Comparison of Immigrant Waivers

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The journey to obtaining permanent residency in a new country can be fraught with challenges, and for many immigrants, overcoming certain legal barriers is a crucial step in this process. One such hurdle is the need for immigrant waivers, which allow individuals with specific grounds of inadmissibility to immigrate and continue their pursuit of a better life. Ideally, one would not need a waiver, and as illustrated throughout this site, if you believe that there was a factual or legal mistake made in the decision to bar you, you should certainly challenge that decision first. 

Here, we will delve into and compare three types of immigrant waivers, each of which are submitted on Form I-601.

212(a)(6)(C)(i) Misrepresentation

A waiver for a willful, material misrepresentation is available to a spouse or child of US citizen (USC) or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). The legal standard to qualify for the waiver is “extreme hardship”: one must show that refusal of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to the USC or LPR. This waiver is not available to parents of USCs or LPRs.  To establish “extreme hardship,” a candidate must prove that the challenges faced by a qualifying relative (a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent) go beyond the ordinary difficulties associated with inadmissibility. For example, USCIS is looking for severe medical or psychological issues, substantial financial hardship, family socialization issues, and dramatic challenges linked to relocating to a third country. It will also consider the applicant’s family ties to the US: how long did the applicant live in the US; what are the the applicant’s professional and social ties to the US; and what were the the applicant’s contributions to US society while located there? Documenting extreme hardship is a very formidable task.

212(a)(6)(E) Alien smuggling

A waiver for alien smuggling is available if the smuggling action took place while the applicant was the spouse, child, or parent of the individual who was being smuggled. This waiver is not available to siblings of US citizens.  An essential requirement for reaching such a finding is that the individual must knowingly intend to assist someone in obtaining a visa or crossing the border who is ineligible. The standard for qualifying for this waiver is relatively liberal: one must show that it is in the interests of family unity or on humanitarian grounds or in the public interest.

212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Crime of moral turpitude

A waiver for a crime of moral turpitude is available in two situations: either 1) if admission to the US would not be contrary to US national interests, safety and security; the applicant has been rehabilitated; and more than 15 years has elapsed since the incident in question or 2) if refusal of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to the qualifying USC or LPR. There is no waiver available for murder, torture, or conspiracy to commit murder or torture.

Immigrant waivers play a crucial role in the immigration journey, providing a lifeline for individuals facing various grounds of inadmissibility. Please contact us to find out how we can help you.