What are the immigration grounds of inadmissibility?

immigration grounds of inadmissibilityThere is a good chance that if you’ve been exploring immigration options that you’ve heard people mention the “grounds of inadmissibility.” You should never apply for an immigration benefit or travel outside the United States without first consulting an immigration lawyer if you don’t understand the grounds of inadmissibility or are not 100% confident they will not create problems for your immigration case.

What are the grounds of inadmissibility?

Non-US citizens may be barred from entry into the United States if they meet certain conditions of inadmissibility. This means that if you leave the United States to visit home and are inadmissible, you either will not be allowed to return to the United States or you will be placed in immigration court proceedings upon your return. The grounds of inadmissibility also apply to applications to adjust status to permanent resident through the adjustment of status process.

Many grounds for inadmissibility exist, but the major ones include:

  • Health-related grounds: Including, but not limited to the presence of certain communicable diseases, lack of required vaccinations, dangerous physical or mental disorders, and drug addictions.
  • Criminal and related grounds: Including, but not limited to crimes of moral turpitude, drug-related offenses in the United States or abroad, multiple criminal convictions resulting in 5 or more years of confinement, drug trafficking, prostitution, trafficking of sex workers, certain severe violations of religious freedom, and money laundering.
  • Security and related grounds: Including, but not limited to terrorist activity and crimes against the United States.
  • Unlawful presence and related grounds: Including, but not limited to illegal presence in the United States, falsely claiming US citizenship, stowaways, smugglers, misrepresenting material facts to get a visa, and abuse of student visa.

This is a short list of grounds of inadmissibility. For in-depth explanations of the grounds for inadmissibility and to ensure no additional grounds for inadmissibility apply to your situation, you should always consult an immigration lawyer. Legal issues surrounding the grounds of inadmissibility are very complex and each year many people who didn’t think that they would have an inadmissibility issue are surprised that their immigration application is denied or that they cannot return to the United States because they have been found to be inadmissible.

Are there any options if you are inadmissible?

Some people may be eligible to apply for an immigration waiver to to overcome an inadmissibility. However, not all grounds of inadmissibility allow for waivers. In addition, many people do not qualify for an immigration waiver, even if they have been in the United States for many years. Because of this, if you don’t plan on working with an immigration lawyer on your immigration case, you need to learn about the grounds of inadmissibility and the requirements for an immigration waiver before you do anything else with your case.

About Kimberley Schaefer

Kimberley Schaefer is an immigration lawyer with offices in Boise, ID and Rexburg, Idaho. She helps future Americans become citizens by assisting them with immigrant visas, fiance visas, adjustment of status and green card applications, applying for immigration waivers, fighting deportation and applying for asylum. To contact her, you can call (208) 918-0852 or send Kimberley an email now.

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