To be issued a visa and enter the United States, a foreign national must generally not be ineligible for admission (also known as “inadmissible”). Even after a foreign national has been determined to be ineligible, it may be possible to apply for a waiver (akin to a pardon). The requirements for a waiver depend on the type of ineligibility. Common requirements for waivers include one or more of the following:
- The applicant has a “qualifying relative”
- That relative would suffer extreme hardship if the applicant were denied the visa
- The applicant deserves the waiver as a matter of discretion
Common ineligibilities and corresponding waivers can be divided into the following categories :
|Security-related grounds covering Communist Party members seeking immigrant visas|
Prior J-1 exchange visitors subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement
|Illegal immigrants and immigration law violators, including fraud or misrepresentation||214(i) waivers for fraud or misrepresentation|
|Persons previously removed or unlawfully present in the U.S.||I-212 permission to reapply after removal; Waivers of the 3- and 10-year unlawful presence bars|
|Prior J-1 exchange visitors subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement||No objection, hardship, and persecution waivers|
In addition, a 212(d)(3) waiver will waive most ineligibilities in connection with an application for a temporary visa.
For more, read about the grounds of inadmissibility and your options after a consular officer denies your visa application.
Schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer in Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai, or Los Angeles; or by phone, Skype, WeChat, or FaceTime. Our goal is to become your trusted legal adviser.
A State Department official has spoken on background to the Associated Press, saying that more Chinese applying for F-1 visas as graduate students in fields related to science and technology will need "special clearance from multiple U.S. agencies" and that such clearances are "expected to take months for each visa ...Read More
A new National Vetting Center is being established pursuant to National Security Presidential Memorandum 9, signed by President Trump on February 6. The Center will coordinate the way agencies use biographic, biometric, and other data used to vet applicants for visas, admission to the United States, and immigration benefits, and ...Read More
An immigrant visa applicant sporting a tattoo may be questioned about it. The presence of tattoos (or evidence of their removal) is noted during the required medical exam. This may lead a consular officer to suspect the applicant has gang affiliations or has abused drugs ...Read More
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? ...Read More
For the uninitiated, "administrative processing" is State Department-speak for a temporary visa refusal pending further investigation of a visa application. (9 FAM Appendix E, 404). The applicant typically learns of the temporary refusal when, at the conclusion of the interview, the consular officer issues a written notice stating that under ...Read More
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent four cables to consular officers between Mar. 10 and 17 with preliminary instructions for stricter vetting of U.S. visa applicants. The cables emphasize that "all visa decisions are national security decisions" and that additional screening may "may cause interview appointment backlogs to rise." ...Read More
President Trump has signed a revised Executive Order on "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States." It goes into effect March 16. The ban fails to address the original version's flaws and its thinly veiled scapegoating of Muslims and refugees ...Read More
The Latest Enforcement and interpretation of President Trump's Executive Order (EO) on "Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals" are evolving rapidly, so check back here for updates. 2017-02-16: The Trump administration plans to unveil a revised EO on immigration next week and rescind the president’s initial travel ...Read More
A leaked, unsigned copy of President Trump’s Executive Order on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals. The order takes the following steps, among others: ...Read More
Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is perhaps the most-cited legal scholar of the twentieth century. His reputations for brilliance and for rudeness are both on display in his concurring opinion in Arias v. Lynch (7th Cir. 2016) ...Read More