What are the top 10 reasons the US will keep me out?

10 Grounds for inadmissibility to the USThe American immigration system is filled with laws and rules that many people do not know about.  These laws can be a problem when applying for legal residence, because if violated they can make you ineligible for a green card.  The main example of these laws is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.  They are presently found in the Immigration and Naturalization Act sections 212(a)(1) through (10). There 10 main disqualifiers for a green card.  Some are obvious, but others would surprise the most diligent applicant.  There are waivers for some of these disqualifiers, but not for all.

The 10 Grounds for Inaddmissibility to the US

These ten reasons to keep you out of the US are:

  1. Health – if you have a very dangerous health issue, such as a dangerous disease (tuberculosis) or a severe psychological disorder (that may cause harm to themselves or others), you will be ineligible;
  2. Criminal – If you have been arrested for any reason you must check to make sure it doesn’t make you ineligible for your green card.  An arrest is typically not an automatic disqualified but a conviction can be. You need to be concerned with Aggravated Felonies, Crimes of Moral Turpitude, Controlled Dangerous Substances, and multiple convictions;
  3. Security – this is one of the obvious ones.  If the American government has any reason to believe that you would pose a threat to national security, like terrorism or espionage, you will be ineligible for a green card;   
  4. Public charge – is defined as anyone who is likely to become dependent on public assistance because of age, health status, or poverty, will be ineligible;
  5. Labor – violation that applies to employment immigration such as work visas. Typically you are coming into the U.S. because you have a visa and wish to get your green card.  You can be found inadmissible at the consulate or by a border agent, in either case, you will not be allowed to enter the U.S. unless you receive a waiver or the agency was mistaken in finding you inadmissible;
  6. Illegal entry – This not only covers its namesake, but also covers violations of immigration law.  For example, anyone who enters illegally, renters illegally after being deported, falsely claims to be a US citizen, or participates in “alien smuggling” will be barred from a green card application.  Less common are those who failed to attend removal proceedings or misrepresented a material fact in an immigration petition to gain an immigration benefit;
  7. Documentation – This refers specifically to requiring the proper documentation to enter the country, which can sometimes be difficult to obtain. For example, you apply for a tourist visa and the consulate turns your down for lack of documentation proving your intent to return to your country.  In other words, the agency believes you will stay in the U.S. because you didn’t prove otherwise; 
  8. Ineligibility for citizenship is a lesser-known violation that only applies in very strict circumstances.  An example of this would be a deserter from the US military;  
  9. Previous removal or unlawful presence – Previous removal or unlawful presence is very similar to illegal entry, but it focuses much more heavily on deportation.  As with many others, there are waivers, but having been previously deported does make it more difficult to get a green card. 
  10. Miscellaneous – This section covers various things, such as unlawful voting and polygamy, which very rarely apply, and are usually of little concern.

With many of these grounds of inadmissibility there are waivers available and exceptions that may apply.  However, if you believe that any of these issues may apply to you talk to a qualified immigration attorney before you apply.

Free Resources Available for You

If you face an immigration challenge we have some valuable resources for you:

  1. Do You Qualify for Legal Status?  If you aren’t legal in the U.S. you owe it to yourself to find out if you can get legal status.  Select the link, answer the questions, and find out for FREE.
  2. Do You Need an Immigration Attorney? You Might Not – I will explain when you need an immigration attorney.  Not every needs one.  I will also explain the benefits of hiring one in any immigration challenge.
  3. 7 Critical Questions to ask Before Hiring an Immigration Attorney – If you have decided that you need an immigration attorney, how do you make sure you hire a good one?  I explain to you the questions you need to ask before you hire your immigration attorney.
  4. An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court – Here I discuss what happens if you get arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement, what you need to know to get out of custody, and what to expect if you are placed in removal hearings.  I also explain the municipal court process and how a municipal court matter can result in your being placed into removal proceedings.

If you have immigration questions, we have answers.  You can,

  1. Call our knowledgeable staff at 888-695-6169;
  2. Fill out our contact us form on this page; or
  3. Select our live chat feature to speak to someone right away.

We help immigrants, one petition at a time.

Share This Post!

Related Posts

Call Us Today!

New Jersey Immigration Attorney

We're here 24/7.
Call Now!

Eatontown, NJ


286 RT 35
Unit D
Eatontown, NJ 07724


Lakewood, NJ


212 2nd Street
Suite 104
Lakewood, NJ 08701


Newark, NJ


50 Park Place
Suite #1101
Newark, NJ 07102


Edison, NJ


1929 NJ-27
Edison, NJ 08817


1065 US-22 Suite 2B
Bridgewater Township, NJ 08807


Freehold, NJ


36 W Main St, Suite 302,
Freehold, NJ 07728


Copyright 2022 Provencher and Flatt, LLP - All Rights Reserved. Powered by Advantage Attorney Marketing & Cloud Solutions

Free Deportation Risk Assessment

Where you ever caught at by immigration and returned to your country? (¿Dónde alguna vez te pilló inmigrando y regresaste a tu país?)*

Have you ever been arrested for any reason? (¿Alguna vez te han arrestado por alguna razón?)*

How many times have been arrested? (¿Cuántas veces han sido arrestados?)*

Were you arrested for any of the following reasons? (Check all that apply) (¿Te arrestaron por alguna de las siguientes razones?)

Have you ever filed for an immigration benefit and been denied? (¿Alguna vez ha presentado un beneficio de inmigración y se le ha negado?)*

Have you entered the US illegally more than once after 1997? (¿Ha entrado ilegalmente en los Estados Unidos más de una vez después de 1997?)*

Do you owe back child support? (¿Debes manutención infantil?)*

Arrested in New Jersey

Request Your Free Copy

Solicite su copia gratuita

Immigration Book

Request Your Free Copy

Solicite su copia gratuita

Immigration Attorney

Request Your Free Copy

Solicite su copia gratuita

Find Out Immediately If You Qualify for Legal Status


Your privacy is important to us. We will keep the information you provide strictly confidential. We only use your information to determine if you may be eligible for immigration benefits in the United States. The information we provide should not be construed as legal advice and submission of this form does not create an attorney/client relationship.

Ingrese la siguiente información para aceptar los términos y condiciones.

Enter the following information to accept the terms and conditions.

Start Here!

Información Personal / Personal Information


Idioma Preferido*

Preferred Language

Fecha Nacimiento*

Date of Birth

Pais de Nacimiento*

Country of Birth

Entradas a las EEUU / Entries into the US


Fecha Entrada*

Date of Entry

Entrada Legal*

Did you enter legally?



¿Tiene usted padres, conyuge o hijos mayores de 21 anos,Que ha estado o esta en las fuerzas armadas Americanas?*

Do you have a parent, spouse, or child over 21 who is or was in the US military?

¿Tiene usted padres,conyuge o hijos mayores de 21 anos, ciudadanos Americanos o residentes permanentes?*

Do you have a parent, spouse, or child over 21 who is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident?

¿Ha tenido usted, sus padres o sus abuelos un estado legal en los EEUU?*

Did you, your parents, or your grandparents ever have legal status in the U.S.?

¿Esta considerando matrimonio con us ciudadano Americano o residente permanente? ( mismo sexo incluido)*

Are you considering marriage to a US citizen or green card holder (same-sex marriage included)?



¿Alguien ha peticionado a su favor por motivos de inmigración?*

Has anyone ever filed an immigration petition for you before?

¿Ha sido usted deportado o esta usted en procedimiento de deportación ahora?*

Have you ever been deported or are you in deportation proceedings now?

Ha sido abusado por sus padres, conyuge o hijo mayor de edad?*

Has your parent, spouse, or adult child been abusive to you?

¿Si es asi, fue previo a Abril 30 del 2001?*

If so, was it before April 30, 2001?



¿Fue usted, conyuge, sus padres, pareja o sus hijos victimas de de un crimen violento en los EEUU?*

Were you, your parents, siblings, spouse, partner, or children a victim of a violent crime in the US?

¿Es usted menor de 21 años y soltero?*

Are you under 21 and not married?

¿Tiene usted un padre, conyuge o hijo menor de 15 anos con requerimientos especiales médicos (dificultades de estudio, alergias severas, asma u otra condición medica severa)?*

Do you have a parent, spouse, or child under 15 with medical or special needs (learning disability, severe allergies or asthma, or other serious medical condition)?

¿Fue usted maltratado, abusado o abandonado por sus padres?*

Did your parents mistreat, abuse, or abandon you?



¿Tenia usted 30 anos o menos en Junio, 15, 2012?*

Were you 30 years or under on June 15, 2012?

¿Tenía usted 15 años o menos en su primera entrada en los EEUU?*

Were you 15 years old or younger on your first entry into the US?

Click below now to see if you qualify!

¡Haga clic abajo ahora para ver si califica!

New Jersey Immigration Attorney

Get Instant Access

Enter your name and email address below to get instant access.

New Jersey Immigration Attorney

¡Obtenga acceso instantáneo ahora!

Ingrese su nombre y dirección de correo electrónico a continuación