Immigrant Waiver of Inadmissibility

The reasons for inadmissibility to the United States are set out in Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The most common grounds for inadmissibility are:

  1. A prior history of criminal activities
  2. The commission of fraud or willful, material misrepresentation in obtaining a US visa
  3. Prior periods of unlawful presence in the US longer than 6 months, subjecting applicants to a mandatory 3 to 10 year bar from entering the US.

Under certain circumstances it is possible for those applying for immigrant visas to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility. However, each case is unique and often requires a detailed analysis in order to determine the factual basis of inadmissibility, whether the consular decision is correct, the availability of a waiver, and the likelihood of a successful waiver application.

Who can apply?

An applicant who is otherwise eligible for an immigrant or K visa but found inadmissible may submit form I-601 known as an application for a waiver of inadmissibility. Not every applicant for an immigrant visa can apply for a waiver; there must be a legal basis stipulated in the law for such an application. Usually, that legal basis is a qualifying relationship where the inadmissible applicant is the spouse, son, or daughter of a US citizen or legal permanent resident. In addition, that applicant usually must demonstrate that his/her inadmissibility is creating an extreme hardship on his/her US citizen/legal permanent resident relative.

How to prove Extreme Hardship?

In order to prove extreme hardship, an applicant must demonstrate hardship to a qualifying relative (US citizen, or legal permanent resident, spouse or parent) that is unusual and exceeds the suffering that would normally be expected as a result of inadmissibility. USCIS considers economic detriment; the uprooting of family and separation from friends; and emotional suffering caused by severing of family and community ties to be common results of inadmissibility. Extreme hardship is a difficult standard to satisfy; therefore, it is imperative that the hardship waiver be well-documented and carefully prepared.

What is the process?

An I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility form along with supporting documentation is filed with USCIS in the United States. If the application is denied, an appeal may be submitted to the Administrative Appeals Office, which may take up to two years to review.

How does White & Associates help?

Because of the complexity of these waivers, it is advisable to retain qualified legal counsel. We have successfully helped many individuals challenge erroneous inadmissibility findings, with the decisions of inadmissibility rescinded and visas issued. For example, if the reviewing officer mistakenly believes that a person was unlawfully in the United States and inaccurately counted the time of unlawful presence, one can present additional evidence to the officer, his superior, and/or the Department of State in Washington, and have the original decision nullified. Similarly, if a consul erroneously finds an individual inadmissible for a conviction of a crime of moral turpitude — an extremely complicated term — that decision can be challenged. Our VisaRefusal website catalogs dozens of cases in which we have been able to help individuals overcome erroneous findings of inadmissibility (

When the consular decisions were correct, we assisted many individuals in obtaining immigrant waivers, including those who were found inadmissible for visa fraud, material misrepresentations, and committing crimes of moral turpitude. It is necessary to formulate a strategy and clarify and re-construct events. As part of the representation process, we prepare affidavits and legal memoranda; arrange scientific/forensic/medical testimony and opinions; and compile voluminous supporting evidence. Please contact us so that we may assess your case.