Waivers of Inadmissibility

Due to past U.S. immigration problems or a criminal record, an individual who seeks entry to the United States, for either immigrant or nonimmigrant purposes may be inadmissible without what is known as a waiver of inadmissibility. If granted, the waiver allows the applicant to gain admission to the United States for the intended purpose despite the fact that s/he is otherwise inadmissible.

Basic Requirements

The standard for a waiver depends upon whether the applicant is intending to enter the United States for immigrant or nonimmigrant purposes. Typically, a standard of undue hardship to American citizens or permanent residents must be shown, in order to allow entry based on an immigrant waiver. The undue hardship must not solely be for reason of separation between a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and a foreign national. Currently, nonimmigrant waivers are available for a period of up to five years.

For nonimmigrant waivers, U.S. Immigration authorities typically balance the seriousness of the past immigration and/or criminal offence as against the risk posed to the United States if the person is permitted to enter. Important factors in this decision include the nature of the offence(s), the length of time since the commission of the offence and completion of the sentence for the offence, and the purpose of the visit.

Where to Apply

Canadian citizens applying for nonimmigrant waivers in the Toronto area, currently file applications at Pearson Airport in Toronto, which are ultimately sent to Buffalo, New York. Non-Canadians who are not citizens of visa exempt countries must file applications and supporting materials at the appropriate Consulate or Embassy, together with their visa application.

We can assist you in assessing your admissibility to the United States and determining the appropriate waiver if you are inadmissible. In addition, we can assist in the preparation of the necessary application materials.

Speak to one of our immigration professionals who can answer any questions you may have and help you with a consultation about your specific US travel needs.

Leaf Break