What is a nonimmigrant waiver?
Some people are unable to travel to the United States because they are considered to be “inadmissible” under immigration law. This means that they can’t visit the United States even for a short trip for business or to see family. A nonimmigrant waiver can help overcome many grounds of inadmissibility so that the person can visit the United States for business, personal or tourism reasons. The grounds of inadmissibility that can be waived include unlawful presence, criminal, health, prostitution, and smuggling.
Keep in mind that a nonimmigrant waiver does not replace a nonimmigrant visa. This means that if you need a nonimmigrant visa to be able to travel to the United States, you need to qualify for the nonimmigrant visa before you need to worry about getting a nonimmigrant waiver. Why is this important? This means that you’ll first need to convince the consular officer doing your visa interview that you plan to return to your home country after your short visit to the United States. This can be very difficult to do if you have previously overstayed a visa or if you have violated the terms of your visa in the past. If this situation applies to you, you may want to work with an immigration lawyer on both your nonimmigrant visa application and your nonimmigrant waiver application (if you need to use this form).
Will I need a nonimmigrant waiver in order to visit the United States?
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, and money laundering.
- Misrepresentation or fraud: Including misrepresenting material facts to get a visa or committing fraud in relation to a visa application
- Unlawful presence and related grounds: Including, but not limited to illegal presence in the United States, falsely claiming US citizenship, stowaways, smugglers, and abuse of student visa.
If any of the grounds of inadmissibility apply to you, you’ll need to get an immigration waiver if you want to travel to the United States. If you aren’t sure whether one of the grounds of inadmissibility apply to you, you should set up a consultation with an immigration lawyer in order to discuss your situation.