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212(h) Waiver Application


Waiver for Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility

What is a 212(h) waiver?

212(h) waivers are used for people who have criminal convictions and are “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. A 212(h) waiver provides a critical discretionary waiver of eligible crimes-based inadmissibility grounds, which include:

  • Crimes involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”)
  • Prostitution
  • Single offense of possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana

The crimes-based inadmissibility ground of CIMT is notoriously vague. CIMTs have been alternatively defined as depraved or immoral acts, violations of basic duties owed to fellow man, or “reprehensible acts” with a criminal intent of recklessness at minimum.[1] Immigration laws defining CIMTs are constantly changing, and we at Yekrangi & Associates are equipped with the knowledge and passion to fight for your case.

The Aggravated Felony Bar

Immigration and Naturalization Act (“INA”) Section 212(h) generally bars noncitizens from waiver eligibility if he or she has previously been admitted to the United States lawfully for permanent residence and since the date of such admission the noncitizen has been convicted of an aggravated felony.[2] Some examples of aggravated felonies, as defined under INA § 101(a)(43), are:

  • Alien smuggling;
  • Burglary;
  • Illegal re-entry after deportation or removal for conviction of an aggravated felony;
  • Murder;
  • Prostitution;
  • Receiving of stolen property

However, a noncitizen convicted of an aggravated felony meeting certain conditions may be able to successfully apply for a “stand-alone” 212(h) waiver. This is why it is so important a skilled legal team guide you along through the application process.

Who qualifies for a 212(h) waiver?

  • Applicants whose denial of admissibility would result in extreme hardship to the applicant’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, children, or parent
  • Applicants with convictions of 15 years older or more or if the conviction consists solely of prostitution, and the applicant has been rehabilitated
  • Applicants who are Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners

Please keep in mind that 212(h) waivers are discretionary, which means that the immigration officer reviewing your case has the ultimate say in deciding whether or not to approve your waiver. This is why having immigration professionals such as Ashkan Yekrangi and his team on your side is indispensable in applying for a waiver for criminal grounds of inadmissibility.

Why Having an Immigration Attorney is Crucial

The asylum application process is complicated, and individuals who attempt to take on immigration law alone have the potential to harm their case. An experienced immigration attorney can guide you through the application process and help you gather the necessary evidence and documentation related to your case. Having an attorney on your side can increase the chances of getting your waiver application approved.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with immigration waivers, our team of experienced immigration lawyers can help. Contact Yekrangi & Associates at (949) 478-4963 for more information about how we can help you with all your immigration needs.

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