“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”
— Emma Lazarus

Waivers of Ineligibility

The U.S. Attorney General has discretion whether to grant a waiver to a visa applicant. A person may be refused entry to the United States due to a finding of “inadmissibility”. Under immigration law, a person can be found inadmissible on the basis of several grounds. Below is a list of common grounds of inadmissibility:

  • Previous Immigration Fraud

  • Previous Deportation or Removal from the U.S.

  • Previous Visa Overstays

  • Drug abuse, addiction and trafficking

  • Physical or mentally disabled individuals that may cause harm to themselves or others

  • Alien smuggling

  • Security-related

  • Public Charge

  • Prior J-1 exchange visitors subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement.

In situations where an immigrant does fall into one of the grounds of inadmissibility, they may still be able to obtain a visa or green card if a “waiver” is approved. However, not all grounds of inadmissibility can be waived so it is important to speak with an immigration attorney first.

If you are inadmissible to the United States and are seeking an immigrant visa, adjustment of status, certain non-immigrant statuses or certain other immigration benefits, you must file a I-160/ I-160a ( “Hardship waiver” ) to seek a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility. It is very important that you speak with an experienced immigration attorney who can evaluate whether you qualify to apply for such waiver before you file anything.

USCIS is extremely inconsistent in its decision making of "extreme hardship" waivers. Because hardships are particular to each person and family, proving hardship is very fact-specific and generally is difficult to prove.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss you or your family’s immigration matter with you. Please contact our office at 530-265-0186 to schedule a confidential no charge consultation or email us with any questions you may have.