ACHIEVE YOUR IMMIGRATION GOALS
With Our Law Firm
In providing information regarding our practice areas, you will find a general outline covering eligibility for various immigration processes.
The information provided for these practice areas should not replace consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer to talk about your particular case. Please contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
Immigration Practice Areas
Our law firm offers a wide range of services catering to a diverse clientele.
Our services include various areas of immigration law, such as assisting with family and employment based green cards, consular processing, handling court and asylum cases, and supporting victims of abuse and crimes.
Naturalization is when a Legal Permanent Resident obtains U.S. Citizenship. To be eligible for Naturalization, you must be:
- At least 18 years old when filing your application;
- A Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) for a minimum of 5 years. If you are married to a U.S. Citizen and living with them, you may be eligible to apply for Naturalization through marriage after 3 years;
- Physically present in the U.S. for at least half of the 5 years before your application is filed (3 years if applying through marriage);
- Continuously living in the U.S. for the last 5 years (3 years if applying through marriage).
- Able to read, write, and speak the English language (An English exemption exists for certain applicants)
- Able to pass the civics exam;
- A person of good moral character.
Does A Criminal History Make Me Ineligible for Naturalization?
It depends on the crime and when it occurred. If you have a criminal history and are thinking of applying for naturalization, it is important that you consult with an immigration lawyer before filing your application.
Applying for naturalization with a criminal record can result in the government initiating removal proceedings against you.
Automatic Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship
Child Automatically Acquiring Citizenship after Birth
Under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA) and amended INA 320, children in the United States can automatically acquire citizenship after birth when all the following conditions are met on or after February 27, 2001:
- The child has at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen either through naturalization or birth;
- The child is under 18 years old;
- The child is a permanent resident (green card holder);
- The child is residing in the U.S. and in the legal and physical custody of their U.S. citizen parent.
If these requirements are met, please consult with an immigration lawyer to determine next steps in obtaining evidence of U.S. Citizenship.
Acquiring Citizenship Before the Child Citizenship Act of 2000
The Child Citizenship Act (CCA) applies to children born on or after February 27, 2001, or those who were under 18 years of age as of that date. If the applicant is 18 years of age or older on February 27, 2001, they will not qualify for citizenship under INA 320.
The former INA 321 is applicable to children who were already 18 years of age on February 27, 2001, but under 18 years of age in 1952. Under INA 321, a child born abroad acquires U.S. citizenship (Generally) if:
- The child’s parent(s) meet one of the following conditions:
- Both parents naturalize;
- If one parent is deceased, the surviving parent naturalizes;
- If there is a legal separation of the parents, the parent who has legal custody of the child naturalizes; or
- The child’s mother naturalizes if the child was born out of wedlock and paternity has not been established by legitimation.
- The child is under 18 years of age when his or her parent(s) naturalize; and
- The child is living in the United States based on lawful admission for permanent residence at the time the parent(s) naturalized or thereafter begins to live permanently in the United States.
When considering an automatic acquisition of citizenship case, the date of birth of the applicant will determine the applicable law. The requirements under the applicable law for different years can be complex. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an immigration lawyer.
Acquisition of U.S. Citizenship at Birth
In general, a person born abroad may acquire citizenship at birth depending on the applicable law based on their date of birth, marital status of parents, citizenship of parents, and the length of time that the person’s parents lived in the U.S.
The requirements under the applicable law for different years can be complex, and it is best to speak with an immigration lawyer to determine eligibility.
IMMIGRATION COURT REPRESENTATION AND ASYLUM
Asylum and Withhold of Removal
Foreign nationals may apply for asylum with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or Immigration Court (EOIR) if they are seeking protection from persecution in their home country based on protected grounds. If their application is approved, they can legally remain in the United States and may thereafter apply for permanent residence (green card).
Are You Eligible for Asylum?
You may be eligible for asylum if you have experienced persecution in your home country in the past or have a well-founded fear of future persecution. U.S. immigration laws provide several protected grounds to which an applicant can seek protection including:
- Political Opinion
- Membership in a Particular Social Group
In addition, to be eligible for asylum you must be physically present in the U.S and apply within one year of your arrival to the United States (unless an exception applies).
Who Can I Include on My Asylum Application?
You can include your spouse and “children” if they are in the United States when you file your application or before there is a final decision on your application.
Withholding of Removal & Convention Against Torture (CAT)
There are two other forms of relief available to foreign nationals who fear persecution in their home country: Withholding of Removal and Protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). These protections are not part of asylum, but they may also be requested at the time of filing for asylum.
To qualify for withholding of removal, a foreign national must demonstrate that it is more likely than not that their life or freedom would be threatened in their home country on account of a protected ground. A grant of withholding or removal allows the applicant to avoid deportation to their home country.
To qualify for protection under CAT, a foreign national must demonstrate that it is more
likely than not that they will be tortured in their home country.
Cancelation of Removal (EOIR-42A & EOIR-42B)
Cancellation of Removal is a type of relief that can be granted to a non-U.S. Citizen that was placed in removal proceedings.
Both lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and non-residents can apply for cancellation of removal while in removal proceedings.
Are You Eligible for Cancellation Of Removal As A Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder)?
A permanent resident may be granted cancellation of removal by an Immigration Judge if they meet the following requirements:
- They have been lawful permanent resident in the U.S. for at least 5 years;
- They have lived in the United States for a continuous period of at least 7 years after entering the country under any status;
- They have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
Are You Eligible for Cancellation Of Removal As A Non-Permanent Resident (Undocumented Applicant)?
An undocumented person may apply for Cancellation of Removal if they meet the following requirements:
- They have been physically present in the United States for at least 10 years;
- They have been a person of good moral character for the last 10 years;
- They have not been convicted of a criminal offense that make them inadmissible or removable from the United States;
- Their removal (deportation) will result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child.
Are You Eligible for Cancellation Of Removal As A Battered Spouse Or Child?
An undocumented person may be eligible for cancellation of removal as battered spouse or child if they can demonstrate the following:
- They were battered or abused by a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
- They have been residing in the United States for a minimum of 3 years;
- They have been a person of good moral character for the last 3 years;
- They have not been convicted of a criminal offense that make them inadmissible or removable from the United States;
- Their removal may result in extreme hardship to themselves or their child or parent.
Board of Immigration Appeals
The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) is the highest administrative body for interpreting and applying immigration laws. If an immigration judge denies a motion or case, the respondent has the right to file an appeal with the BIA. In addition, under certain circumstances, an applicant may also appeal a decision made by USCIS to the BIA.
Within 30 days of the decision, the respondent or applicant must file a notice of appeal with BIA to begin their appeal. If a Notice of Appeal is not filed with the BIA within 30 days, the decision becomes final. After a Notice of Appeal is filed with the BIA, a receipt notice is issued and several months later, the BIA will set a briefing schedule. The appellant will generally have 30 days to file their brief, with the opposing party also having an opportunity to respond to the opening brief.
The BIA reviews their appeals based on written documentation, with no additional live proceedings. At the conclusion of the appeal, the BIA will issue a decision and, if unfavorable, the appellant can pursue an appeal in federal court.
Motion to Reopen or Reconsider
A Motion to Reopen with the Immigration Judge or BIA
A motion to reopen can be filed after an order of removal has been issued. A motion to reopen will allow the Immigration Judge or BIA to consider previously unavailable evidence and decide whether to reopen the case for further consideration. Some of the reasons to file a motion to reopen include:
- You missed a court hearing, and the immigration judge issued a removal order;
- Your attorney failed to properly represent you while you were in removal proceedings (ineffective assistance of counsel);
- There has been a change in circumstances, and you are now eligible for immigration relief;
- There has been a change of law that affects your case.
A Motion to Reconsider with the Immigration Judge or BIA
A motion to reconsider asks the Immigration Judge or BIA to reconsider a decision made on a case. A motion to reconsider must demonstrate that the decision was made incorrectly due to misapplication of law or fact.
The availability of a Motion to Reopen or Reconsider depends on the facts and applicable law of your case. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an immigration lawyer.
Prosecutorial discretion refers to the authority of U.S. immigration agencies to dedicate their resources to high-priority cases by closing or terminating non-priority cases.
If prosecutorial discretion is offered by the Office of the Chief Counsel (Department of Homeland Security) while in removal (court) proceedings, it can result in the Immigration Judge granting administrative closure or dismissal of the case. As a result, no future court hearings will be scheduled and under certain circumstances, a work permit can be renewed.
Administrative closure removes a case from the Immigration Judge’s calendar, but the case may still be re-opened by the respondent or the Department of Homeland Security. If a case is Terminated or Dismissed, it is no longer on the Immigration Judge’s calendar and cannot be reopened.
The availability of prosecutorial discretion depends on the administration and the facts of the case. It is best to speak to an immigration lawyer to determine whether prosecutorial discretion may be available to you if you are in removal proceedings.
VICTIMS OF CRIME AND ABUSE
The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. If an applicant is approved for a U visa, they are permitted to remain legally in the United States with work authorization and, under certain circumstances, can travel temporarily outside the United States. Additionally, the U visa recipient may thereafter be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (green card).
There are different types of U visas:
- U1: Victims of Crimes
- U2: Spouses of U1 visa holders
- U3: Children of U1 visa holders
- U4: Parents of U1 (only applicable if the U1 visa holder is younger than 21 years old and unmarried)
- U5: Siblings of U1 (only applicable if the brothers or sisters are younger than 21 years old and unmarried)
You may be eligible to apply for a U visa if you are a foreign national who meets the following criteria:
- You are a victim of one or more U visa qualifying crimes;
- You suffered physical or mental abuse because of the crime;
- The crime took place in the U.S. or violated U.S. laws;
- You have information on the criminal activity;
- You were helpful, are helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity;
- You are admissible to the United States or can obtain a waiver of inadmissibility;
The following family members may file for a U visa based on their relationship to the principal applicant:
- Children who are younger than 21 years old and unmarried;
- Parents (only applicable if principal applicant is younger than 21 years of age);
- Siblings (only applicable if principal applicant’s siblings are younger than 18 years old and if principal applicant is also younger than 21 years old)
Why Is There a Waiting List for U Visas?
The limit on the number of U visas that may be granted to principal applicants each year is 10,000. If the cap is reached before all U nonimmigrant applications have been adjudicated, USCIS will create a waiting list for any eligible principal or derivative applicants that are awaiting a final decision and a U visa. Applicants placed on the waiting list will be granted deferred action or parole and are eligible to apply for a work permit while they wait for additional visas to become available.
How Long Will My U Visa Be Valid & When Can I Apply for Permanent Residence (Green Card)?
A U visa is generally valid for up to four years. A U visa recipient is eligible to apply for permanent residence (green card) once they have resided in the United States for at least three years.
The Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) allows individuals to escape abusive relationships without jeopardizing their chances of obtaining lawful status in the United States. VAWA allows the victim to apply for permanent residence without needing the abuser. Both males and females can be eligible for VAWA.
Eligibility For a VAWA Self Petition
- The abuser is a permanent resident or U.S. Citizen;
- Applicant must be a current or former spouse or child of the abuser;
- Applicant suffered extreme cruelty or battery;
- There is evidence that the marriage occurred in good faith;
- Applicant is living in the United States unless the abuser is an employee of the U.S. government, member of the armed forces, or the battery or extreme cruelty happened in the United States;
- Applicant has lived with the abuser;
- Applicant is a person of good moral character.
What Is Considered Abuse?
There are two categories for abuse: (1) physical abuse or battery, which can include sexual abuse or forced sexual engagement and (2) non-physical abuse or extreme cruelty. Some common behavior that can constitute abuse for WAVA include:
- Threats of physically harm
- Threats to report to authorities, including ICE
- Withholding food or money
- Preventing contact with family
When Can a Victim File A VAWA Self Petition?
For spouses, they can file their self-petition during their marriage or within two years after marriage, whether it ended through divorce or death. The same applies to a child within an abusive relationship with a parent.
What If the Victim Has Immigration Problems?
Some VAWA applicants may need to request a waiver of inadmissibility for certain immigration violations. This waiver may need to demonstrate that the abuse was related to the immigration violation which is preventing the application from being admissible to the United States.
VAWA in Removal (Court) Proceedings
If the victim is in removal proceedings, they can apply for a VAWA cancellation of removal if the following requirements are met:
- Victim was subjected to abuse (extreme cruelty or battery) by a permanent resident or U.S. Citizen spouse or parent;
- Victim has been in the United States for at least three years prior to the VAWA application and the issue of the Notice to Appear (NTA);
- Victim has been a person of good moral character during the past 3 years;
- The victim’s removal would cause extreme hardship to themselves, their children, or their parents
The T nonimmigrant status (T visa) is for victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons to remain in the United States for an initial period of up to 4 years if they have complied with any reasonable request for assistance from law enforcement in the detection, investigation, or prosecution of human trafficking or qualify for an exemption or exception. If granted a T visa, the recipient may thereafter be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (green card). T nonimmigrant status is also available to certain qualifying family members of trafficking victims.
You may be eligible to apply for a T visa if you are a foreign national who meets the following criteria:
- You are or were a victim of severe form of trafficking in persons, which can be sex trafficking or labor trafficking;
- You have complied with any reasonable request from a law enforcement agency for assistance in the investigation or prosecuting of human trafficking or qualify for an exemption or exception;
- You can demonstrate that you would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States;
- You are admissible to the United States or can obtain a waiver of inadmissibility.
The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (“NACARA”) is one of several U.S. programs available to certain foreigners in the United States. When NACARA relief is granted, the Applicant can obtain permanent residence (Green Card) in the United States.
To be eligible for NACARA 203 relief, the applicant must be:
- A Guatemalan who first entered the United States on or before October 1, 1990; registered for ABC benefits on or before December 31, 1991; applied for asylum on or before January 3, 1995; and was not apprehended at time of entry after December 19, 1990.
- A Salvadoran who first entered the United States on or before September 19, 1990; registered for ABC benefits on or before October 31, 1991; applied for asylum on or before February 16, 1996; and was not apprehended at time of entry after December 19, 1990.
- A Guatemalan or Salvadoran who filed an application for asylum on or before April 1, 1990 and has not received a final decision on your asylum application.
- An individual who entered the United States on or before December 31, 1990; applied for asylum on or before December 31, 1991; and at the time of filing the application was from one of the former Soviet bloc countries (Soviet Union, Russia, any republic of the former Soviet Union, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, or any state of the former Yugoslavia).
Certain family members of someone eligible for NACARA can also apply for relief.
In addition to being an individual under one the above categories, the applicant must also demonstrate:
- Seven years of continuous physical presence in the United States;
- Good moral character during those seven years;
- That they are not removable under certain criminal grounds;
- That Applicant’s deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship to them or to their spouse, child, or parent who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; and
- Applicant deserves a favorable exercise of discretion.
Laws related to NACARA are complex. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an immigration lawyer.
Special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS) classification is available to children who have been subject to state juvenile court proceedings related to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis under state law. If SIJS classification is granted, the applicant may qualify for lawful permanent residence (Green Card).
You must satisfy the following requirements to qualify for SIJS classification:
- Physically present in the United States at the time of filing and adjudication of the Petition;
- Unmarried at the time of filing and adjudication of the Petition;
- Under the age of 21 at the time of filing the Petition;
- Have a valid juvenile court order issued by a state court in the United States which finds that you are dependent on the court, or in the custody of a state agency or department or an individual or entity appointed by the court and you cannot be reunified with one or both of your parents because of Abuse, Abandonment, Neglect or A similar basis under state law and It is not in your best interests to return to the country of nationality or last habitual residence of you or your parents.
Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) is a form that is submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to prove your relationship to an eligible relative who would like to adjust status or immigrate to the United States. To submit a family Petition, the Petitioner must be a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR or green card holder)
Only certain family members can be the beneficiary of a Family Petition. Based on the status of the Petitioner and relationship to the beneficiary, the Family Petition will be considered either under the family “preference immigrant” categories or as an “immediate relative”.
The beneficiary of a Family Petition is an immediate relative if:
- They are the spouse of a U.S. citizen;
- They are an unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen; or
- They are the parent of a U.S. citizen (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).
If under the family “preference immigrant” categories, the beneficiary of the Petition will need to wait for the priority date of their Petition to become current under the visa bulletin before they can move forward with their case.
An approved Family Petition is automatically revoked upon the death of the Petitioner. In this case, the Beneficiary may apply for humanitarian reinstatement of the Petition by finding a substitute sponsor. The substitute sponsor must be:
- A U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident;
- At least 18 years old; and
- The Beneficiary’s spouse, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sibling, child, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or legal guardian.
In most cases, the substitute sponsor must complete a new affidavit of support on behalf of the beneficiary.
If the beneficiary does not qualify for humanitarian reinstatement, they may be eligible for relief for under INA 204(l), which has additional requirements. Reinstating a revoked petition can be complex. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an immigration lawyer.
Adjustment of Status
Adjustment of Status is the process by which a foreign national applies for permanent residence (“green card”) when they are present in the United States.
Generally, to qualify for Adjustment of Status under INA 245(a), you must:
- Be inspected and admitted into the United States or inspected and paroled into the United States;
- Properly file an adjustment of status application;
- Be physically present in the United States;
- Be eligible to receive an immigrant visa;
- Have an immigrant visa immediately available when the applicant files the adjustment of status application and at the time of final adjudication;
- Be admissible to the United States for lawful permanent residence or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility or other form of relief;
- Merit the favorable exercise of discretion
The inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled requirement does not apply to INA 245(i) applicants and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) applicants. In addition, beneficiaries of an approved SIJ petition meet the inspected and admitted or inspected and paroled requirement, regardless of their manner of arrival in the United States.
Adjustment of Status is primarily used by immediate relatives, applicants who entered with a K-1 visa, refugees, asylees, and certain employer-sponsored visas.
Consular processing is the process by which a foreign national applies and obtains an immigrant visa through the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. Generally, consular processing has two different stages, beginning with the application and collection of required documentation and concluding with the in-person interview.
Consular processing is the final step after a long process beginning with a petition filed by a family member or employer. With multiple steps to complete before appearing for the in-person interview, it is important that you consult with an immigration lawyer to make sure your immigrant visa is issued, and you can travel to the U.S. without delay.
Conditional Permanent Residence
A conditional permanent resident receives their status (green card) with a validity of two years. Conditional Permanent Residence exists in the context of green cards through marriage or entrepreneurship.
To remove the conditions on permanent residence, the applicant must file a petition within the 90-day period before the conditional Green Card expires. If the conditions are not removed and the green card expires, the green card holder will be out of status and can be removed from the United States.
Removing Conditions on Permanent Residence Based on Marriage
Permanent resident status is conditional if it is based on a marriage that was less than two years old on the day the applicant became a permanent resident.
Generally, the applicant may apply to remove the conditions on permanent residence with their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or stepparent (“Filing Jointly”) if:
- The applicant is married to the same U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse after two years or the applicant’s parent is still married to the same U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse after two years and they are not included on their parent’s petition.
The applicant may file a Petition to remove the conditions without the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or stepparent (“Waiver for Filing Jointly”) if:
- Applicant’s deportation or removal would result in extreme hardship;
- Applicant or their parent entered into the marriage in good faith, but the spouse or stepparent died;
- Applicant or their parent entered into the marriage in good faith, but the marriage ended by annulment or divorce and the applicant was not at fault in failing to file a timely Petition;
- The marriage was entered in good faith, but the applicant or their child were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse;
- The marriage was entered in good faith, but during the marriage the applicant was battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident stepparent.
Immigration Benefits for Military Members, Enlistees and Their Families
Parole in Place for Military Families
You may be eligible for “Parole-in-Place”, if you are the spouse, parent, widow(er), parent, or child of an active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces; an individual in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve; or an individual who previously served on active duty or in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and was not dishonorably discharged.
Parole in place may be granted only to individuals who are present in the United States without admission and are therefore applicants for admission. If a military “parole-in-place” is granted, the individual may be eligible for Adjustment of Status under INA 245(a) if they are also the beneficiary of a Family Petition filed by an immediate relative.
As a form of prosecutorial discretion, deferred action can be granted to an individual who is in the United States without legal status. With deferred action, the Department of Homeland Security is allowing the individual to live in the United States without seeking their removal.
If granted deferred action, the individual may be eligible for a work permit if they can demonstrate “an economic necessity for employment”.
You may be eligible for “deferred action”, if you are the spouse, parent, widow(er), parent, or child of an active-duty member of the U.S. armed forces; an individual in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve; or an individual who previously served on active duty or in the Selected Reserve of the Ready Reserve and was not dishonorably discharged.
In the military “parole-in-place” context, deferred action can be useful for an undocumented parent who has a child in the military that has yet to turn 21 years of age to file a Family Petition on their behalf. If you have a family member who is an active member of the military or previously served, please contact us to determine your eligibility for immigration benefits.
Appeals (Motion to Reopen & Reconsider)
If a petition or application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is denied, you can:
- File a new petition
- File a motion to reopen
- File a motion to reconsider
A Motion to Reopen and a Motion to Reconsider can be filed either separately or together, depending on the circumstances of the case.
A motion to reopen must explain new facts and be supported by evidence not previously filed. A motion to reconsider must be supported by case law demonstrating that the unfavorable decision was based on an incorrect application of law or regulation.
There are specific deadlines to file a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an immigration lawyer to discuss your options.
The K-1 visa allows a United States citizen to bring their “fiancé” to the United States. Once their “fiancé” arrives to the United States, the couple must marry within 90 days, after which the foreign national can apply for permanent residence (“green card”) based on the marriage.
Is My Fiancé Eligible for A K-1 Visa?
- You must be a United States citizen;
- You and your partner must be able to marry, either because you are both single or divorced;
- You and your partner are in a bona fide relationship that you can demonstrate with evidence;
- Unless an exception applies, you and your partner can prove that you have met at least once in person in the two years before filing the petition;
- You and your partner will provide a written statement indicating your intention to marry within 90 days of your fiancée arriving to the United States;
- You can prove that your fiancée will not become a public charge.
Can My Fiancée’s Children Come to The United States?
Yes, if their children are unmarried and under the age of 21, they can apply for a K-2 visa.
TN Visas for Mexican and Canadian Nationals
The TN visa allows Canadians and Mexicans to temporarily work in prearranged business activities in the United States. The TN visas are only for certain professional occupations and the applicant must hold a licensure or bachelor’s degree from a university or college.
How Long Is the TN Status Valid?
TN status can be granted for 3 years, and extensions are available in 3-year increments, if the requirements are met, and the job offer is extended. TN status can be granted for fewer than three years if the intended employment will be completed within a shorter period.
0-1 Extraordinary Ability
The O-1 (O-1A and O-1B) visa allows foreign-born workers with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics to be legally employed in the United States for a short-term.
How Long Is The O-1 Status Valid?
The O-1 visa permits you to live and work in the U.S. for up to 3 years. Extensions can be granted for an additional 1 year, with no limit to the number of extensions.
Who Qualifies for An O-1 Visa?
To qualify for an O-1 Visa, you must have the following:
- A Job offer from a U.S. agent or sponsor in your field of work;
- You must work in your field while residing in the U.S.;
- You must demonstrate you have an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics;
- You must be recognized nationally or internationally in your field, or, if in the motion pictures or television industry, exhibit a record of extraordinary achievement.
What Is An O-2 Visa?
The O-2 visa allows foreign-born workers to be temporarily employed in the United States only if they are providing essential support to an extraordinary O-1 visa holder.
What Is An O-3 Visa?
The O-3 visa allows the dependents or immediate family members of O-1 and O-2 visa holders to live in the United States with their family member.
R-1 Religious Workers
R-1 visa holders are nonimmigrant religious workers who come to the United States to work part-time for a non-profit religious organization.
Who Is Eligible for R-1 Status?
To qualify for R-1 status, the applicant must have been a member of a religious denomination or non-profit religious organization operating in the United States for at least two years before the existing for prospective employer files a petition.
E-1/E-2 Visa for Small Business Owner, Entrepreneurs & Investors
Who Qualifies for an E-1 Visa?
Certain foreign nationals can apply for an E-1 Treaty Trader nonimmigrant visa to allow them to engage in international trade on their country’s behalf. Employees of organizations may also qualify for an E-1 treaty trader visa.
How Long Is An E-1 Visa Valid?
E-1 visa holders can remain in the U.S. for up to two years and can apply for an extension in increments of two years. There are no limits to the number of extensions.
Who Qualifies for An E-2 Visa?
Foreign nationals from countries with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S., can apply for an E-2 Treaty Investor nonimmigrant visa to allow them to develop or direct an enterprise in the United States. There are certain requirements for the proposed venture to be considered an investment.
After USCIS determines the venture qualifies as an investment, the applicant must also be a citizen of a country with a treaty of commerce and navigation with the U.S. and making a substantial investment in the U.S.
How Long Is An E-2 Visa Valid?
The E-2 visa has a maximum stay of two years but can be extended for two additional years. There is no limit to the number of extensions granted.
Can An E-2 Visa Be Obtained by Working As A Part Of The Enterprise Of The Treaty Investor?
Yes, and you may also qualify by working for a subsidiary or parent company. In this context, the applicant must be working in an executive role or have essential skills necessary for the enterprise’s operation in the U.S.
EB-1 Employment Based First Preference
The EB-1 category is for applicants with exemplary talents working for an employer in the U.S. Applicants who are within the following categories may be eligible for EB-1 classification and could lead to them qualifying for permanent residence (“green card”):
- Extraordinary ability: extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics with sustained national and international acclaim. To qualify, the applicant must meet at least 3 of the 10 criteria for demonstrating extraordinary ability outlined below.
- Outstanding professors and researchers: must demonstrate international recognition for your outstanding achievements in a particular academic field, with at least 3 years’ experience in teaching or research. The applicant must be entering the U.S. to pursue tenure or tenure track teaching or a comparable research position at a university, institution of higher education, or private employer. The applicant must meet 2 of the 6 criteria to show they are an outstanding professor or researcher.
- Multinational manager or executive: The employer must intend on employing the applicant in a managerial or executive capacity. In addition, the applicant must have been employed outside the U.S. for at least 1 year in the 3 years before the Petition or most recent lawful admission if the applicant is already working for the U.S. employer. The employer must have been doing business for at least 1 year and have a qualifying relationship to the entity the applicant worked for outside the U.S.
Criteria for Demonstrating Extraordinary Ability
- Evidence of receipt of lesser nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence;
- Evidence of your membership in associations in the field which demand outstanding achievement of their members;
- Evidence of published material about you in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence that you have been asked to judge the work of others, either individually or on a panel;
- Evidence of your original scientific, scholarly, artistic, athletic, or business-related contributions of major significance to the field;
- Evidence of your authorship of scholarly articles in professional or major trade publications or other major media;
- Evidence that your work has been displayed at artistic exhibitions or showcases;
- Evidence of your performance of a leading or critical role in distinguished organizations;
- Evidence that you command a high salary or other significantly high remuneration in relation to others in the field;
- Evidence of your commercial successes in the performing arts.
Examples of documentary evidence that a person is an outstanding professor or researcher
- Evidence of receipt of major prizes or awards for outstanding achievement;
- Evidence of membership in associations that require their members to demonstrate outstanding achievement;
- Evidence of published material in professional publications written by others about the noncitizen’s work in the academic field;
- Evidence of participation, either on a panel or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the same or allied academic field;
- Evidence of original scientific or scholarly research contributions in the field;
- Evidence of authorship of scholarly books or articles (in scholarly journals with international circulation) in the field
EB-2 Employment Based Second Preference
The EB-2 category is for applicants who are members of professions holding an advanced degree or its equivalent, or who have an exceptional ability. Applicants who are within the following categories may be eligible for EB-2 classification and could lead to them qualifying for permanent residence (“green card”):
- Exceptional abilities: The job must require an advance degree and the applicant possesses such degree, with additional work experience requirements. The applicant must also meet the requirements specified on the labor certification.
- National interest waiver: Must show exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, and meet a minimum number of criteria to qualify. The applicant must also meet the requirements specified on the labor certification.
EB-3 Employment Based Third Preference
The EB-3 category is for applicants with employers that want to immigrate them as professionals, skilled workers, and unskilled workers. Applicants who are within the following categories may be eligible for EB-3 classification and could lead to them qualifying for permanent residence (“green card”):
- Skilled Workers: For applicants whose jobs require a minimum of 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature. The skilled worker must meet the educational, training, or experience requirements of the job opportunity. Relevant post-secondary education may be considered as training.
- Professionals: For applicants whose job requires at least a U.S. baccalaureate or foreign equivalent degree and are a member of the professions.
- Unskilled Workers: For applicants performing unskilled labor requiring less than 2 years training or experience, not of a temporary or seasonal nature.
Among other requirements, petitions for EB-3 category must generally be accompanied by an approved, individual labor certification from the Department of Labor on Form ETA-9089.
EB-4 Employment Based Fourth Preference
The EB-4 category is for applicants who are special immigrants. The following special immigrants may be eligible for the fourth preference visa:
- Religious workers
- Special Immigrant Juveniles
- Certain broadcasters
- Certain retired officers or employees of a G-4 international organization or NATO-6 civilian employees and their family members
- Certain employees of the U.S. government who are abroad and their family members
- Members of the U.S. armed forces
- Panama Canal company or Canal Zone government employees
- Certain physicians licensed and practicing medicine in a U.S. state as of Jan. 9, 1978
- Afghan or Iraqi translators or interpreters
- Iraqis who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government; and
- Afghans who were employed by the U.S. government or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
EB-5 Employment Based Fifth Preference
The EB-5 category is for foreign investors to obtain permanent residence (“green card”). The foreign investor must make a necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
H-1B Specialty Occupation
The H-1B is for applicants who want to work in the U.S. in either a specialty occupation, on a cooperative research and development project under the Department of Defense (DOD), or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.
The following applicants may be eligible for an H-1B:
- H-1B Specialty Occupation: The occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The position must also meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation: Bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the particular position; the degree requirement is common to the industry in parallel positions among similar organizations or, in the alternative, the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree; The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or the nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.
To qualify to perform services in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria: Hold a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university; hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university; or hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be immediately engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.
- H-1B2 DOD Researcher and Development Project Worker: Job must require a bachelor’s or higher degree, or its equivalent, to perform the duties. The petition must be accompanied by: A verification letter from the DOD project manager for the particular project stating that the beneficiary will be working on a cooperative research and development project or a coproduction project under a reciprocal Government-to-Government agreement administered by DOD. Details about the specific project are not required; a general description of the beneficiary’s duties on the particular project and the actual dates of the beneficiary’s employment on the project; and a statement indicating the names of noncitizens currently employed on the project in the United States and their dates of employment and the names of noncitizens whose employment on the project ended within the past year.
To be eligible for this classification you must have a bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent in the occupational field in which you will be performing services. This requirement can be met based on one of the following criteria: Hold a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the duties from an accredited college or university; hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university; hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification that authorizes you to fully practice the duties of the job and be immediately engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment; or have education, specialized training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.
H-1B3 Fashion Model: The position/services must require a fashion model of prominence. The applicant must be a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.
To qualify for H-1B Specialty Occupation or H-1B3 Fashion Model, the prospective petitioner must include a Form ETA-9035/9035E, Labor Condition Application (LCA) certified by the Department of Labor (DOL), with the Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.
H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
The H-2B category is for applicants who wish to work temporarily in the United States at a job not related to agriculture.
Who Qualifies for A H-2B Visa?
Among other requirements, the applicant must demonstrate:
- There is a valid job offer for temporary or seasonal work from a U.S. employer;
- Applicant has the right skills, abilities, and background for the proposed employment;
- Applicant intends to return to their home country when their visa expires
The employer must demonstrate:
- There are not enough U.S. workers who are qualified, able, willing, and available to do the temporary employment and employing the foreign worker will not adversely affect wages and working conditions of similarly employed American workers; and
- The need for the foreign workers services or labor is temporary. The employer’s need is considered temporary if it is a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, peak load need, or intermittent need.
J-1 Student Exchange Visitors
The J-1 visa is for applicants who wish to visit the U.S. to participate in approved work-and-study-based programs for the purpose of teaching, instructing, or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, receiving training, or to receive graduate medical education or training.
Some exchange visitors include:
- Nanny or au pair
- Research assistant
- Camp counselor
L-1 Intra-Company Transferees
The L-1 visa is for applicants who wish to work in the United States temporarily as an intracompany transferee working in managerial position or having specialized knowledge.
Am I Eligible for The L-1 Classification?
You may qualify for the L-1 classification if you meet all the following requirements:
- You are an intracompany transferee who has been employed abroad continuously for at least one year within the three previous years;
- You are being offered employment by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the same employer in the U.S.;
- You are working in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity.
The student visa is for applicants who wish to pursue full-time academic or vocational studies in the United States. The “F” category is for academic students and the “M” is for vocational students.
Types of Visas:
- F-1: Academic Students
- F-2: Spouses and children of F-1
- F-3: Canadian or Mexican National Academic Commuter Students
- M-1: Vocational Students
- M-2: Spouses and Children of M-1
- M-3: Canadian or Mexican National Vocational Commuter Students
What Are the Requirements for A Student Visa?
- Enrollment in an academic educational, vocational, or language-training program in the United States;
- Enrollment with an institution approved by the Student and Exchange Visitors Program;
- Proficiency in English, or a program for the applicant to achieve English proficiency;
- Maintaining residence abroad to demonstrate non-immigrant intent.
B-2 Visitor Visas
A foreign national can apply for a B-2 nonimmigrant visa to travel to the U.S. for a temporary stay.
What Can I Do in The U.S. With A B-2 Visitor Visa?
B-2 visa holders can come to the U.S. to participate in activities that are recreational in nature, including:
- Visit with family or friends
- Medical reasons
- Activities of a fraternal, social or service nature
- Participate in amateur musical, sports, or similar events without compensation
All tourist visa applicants must demonstrate that they are coming to the United States on a temporary basis.
Validity Of Tourist Visa
Tourist visas are commonly valid for 10 years. Although they allow multiple trips, it is important for the visa holder to not use their visas to establish residence in the U.S.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
What Is DACA?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) and is protection from deportation for certain individuals whose parents brought them to the United States as children. DACA recipients can obtain a work permit and under certain circumstances, an advance parole to travel outside the United States temporarily.
Who Qualifies for DACA?
Despite ongoing litigation, eligibility requirements for DACA remain the same as when originally announced during the Obama Administration:
- Age Requirement: Must have been under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012;
- Age when brought to United States: Must have entered the U.S. before turning 16 years of age;
- Residence Requirement: Must have continuously resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007;
- Physical Presence Requirement: Must have been physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012;
- Legal Status Requirement: Must not have had lawful immigration status as of June 15, 2012;
- Educational Completion or Related Experience Requirement: Must meet any of the following requirements:
- Currently in school in the United States;
- Graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school;
- Obtained a general education development (GED) certificate; or
- Was honorably discharged of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the U.S.
- Criminal History Requirement: Must not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, or three or more other misdemeanors. Also, must not be a threat to national security or public safety.
Advance Parole is a form of travel authorization that allows the applicant to return to the United States after temporary travel. There is single use advance parole and multiple use advance parole available, depending on the immigration status of the applicant. It is important to file and obtain advance parole before traveling abroad, otherwise the applicant risks abandoning their application or being unable to re-enter the United States.
DACA recipients are permitted to travel abroad with an advance parole, however certain conditions must be met:
- The applicant’s DACA must be valid;
- The advance parole travel document must be issued before travelling abroad, otherwise the applicant will be denied re-entry and will lose their DACA status;
- The applicant must demonstrate the purpose of their travel is for “humanitarian, education, or employment” reasons;
- Humanitarian purposes include travel to obtain medical treatment, attend to a sick or elderly relative, or to attend funeral services;
- Educational purposes include study abroad or academic research;
- Employment purposes include conferences, training, work meetings, interviews, or overseas work assignments.
Please be advised, although DHS grants permission to travel under Advance Parole, the applicant can still be denied re-entry after they travel.
Temporary Protected Status
Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) is a temporary immigration status provided to nationals of certain countries due to country conditions that make it difficult or unsafe for them to return to their home country. The Secretary of Homeland Security grants TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries who are already in the United States.
TPS recipients are eligible for work authorization and are protected from deportation as long as their home country remains designated for said protection. In addition, under certain circumstances, TPS may be eligible for advance parole for temporary travel outside the United States.
To qualify for TPS, an individual must:
- Be a national of the foreign country with a TPS designation (or if stateless, have last habitually resided in a country with a TPS designation);
- Be continuously physically present in the United States since the effective date of the designation;
- Have continuously resided in the United States since a date specified by the Secretary of Homeland Security; and
- Not be inadmissible to the United States or be barred from asylum for certain criminal or national security-related reasons, such as individuals who have been convicted of any felony or two or more misdemeanors.
Nationals of a designated country do not automatically receive TPS, but instead must register during a specific registration period.
Which Countries Have TPS?
As of January 2023, the following 15 countries are currently designated for TPS
- El Salvador
- South Sudan
Fraud or Misrepresentation
An applicant who is inadmissible to the United States because of fraud or willful misrepresentation may be eligible for a waiver. This waiver allows families to remain together despite fraud or misrepresentation committed by the applicant.
If fraud or willful misrepresentation exists, the applicant must meet the following requirements before a waiver can be granted:
- The applicant must show that denial of admission to or removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship to his or her qualifying relative (or if the applicant is a VAWA self-petitioner, to himself or herself); and
- The applicant must show that a favorable exercise of discretion is warranted.
A qualifying relative for this waiver is a parent or spouse who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
In addition to the above, a fraud or willful misrepresentation waiver generally requires a showing that granting the waiver is warranted as a matter of discretion. In making this determination, the adjudicator will determine whether the applicant’s positive factors outweigh the negative factors.
Provisional Unlawful Presence
An applicant who is inadmissible to the United States for living in the United States without authorization may be eligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver. This charge of inadmissibility occurs when an applicant has accrued unlawful presence and upon departing the United States, will be barred from returning for an extended period of time. Depending on the amount of time unlawfully present in the United States, the Applicant may not be allowed to return to the United States for a period of up to 10 years. The provisional unlawful presence waiver can be obtained through USCIS before departing the United States.
If an applicant has accumulated unlawful presence, the following must be met before this waiver can be granted:
- Must be physically present in the United States and be at least 17 years old;
- Must have an underlying family or employment petition with the Department of State (DOS);
- It can be shown that the Applicant’s U.S. citizen or LPR qualifying relative will suffer extreme hardship if USCIS denies the waiver. For purposes of this waiver, a qualifying relative is a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or LPR.
The Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver only forgives unlawful presence in the United States and does not cover any crimes that may render you inadmissible to the United States. If there are any other reasons you think might affect your chances of obtaining permanent residence, for example a criminal history, please speak to an immigration lawyer to review your case before pursuing a provisional waiver.
Anyone who has engaged in or has been convicted of alien smuggling may be deportable from or inadmissible to the United States. However, a person who has engaged in alien smuggling may be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility which would allow him or her to move forward with an application for an immigration benefit or even avoid deportation.
Alien Smuggling Inadmissibility Waiver
There are two basic requirements for this discretionary waiver:
The person applying for the waiver must:
- Be a lawful permanent resident who temporarily traveled abroad voluntarily (not under an order of deportation or removal) and is otherwise admissible OR a person applying for a green card based on a family-based petition (including immediate relatives or through a first, second, or third preference visa petition—but not through a fourth preference visa petition for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens); and
- Have smuggled only her spouse, parent, son, or daughter (and no other individual).
Once a person has met these requirements, they must convince the adjudicator to grant the waiver to assure family unity or in the public interest.
Alien Smuggling Deportable Waiver
The deportation ground can apply to someone who commits alien smuggling even if there is no conviction. The person must have committed alien smuggling before, during, or within five years of any entry into the United States to be deportable. However, a waiver does exist for the alien smuggling ground of deportation (non-aggravated felony).
To qualify for this waiver, the Legal Permanent Resident must have smuggled only his or her parent, spouse, son or daughter, and that person must have had that family status at the time the smuggling occurred. Furthermore, the same exemption applies for noncitizens eligible for Family Unity with regards to deportability under INA §237(a)(1)(E)(ii), as to inadmissibility under INA § 212(a)(6)(E)(ii).
Permission to Reapply for Admission After Deportation
Among the grounds of inadmissibility are bars to admission after a person has been removed pursuant to a removal order or after a person has re-entered the United States unlawfully after accruing over one year of unlawful presence or after a prior order of removal.
Asking for consent to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (“Permission to Reapply for Admission”) can help an applicant overcome the following situations:
- Overcome inadmissibility under INA § 212(a)(9)(A), which is triggered for a certain number of years when a person is either physically removed from the United States pursuant to a removal order or otherwise departs while a removal order is outstanding, thereby executing the order. If granted, the Permission to Reapply for Admission allows that person to seek admission to the United States even though they have not waited the required period of time after a removal.
- Once a person has been outside the United States for at least 10 years, a Permission to Reapply for Admission can overcome the “permanent bar” under INA § 212(a)(9)(C), which is triggered when a person enters or tries to enter the U.S. without inspection after being unlawfully present for over one year or after a removal order.
Please note, a “conditional” Permission to Reapply for Admission can be sought before an individual’s departure from the United States if that departure would also trigger 212(a)(9)(A) inadmissibility.
There are no prerequisites for applying for Permission to Reapply for Admission. The application is entirely discretionary, and the adjudicator will be weighing the favorable factors against the unfavorable. Some common factors that can be addressed include:
- The basis and recency of deportation
- Length of residence in the U.S.
- Moral character of the applicant
- Criminal history and evidence of rehabilitation
- Family responsibilities of applicant
- Inadmissibility to the U.S. under other sections of law
- Hardship involved to the applicant and others
- The need for the applicant’s services in the U.S
- Whether Applicant may become a public charge
If a person is convicted of a crime, they may be deemed “inadmissible” to the United States and denied permanent residence (green card) or found to be “deportable”. 212h waivers can help an applicant obtain or keep their permanent residence (green card) despite their criminal record.
Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility Subject to Waiver:
- Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude: A conviction of (or admitting having committed or admitting acts which constitute the essential elements of) a crime involving moral turpitude (e.g., an offense involving an intent to defraud) or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such a crime;
- Multiple Criminal Convictions: A conviction of two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentences to confinement were five years or more (regardless of whether the conviction was in a single trial, the offenses arose from a single scheme of misconduct, or the offenses involved moral turpitude);
- Prostitution and Commercialized Vice: Had sought to come to the United States to engage in certain prostitution-related activities or other unlawful commercialized vice (or previously had engaged in prostitution activities within ten years of an application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status);
- Serious Criminal Activity for Which Immunity was Granted: The commission of a “serious criminal offense” (e.g., any felony) for which immunity from prosecution was exercised, and as a result of the exercise of immunity, the alien had departed from the United States; and
- Controlled Substance Violations: A conviction of (or admitting having committed or admitting acts which constitute the essential elements of) a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation relating to a controlled substance, but only to the extent the offense relates to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.
Eligibility Requirements for a Waiver:
A person applying for a 212(h) waiver must satisfy one of the four requirements described in the statute to establish eligibility for the waiver.
First, an applicant may qualify for a waiver if the criminal activities that make them inadmissible occurred more than fifteen years before their application for an immigrant visa, admission, or adjustment of status. Moreover, the adjudicator must determine that the applicant’s admission “would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States,” and that the applicant has been rehabilitated.
Second, an applicant may qualify for a waiver if they are inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(2) only on the grounds that they engaged in (or sought to engage in) prostitution-related activities. Moreover, the adjudicator must determine that the applicant’s admission “would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States,” and that the applicant has been rehabilitated.
Third, the applicant is eligible for a waiver if they are the spouse, parent, son, or daughter of a U.S. citizen or an LPR, and they show that the denial of his or her admission would cause “extreme hardship” to the qualifying family member.
Finally, a waiver may be available if the applicant is seeking adjustment of status based on an approved “self- petition” under provisions of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), as amended, as the battered spouse or child of a U.S. citizen or LPR.
Foreign nationals who are otherwise inadmissible can use non-immigrant waivers (also known as a “Hranka waiver” or “212d waiver”) to enter and stay in the United States temporarily. The non-immigrant visa waivers can waive only certain inadmissibility grounds, including immigration fraud, unlawful presence, criminal convictions, and health issues
Who Is Eligible to Apply for A Nonimmigrant Waiver?
In addition to other requirements, an applicant may be eligible to apply for the Hranka waiver if:
- They want to enter the U.S. as a non-immigrant;
- Their stay in the U.S. is only temporary;
- There are plans to return to their home country after their temporary travel
A Hranka waiver can be applied for at a U.S. Consular Post or a U.S. Port of Entry.