Our office received approval of the I-601 Application of Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility for a client who was subject to a lifetime ban from being admitted to the United States pursuant to INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).
Our client was charged and convicted of conduct which occurred between 1995 and 1997, for which offense he was fined over $10,000 USD and given a sentence of 31 months. These convictions triggered the lifetime inadmissibility bar pursuant to INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) “Crimes involving moral turpitude.” After being discharged from prison, he was removed from the United States and returned to his home country of Israel.
The waiver applicant’s U.S. citizen daughter contacted me after her father was denied admission to the U.S. following his immigrant visa interview at the U.S. embassy in Israel. We initiated work on this case after a detailed consultation by first sending the clients our Waiver Worksheets. Our Waiver Worksheets contain a comprehensive list of questions for our clients to answer along with a detailed checklist of supporting documents to gather – all for the purpose of eliciting every piece of information that will allow us to prepare a winning immigration waiver package on behalf of our clients.
A thoroughly researched and documented waiver memorandum and package was subsequently prepared by our office based on the fact that more than 15 years have passed since the applicant was convicted of criminal offense in the United States; the clear evidence that his admission would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety or security of the United States; and that he has been fully rehabilitated.
Legal Requirements of the § 212(h) Waiver
Section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a discretionary waiver for the following criminal grounds of inadmissibility:
- Crimes involving moral turpitude (subparagraph 212(a)(2)(A)(I))
- Multiple criminal convictions (212(a)(2)(B))
- Prostitution and commercial vice (212(a)(2)(D))
- Certain aliens who have asserted immunity from prosecution (212(a)(2)(E))
- An offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana (212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II))
INA 212(h)(1)(A) provides that certain grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)-(II), (B), and (E) of the Act may be waived in the case of an alien who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that:
- the activities for which she is inadmissible occurred more than fifteen years before the date of the alien’s application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status;
- the admission would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the U.S.; and
- the alien has been rehabilitated;
INA 212(h)(1)(B) provides that certain grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)-(II), (B), (D)-(E) of the Act may be waived in the case of an alien who:
- has a parent, spouse, son, or daughter who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States; and
- the parent, spouse, son, or daughter would suffer “extreme hardship” on account of the alien’s ineligibility to immigrate
Waiver applicants must also show that their application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in his or her case.
In support of my client’s I-601 waiver application, I prepared a comprehensive legal brief going over how the facts and circumstances of his situation met the legal standards of both INA 212(h)(1)(A) and INA 212(h)(1)(B), including citations of existing case law favorable to my client’s case. In other words, we went beyond what was required by presenting both legal arguments and documentary evidence to demonstrate eligibility for the I-601 waiver under two separate provisions of the Immigration & Nationality Act.
I showed that my client is rehabilitated and his admission not contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the U.S., based upon his long-history as a successful small business owner; his charitable acts including regularly donating food to local religious-educational institutions; as well as his selfless dedication to the care and education of his U.S. citizen children. I argued that even while in prison serving his sentence, he took advantage of the educational opportunities afforded to him to earn his high school equivalency; completed a custodial skills training program; and obtained early release from prison for good behavior.
I presented in-depth evidence that he committed himself to being an ethical, law-abiding, and respected member of his community after his release from prison. His impeccable conduct for over 15+ years as well as a myriad of affidavits by friends and family proved that our client posed absolutely no risk to the safety or welfare of the U.S., and in fact, would substantially contribute to the U.S. if admitted as a permanent resident.
It is often important in waiver applications to demonstrate (when possible) an important turning point in an applicant’s life, which provides a marker that the USCIS officer can point to and remember has having effected a fundamental change in the applicant’s outlook and conduct.
We also discussed how the unique circumstances and dynamics of this family, and being unable to lawfully reside in the U.S., was presently causing extreme psychological, emotional, medical, and financial hardship to multiple U.S. citizen qualifying relatives. We presented arguments showing how these extreme hardship factors would worsen if our client is not admitted into the United States.
An extensive collection of fifteen separate legal exhibits also provided a variety of evidence in support of our client’s good moral character and rehabilitation, as well as a finding of extreme hardship that his qualifying relatives would suffer in the event his I-601 waiver was denied.
As a result of our efforts, our client was approved for the 601 waiver and will be receiving his lawful permanent residence to join his family in the United States.