Nonimmigrant Waivers – General Information

What is a nonimmigrant waiver?

Some people are inadmissible to the United States. This means that they cannot travel to the United States, even for a short trip for business or to visit family. A nonimmigrant waiver allows people to visit the United States even if they are inadmissible. A nonimmigrant waiver can waive most grounds of inadmissibility for nonimmigrants, such as unlawful presence, criminal, health, prostitution, and smuggling. Depending on where you will apply for your nonimmigrant waiver, you may need to submit a nonimmigrant waiver application form along with your request.

This type of waiver can be very helpful for people who have something in their past that prevents them from being able to visit the United States, but find that it is important to be able to visit for business or family purposes.

Nonimmigrant Waiver Requirements

There are three criteria that are considered when deciding whether a nonimmigrant waiver will be granted:

  1. The risks of harm in admitting the applicant
  2. The seriousness of the acts that caused the inadmissibility
  3. The importance of the applicant’s reason for seeking entry

Generally speaking, nonimmigrant waivers are not limited to exceptional, humanitarian, or national interest cases. It is possible to get a nonimmigrant waiver in order to visit family, seek medical treatment, attend business conferences, or for tourism.

The application procedure will vary depending on whether you need to apply for a visa and will request your waiver at a U.S. consulate or if you do not need to apply for a visa and will request your waiver at the U.S. port of entry. Keep in mind that if you need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa, you will also need to demonstrate to the consular officer that you qualify for the nonimmigrant visa.

Before Beginning Your Nonimmigrant Waiver Application

Make sure that you understand the waiver application process and what it takes to win a waiver case before you begin your nonimmigrant waiver application. You can learn more about this type of waiver by exploring the articles on this website, watching an immigration waiver webinar or viewing the immigration videos on this website. All of this information is available for free before you ever talk to an immigration lawyer. By learning more about the nonimmigrant waiver process before you do anything else, you’ll be able to better decide whether you should hire an immigration lawyer and what questions you should ask your lawyer if you decide to work with one.

Learn more about nonimmigrant waivers

To help you better understand nonimmigrant waivers, I've collected answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that I run into as an Idaho immigration lawyer:

Frequently Asked Questions About Nonimmigrant Waivers