U.S. immigration law is among the strictest in the world. There are few ways to qualify and countless ways to become disqualified for a visa or green card.
Fortunately, the law does provide limited options for overcoming obstacles to immigration and avoiding deportation (removal). Immigration waivers allow you to pursue lawful status. And if you are facing deportation, you might qualify for other options to remain in the United States. These options and waivers include:
- Unlawful presence hardship waiver (I-601): The law generally requires those who have lived in the United States unlawfully to leave the country and wait for three or 10 years before reentering. This waiver avoids the long wait period. However, you must be able to demonstrate extreme hardship — a difficult standard to meet.
- Provisional unlawful presence waiver (I-601A): This special form of unlawful presence waiver also allows you to avoid the three- or 10-year wait to obtain a green card. If you have immediate family members who are U.S. citizens, you may be able to apply for the waiver while in the U.S., which means you will spend less time living apart from your family.
- Obtaining a green card while remaining in the United States (245(i)): If you qualify, this waiver will allow you to remain in the U.S. while obtaining a green card, despite having entered the country without inspection. It avoids the hardship of returning to your home country for consular processing.
- Waiver of certain criminal offenses (212(h)): A criminal record can prevent you from obtaining a lawful immigration status in the United States. This waiver will overlook certain crimes so you can qualify for a visa or green card.
- Prosecutorial discretion: The government dismisses a significant number of deportation cases every year on a case-by-case basis. If you have no criminal record and are facing deportation, you should consider applying to get your case dismissed.
- Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): Did you come to the U.S. as a child without a lawful immigration status? You might qualify to avoid deportation. While you won’t obtain a visa or green card through DACA alone, you can at least remain in the United States and receive a work permit.
The immigration waiver process begins by determining whether you qualify for any forms of relief. A detailed analysis of your situation — and a thorough understanding of immigration law — is essential for success.
Discuss Your Situation
At the Law Offices of George Giosmas, our attorney has more than 30 years of experience navigating the intricacies of immigration law. You can turn to us for one-on-one guidance in exploring your options.
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