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Criminal & Unlawful Presence Waivers

U.S. immigration law punishes certain violations by rendering a hopeful immigrant or visa applicant “inadmissible”.  A finding of inadmissibility can result in denial of a green card, immigrant or non-immigrant visa, and in certain cases removal proceedings. Because of these consequences, it is very important to consult with an immigration attorney before filing your case.

While some criminal violations are insurmountable, the obstacle created by many criminal offenses can be overcome with a waiver. The I-601 waiver for criminal offenses is based on hardship to the immigrant’s U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, child, or parent. These waivers are extremely difficult to obtain, and require careful preparation and a great deal of evidence. It is highly recommended to enlist the services of a knowledgeable immigration attorney if you will be needing such a waiver on your case.

When a person overstays a temporary visa or enters the U.S. illegally, they are in what the government calls “unlawful presence”.  Prior unlawful presence in the U.S. can trigger a penalty that renders someone ineligible for a green card or temporary visa for a 3 or 10-year period, and in certain cases, permanently. This can affect an applicant during a visa interview at the U.S. consulate, and in certain cases, during Adjustment of Status. For persons eligible for the waiver of unlawful presence, it can mean the difference between having to wait years abroad and getting to reunite with loved ones in America much sooner.