The application for a waiver of inadmissibility is the remedy available in certain circumstances for a condition that blocks a person from obtaining permanent resident status. In essence the waiver is the forgiveness of the problem making the immigrant ineligible for a visa even though he otherwise qualifies for it.

A Highly Technical Area of the Law

Do not try at home. You may need a waiver of inadmissibility if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have been unlawfully present for more than a year and are not eligible to adjust status from within the U.S. (e.g. entered without inspection less than ten years ago and did not have ‘papers filed’ for you before April 30, 2001.
  • You have committed misrepresentation or fraud
  • You have been convicted of a crime for which the maximum possible penalty is greater than one year
  • You have been convicted of simple possession of marijuana under 30 grams
  • You have HIV

This is not a complete list of things for which you would need a waiver, but they are among the most common. If you entered lawfully on most types of visas, went out of status and later married a citizen, you probably don’t need a waiver.