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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.