Understanding Waivers of Inadmissibility


Deportation Defense & Appeals

Family-Based Immigration


A waiver of inadmissibility removes the grounds of inadmissibility that prevent you from entering the United States. When this waiver is granted, you will be able to enter the U.S. even if you were previously considered inadmissible.

What is a Waiver of Inadmissibility?

A waiver of inadmissibility removes the grounds of inadmissibility that prevent you from entering the United States. When this waiver is granted, you will be able to enter the U.S. even if you were previously considered inadmissible. The request for a waiver is filed on Form I-601, or the Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. It’s also commonly referred to as an I-601 waiver.

How Could I Become Inadmissible?

You may be inadmissible for several reasons that usually fall into two main categories:

  • Fraud to obtain immigration benefits: This could involve falsifying documents or assuming a false identity while you’re in the country. Examples include fake green cards or proof of citizenship. Those who have stayed in the U.S. longer than they’re allowed can also get an inadmissibility tag.
  • Involvement in a crime: Crimes make a person inadmissible to the United States. These include possession of illegal substances, prostitution, robbery, theft, etc. The judgment on crimes depends on several factors, including involvement and severity.

How Long Could I Stay Inadmissible?

Your period of inadmissibility depends on the severity of your violation. An immigrant can be barred from entry for years. Others can receive a lifetime ban. When you receive an inadmissibility tag, you will be informed of how long the status will last.

Am I Eligible For a Waiver of Inadmissibility?

Eligibility for a waiver of inadmissibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Here are some things to consider:

  • What crime were you convicted of? Could the crime be considered especially immoral, unethical, or unjust? Was there any other outside influence that made you commit the crime?
  • Have you ever gained permanent resident status in the U.S.?
  • Do you have direct family members who are permanent residents or U.S. citizens?
  • If you committed an immigration violation, was it because you committed fraud?
  • Did you illegally enter the U.S.? Did you stay beyond the set limit of your intended stay in the country?

The most common requirement for an I-601 waiver is to establish extreme hardship, meaning an immediate family member could suffer without you. This family member must be a permanent resident or a U.S. citizen.

The best way to examine and evaluate inadmissibility is with the help of an attorney. An immigration lawyer can help determine if you are eligible for a waiver and guide you through the process to improve your chances.

How Do I Establish Extreme Hardship?

You can establish extreme hardship by providing evidence such as:

  • A direct connection to the family member along with proof of U.S. citizenship or a green card
  • Family connections outside the U.S.
  • Financial impact on the family member
  • Any health conditions or lack of proper medical care outside the U.S.
  • Ties to other countries where you’ll possibly relocate and the condition of that country (e.g. political turmoil)

Those are just a few of the common factors, but depending on the case and the people involved, there may be additional considerations. Providing comprehensive information will improve your chances of receiving a waiver of inadmissibility.

What Crimes Cannot Be Waived?

There are many crimes that cannot be waived. Most of them either cause harm to others or disrupt the normal flow of society. Here are some examples:

  • Suspicion of espionage or sabotage
  • Practicing polygamy
  • Aiding any paramilitary or terrorist groups
  • Participation in any Nazi acts or movements
  • Involvement in abduction or kidnapping
  • History of drug abuse or addiction
  • Conviction of murder, torture, or conspiracy

There are certain exemptions, but the best way to understand and navigate them is to have an experienced immigration attorney at your side.

Can I Apply For a Waiver If I Am Inadmissible Due To a Health Condition?

You can apply for an I-601 waiver if you are inadmissible due to a health condition, but you will need to prove that your condition does not harm anyone. You need to submit documents detailing your medical history and the outlook of your condition. There must also be a physician willing to treat the condition.

Can I Still Apply For a Waiver If I Have Multiple Grounds of Inadmissibility?

You can still apply for an I-601 waiver if you have multiple grounds of inadmissibility, but you will have to give complete documentation and provide good reasons for approval of the waiver.

Next Steps

Applying for a waiver of inadmissibility is a challenge, which is why you need solid legal counsel. Many aspects of it are subject to interpretation, and the approach to each case is different. The good news is that we have experience in applying for and successfully obtaining I-601 waivers. Feel free to reach out to us at Reeves Law Immigration Group to help determine your eligibility and get everything you need for an application.


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