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.
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