When someone applies for a U.S. visa, his or her ability to obtain it is not guaranteed. The individual may be denied because he or she is what U.S. law refers to as inadmissible. In other words, the person has a reason, or multiple reasons, that the issuing authority believes he or she will either overstay the visa, or use his or her time in the U.S. to act in ways that are illegal or unethical. However, sometimes a denial can adversely affect someone’s life or livelihood, and someone must work to get around a finding of inadmissibility. There are a few ways this can be achieved.
Waivers and Exceptions
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) lists several grounds on which someone may be declared inadmissible. Some include carrying communicable diseases, having committed a crime of moral turpitude or an immigration violation (the two are not necessarily identical, but they are not mutually exclusive), and the potential to become dependent on government assistance. However, it is possible to apply for a waiver for many of these grounds, though there is no guarantee the waver will be granted. People who have committed more severe crimes such as aggravated felonies or terrorism are generally ruled inadmissible, but under a permanent bar, with no possibility of waiver.
In some cases, there are exceptions written into the law directly, meaning that if you meet the exception, you do not have to apply for a waiver or change status to work around the issue. For example, in the case of the vaccination requirement, children under age 10 are exempted, provided they are the immediate relative of someone applying and they will be vaccinated within a reasonable time after entry.
Applying for Relief
If you are ineligible for a waiver or any exception written into the law, your other alternative is to apply for relief, meaning submitting a petition to the relevant authorities that argues you ought not to be deported because you meet certain requirements. For example, someone who has a well-founded fear of persecution if he or she returns to his or her home country may apply for asylum, or someone who comes from certain Central American countries or a former Soviet bloc country may apply for relief under the Nicaraguan Adjustment & Central American Relief Act (NACARA).
Depending on which law you believe may apply to your situation, however, be advised that there are still requirements that must be met before relief may be granted. For example, those applying under NACARA must not only be from the countries in question, they must also show a labor certification, and they must not have unlawful presence accrued. If someone does have unlawful presence, it can exclude him or her from most forms of relief, regardless of other factors present in the case.
Ask an Immigration Attorney
The concept of inadmissibility can be very confusing, especially when your reason for wanting to travel to the United States, or stay there, is critical. If you are in such a situation, it is best to ask an attorney about what needs to be done. The skilled Chicago immigration attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC are happy to assist you in determining what steps to take to try and rectify your immigration problems. Call us today to set up a free initial consultation.
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