The necessity of obtaining a waiver of inadmissibility can arise in different scenarios, when a person seeks admission to the United States. In order to gain admission to the United States, an alien needs to be eligible or “admissible”. A person can be found inadmissible for various reasons, including those related to immigration law violations (for example fraud or willful misrepresentations made while seeking an immigration benefit or unlawful presence) or criminal law violations.
When a determination of ineligibility is made by the U.S. government, a waiver may be sought, which, if granted, would allow the alien to be admitted to the United States. Waivers of inadmissibility have to be carefully prepared and extremely well documented. Depending on the particular circumstance that led to the alien being ineligible for admission, waiver applications may focus on different factors. Generally, waiver applications should document all possible positive factors, such as the applicant’s ties to the U.S. (employment history, family ties, property ties, community service), as well as the hardship that the alien or the alien’s family would suffer if separation occurs. Most waivers are discretionary, which means that the U.S. government is not required to grant all waivers. Therefore, it is essential that the waiver application is presented in a clear, persuasive and well-documented manner, to maximize chances of success.