Waivers / Overcoming Visa Denials

The situations making an applicant ineligible for a visa, called visa ineligibilities or “grounds of inadmissibility,” are described in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

If a consular officer denies a visa application, there is no appeal. Still, there may be several ways to challenge a visa denial, such as requesting reconsideration, supervisorial review, or an advisory opinion, or resubmitting the application.

If a visa denial cannot be overcome, it may be possible to request a “waiver.” A waiver is somewhat analogous to a pardon in criminal law, in that a waiver forgives an ineligibility, allowing visa issuance.

Highlights

Common Waivers of Inadmissibility
Common Waivers of Inadmissibility

If a consular officer denies a visa application, there is no appeal. Still, there may be several ways to challenge a visa denial, such as requesting reconsideration, supervisorial review, or an advisory opinion, or resubmitting the application. If a visa denial cannot be overcome, it may be possible to request a "waiver." A waiver is…

Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship
Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship

Did you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes inadmissible (i.e., ineligible) for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key……

What is Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility?
What is Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility?

An individual who an immigration officer or consular officer has determined is inadmissible to the United States as an immigrant or to adjust status in the United States, and certain nonimmigrant applicants who are deemed inadmissible, must file the Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, to seek a waiver of certain grounds…

U.S. Visa Denied? Here are Your Options
U.S. Visa Denied? Here are Your Options

If your visa is denied, you may be confused and frustrated. And consular officers may be unwilling or unable to properly explain the grounds for refusal and your options for overcoming the refusal. How can an attorney help?

The Meaning of “Extreme Hardship” for Waiver Purposes
The Meaning of “Extreme Hardship” for Waiver Purposes

A person found ineligible for a visa may nonetheless qualify one of the various “waivers” allowing visa issuance. Often, issuance of a waiver requires that the applicant prove a qualifying relative will experience “extreme hardship” if the waiver is not granted.

Related articles

Common Waivers of Inadmissibility
Common Waivers of Inadmissibility

If a consular officer denies a visa application, there is no appeal. Still, there may be several ways to challenge a visa denial, such as requesting reconsideration, supervisorial review, or an advisory opinion, or resubmitting the application. If a visa denial cannot be overcome, it may be possible to request a "waiver." A waiver is…

State Dep’t Limits B (Visitor) Visa Validity for Communist Party Members
State Dep’t Limits B (Visitor) Visa Validity for Communist Party Members

On Dec. 2, the State Department issued new restrictions on B1/B2 (visitor for business or leisure) visas for members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and their families. While other Chinese citizens may obtain multiple-entry visas valid for entry within 10 years, under a 2014 reciprocal agreement between Presidents Obama and Xi Jinping, CCP members……

USCIS Policy Manual Update on Immigrant Membership in the Communist Party
USCIS Policy Manual Update on Immigrant Membership in the Communist Party

During the Trump administration, immigration lawyers have become accustomed to “shock by memo,” meaning backdoor rules announced by government memo with no prior notice, typically on a Friday afternoon, which leave us scrambling to help clients understand how the new rules may apply to applications filed months or years ago under a different memo.[1] On……

Chinese Communist Party Members Targeted by Draft Trump Visa Ban
Chinese Communist Party Members Targeted by Draft Trump Visa Ban

Visa bans based on Communist Party membership–like any bans based on ideology or associaiton–are an unnecessary, and most damaging, legacy of the McCarthy era.

Trump Suspends Entry of Chinese Students and Researchers: First Impressions
Trump Suspends Entry of Chinese Students and Researchers: First Impressions

The President has issued a May 29, 2020, Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China.The proclamation appears to be counter-productive, a distraction from real measures needed to fight Beijing's theft of sensitive technologies, and an attempt to boost Trump's electoral odds by stoking…

Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship
Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship

Did you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes inadmissible (i.e., ineligible) for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key……