Waivers for Fraud or Willful Misrepresentation
What is a 212(i) waiver?
Under Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i), a noncitizen who seeks to procure, has sought to procure, or procured any benefit under the INA by fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact, is inadmissible to the United States. “Inadmissible” means an applicant is physically present in the United States, but he or she has not been legally admitted in any status. An applicant who is inadmissible for fraud or willful misrepresentation may be eligible for a 212(i) waiver. A grant of a 212(i) waiver permanently waives fraud or willful misrepresentation included in the application for purposes of any future immigration benefits application for both immigrants and nonimmigrants.
Who qualifies for a 212(i) waiver?
- An immigrant who is the spouse, son, or daughter of a U.S. citizen or of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence that will suffer “extreme hardship” if the petitioner is denied admission
- An applicant filing for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status based on a family-based petition or a Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) self-petitioner
- An applicant filing for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status based on an employment-based petition
- A nonimmigrant K visa applicant (fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens and their accompanying minor children, foreign spouses, and step-children of U.S. citizens)
- A nonimmigrant V visa applicant (spouses and unmarried children under age 21, or step-children of lawful permanent residents)
“Extreme hardship” to the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent has been defined in various ways by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), case law, and governmental regulations. USCIS has listed five hardship factors that may support a finding of extreme hardship:
- Family ties and impact
- Social and cultural impact
- Economic impact
- Health conditions and care
- Country conditions
Consulting an immigration attorney as to whether extreme hardship is met in an application for a 212(i) waiver is always a good idea, because this fluid standard is a constant matter of legal debate.
An applicant not in removal (i.e., deportation) proceedings seeking a 212(i) waiver may fill out Form I-601, an Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. An applicant in removal proceedings may apply for a 212(i) waiver as a defense to removal.
212(i) waivers are discretionary, which means that immigration adjudicators will weigh positive and negative factors in an applicant’s particular case when deciding whether or not to rule in his or her of favor. Qualified immigration law practitioners such as Ashkan Yekrangi and his team can ensure that you present your strongest case to adjudicators, and therefore, have your best chance at obtaining a 212(i) waiver.
Obtaining a waiver for fraud or willful misrepresentation is a challenging process but having respectable legal professionals by your side can make all the difference. Contact an immigration attorney at Yekrangi & Associates today.