and the requested immigration benefit. Depending on the case, some waivers are filed from within the United States, while others are required to be filed after the foreign national has departed the United States.
Filing the Waiver of Inadmissibility
When you ask for the government to waive or forgive your inadmissibility, it does not guarantee that you will receive approval and obtain lawful status. The standard for determining a successful waiver application will depend on the type of waiver requested, varying from pure discretion to extreme hardship to your qualifying relative(s). Many foreign nationals fill out these waivers after living unlawfully in the U.S. for a long period of time or after having committed immigration fraud.
Filling out a successful application
Many waivers of inadmissibility require that your qualifying relative(s) will suffer extreme hardship if you do not gain admission to the U.S. Depending on the inadmissibility and the type of benefit requessted, your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, and sometimes children will be your qualifying relatives. However, there are some waivers that do not require a qualifying relative at all. Nevertheless, for those waiver that required demonstrating hardship to your qualifying family members, they should provide a detailed declaration of the hardship they would experience if your waiver is not approved, along with supporting documentation to corroborate the claimed hardship. The hardship must go beyond the expected hardship of family separation.
Further, if you can show that you have participated in community service, have ties to your local community, and possess good moral character, it may improve your chances of approval for your waiver of inadmissibility. Careful preparation of the forms, declarations, and supporting documentation can greatly improve your chances of a successful application.