Criminal Law

Certain foreign nationals may be deemed “inadmissible” to the United States based on administrative decisions entered against them or prior violations of status or the law.  Based on this inadmissibility, these foreign nationals may be denied applications for visas or adjustments of status.  However, waivers of inadmissibility exist and depending on each foreign nationals situation, a waiver of inadmissibility may apply.

Waivers for Grounds of Inadmissibility
An application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility is an application for legal entry to the U.S. made by an individual who is otherwise inadmissible on one or more grounds.  The application is submitted to the consular office, USCIS office or immigration court considering the immigrant visa or adjustment of status application.

Persons may be inadmissible to the United States for any one of the grounds of excludability categories below:

  • Health related Grounds
    • Communicable Diseases of Public Health Significance
    • Refusal of Required Vaccinations
    • Physical or Mental Disorders and Associated Harmful Behaviors
  • Criminal and Related Violations
    • Crimes involving moral turpitude (other than purely political offense);
    • Controlled Substance Violation
    • Two or more summary convictions, not including DUI’s, Dangerous Driving or General Assault, or 1 Indictable conviction;
    • Prostitution or commercialized vice;
    • A serious criminal activity for which immunity from prosecution has been received.
  • Security and Related Violations
    • Spies, saboteurs, or terrorists;
    • Persons whose entry would endanger U.S. foreign policy;
    • Voluntary members of Communist or other totalitarian parties;
    • Nazis
  • Illegal Entrants and Immigration Violators
    • Persons who enter the U.S. without being admitted, paroles at the port of entry, persons who overstay a valid visa, or persons who have accrued unlawful presence;
    • Any individual who has been unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days is subject to a 3 year bar and any individual who has been unlawfully present for one year is subject to a 10 year bar;
  • Falsely Claiming U.S. Citizenship
    • No waiver is available to an alien who has falsely claimed that they are a U.S. citizen to obtain a benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Federal or State Law. 
  • Miscellaneous Grounds
    • Polygamists
    • Guardians accompanying helpless aliens
    • International child abductors and relatives supporting abductors
    • Former U.S. citizens founds by the Attorney General to have renounced citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation

Cancellation of Removal for Permanent and Non-permanent residents
Cancellation of Removal is a form of immigration relief available to individuals who have been placed in removal proceedings before the United States Executive Office for Immigration Review.  A different standard of eligibility for cancellation is applied for lawful permanent residents and non-lawful permanent residents.  Recipients of a grant of cancellation are eligible for permanent residency in the United States.

Withholding of Removal
Withholding of Removal is an alternative form of relief for an individual fearing persecution in his or her country of origin.  Generally applicants will file an application for both asylum and withholding of removal at the same time.  In order to be granted withholding of removal, the applicant must meet a higher standard than for asylum.  Additionally, withholding can only be granted by an Immigration Judge, not by an Asylum Officer.