Determining Immigration Status in DC

There are a number of factors that can impact your legal or immigration status. These include inadmissibility and deportability, which can be triggered by different circumstances. For more on your status and the steps you can take consult with a DC immigration lawyer today.

Definition of Inadmissibility

The legal framework for “inadmissibility” is found in section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It applies to two different types of people:

  1. People who are outside the United States and are applying for admission – to be allowed into the country – in some status.
  2. People who are applying to change their status from within the United States.

For instance, if you’re admitted in an H1B employment-based status, but then marry a U.S. citizen and want to change your status to that of a permanent resident, then the grounds of inadmissibility will apply, even though you’ve already been “admitted” to the U.S.

The potential grounds of inadmissibility are extensive. There are a number of different things that can make you inadmissible. The most common area is criminal offenses, and this is where the phrase “crimes of moral turpitude” comes in to play. You can be inadmissible if you have committed or have admitted to committing the acts which constitute the essential elements of either a crime of moral turpitude or an offense relating to a controlled substance.

Other Types of Inadmissibility Grounds

There are also other types of inadmissibility grounds. For instance, you can be barred from being admitted for health-related grounds, having convictions for two or more offenses, drug trafficking offenses, certain prostitution or human trafficking offenses, money laundering, and other economic grounds such as being a risk of becoming a public charge.

There are also a number of immigration-based grounds of inadmissibility, including people who are present without admission or who failed to attend their removal proceedings, as well as people who have committed fraud or misinterpretation in obtaining a visa.

Finally, there are a number of other grounds that only apply to a few people, such as those who engage in or intend to engage in polygamy, or foreign nationals who have evaded the draft.

Definition of Deportability

Deportability is found in another section of the Immigration and Nationality Act – section 237. It is basically another list of offenses and violations that will render an individual deportable. Like the grounds of inadmissibility under 212(a), it is a long list and, again, the most common reason for being deportable is for criminal violations. There is a lot of overlap between inadmissibility and deportability, and you can be rendered deportable if you were inadmissible at the time that you entered the United States.

Also, if you’re involved in human smuggling, if you’ve obtained any kind of benefit through marriage fraud, or if you’ve committed a number of other immigration violations, you can be rendered deportable.

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