Inadmissibility and Your Immigration Status

There is a long list of terms of inadmissibility in the U.S., but the major ones that we deal with most often are criminal grounds of inadmissibility. If you have been convicted of certain crimes related to immigration. For example, if you entered the country illegally, overstayed your status, or overstayed your date of admission and then departed back to your home country. There are also certain health-related grounds for inadmissibility. There are other, broader grounds of inadmissibility, for example if you pose a danger to the community due to a physical or mental disorder. That could even encompass something like having multiple DUIs. There is a very long list of possible reasons for inadmissibility.

To Whom Does Inadmissibility Apply?

Inadmissibility applies to anyone who is seeking admission into the United States. That is a nebulous legal term, but it includes basically anyone who is applying from abroad to enter the United States or anyone who has entered the United States illegally and needs to be legally admitted. The term “admission” is a legal term; it doesn’t mean just entering the country. If you cross the border illegally, that does not count as an illegal admission. Once you’re here, you’ll be subject to the grounds of inadmissibility because you have to apply for a legal admission at that point. It does not only apply to people who are trying to become permanent residents.

Process of Challenging an Inadmissibility Ruling

Submitting a Waiver

The process of submitting a waiver of inadmissibility depends on why you are being charged with being inadmissible. There is a number of ways in which it can happen. One way is if you are outside the United States and you are applying for admission, for example if you want to enter as a visitor, on a work visa, or even if you have a family member here and you’re trying to apply for legal permanent residence. You’ll be evaluated at the foreign consulate or embassy for your grounds of inadmissibility. In that case, you’ll have to submit a waiver to USCIS and you will be jointly evaluated by USCIS and the national visa center in the consulate or embassy abroad. That is a little bit more unpredictable because you won’t be dealing with lawyers or judges; you’ll be dealing with these administrative agencies who evaluate the grounds of inadmissibility and also the waivers, if you’re eligible.

Going to Court

Another way in which you can challenge a ruling is if you’re actually in removal proceedings in front of an immigration judge and you’re being charged with being inadmissible. That means that if you entered without inspection, the government will charge you with being inadmissible. That is when the grounds of inadmissibility can come up and you’ll have to defend yourself against that in the immigration court. Another common way for it to happen is even if you already have legal immigration status. If you’re a lawful permanent resident and you travel abroad, when you come back to the United States you’ll be reevaluated for your admissibility at every entry. If you are, for example, a lawful permanent resident and you commit a crime in the United States, then you leave, and later you attempt to return, the government can deem you inadmissible at that point. It really depends on the case.

What Are The Most Difficult Grounds For Inadmissibility Rulings To Overcome?

The most difficult rulings to overcome would be if the government believes that you are a threat to national security or if you have made a false claim to US citizenship. Some serious criminal convictions can also make you inadmissible and could be impossible to overcome. One of the most serious criminal issues that you could have on your record is a controlled substance or drug-related conviction. Anything involving over 30 grams of marijuana would be very difficult to overcome.

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