Yearly, people learn that their application for an immigration visa or their application to receive a green card will be denied unless they receive a criminal conviction waiver. Many people first find out about this requirement when they are speaking to the consular looking to begin the their immigration process. Some people learn about their need to get this waiver as they are going through the process of receiving an adjustment of status for their green card. Depending on your unique situation, a criminal conviction waiver may be necessary so that you can move forward.
What Is a Criminal Conviction Waiver?
If a person is convicted of a crime, they may be deemed “inadmissible” by the US government. Being classified inadmissible means that a person cannot receive a lawful immigrant visa or obtain a green card through the adjustment of status process.Many are surprised to learn that even if their conviction was expunged, if they committed a crime while they were a minor, participated in alternative sentencing programs, were convicted of a misdemeanor, or never had to spend any time in jail, they still may be deemed “inadmissible” by the US government.
Being accepted for a criminal immigration waiver allows a person to receive forgiveness from their inadmissible status and it gives them the green light to take the next steps in the immigration process.
Penalties for Certain Convictions
If you are convicted for certain severe crimes, you may be deemed permanently inadmissible by the US government. It will not matter if you have a strong connection to the United States, or it will not matter if you are married to a US citizen. In order to get more information on the types of offenses that would permanently ban an individual from entry into the United States, it is a good idea for you to sit down and speak to a immigration attorney who can look at your conviction and provide you with assistance in your immigration case.
Criminal Conviction Waiver Eligibility and Requirements
A criminal immigration waiver is not available for every single type of criminal conviction. However, in the cases where this waiver can be applied, it will allow a person to overcome the permanent inadmissibility status they received because of a past criminal conviction. The waiver is only available to individuals who:
- Were involved in criminal acts of moral turpitude.
- Were convicted only one time of possessing less than 30 g of marijuana.
- Have multiple criminal convictions.
- Were convicted for prostitution.
- Are noncitizens who have been granted immunity from prosecution for past serious criminal activities.
Remember, this list is not exhaustive and if you believe that a previous criminal conviction(s) could jeopardize your immigration plans for the future, you need to speak with an immigration lawyer. To determine your eligibility, send us a message online and tell us about your case.
Demonstrating “Extreme Hardship”
One of the qualifications for receiving this waiver is that a person can show that their absence would create “extreme hardship” for a US citizen. This person could be their parent, it can be their children, or it could be a husband or a wife. In cases involving prosecution or in situations where the criminal act took place more than 15 years ago, it may not be necessary to prove “extreme hardship” to apply for this waiver.
Serious Crimes May Require Additional Steps
If a person has been convicted of committing a violent crime or dangerous crime, the standards for proving extreme hardship are a lot higher. This is also a higher standard for permanent residents who find themselves needing to apply for criminal immigration waivers.
Why You Need an Immigration Lawyer
Proving extreme hardship is not easy. It’s not enough to say that your family needs you for money, nor is it enough to say that your family is emotionally attached to you. You must prove that the hardship your family will experience by your absence is above and beyond the hardship that a family would normally experience as a result of separation. For this reason, most people benefit by having an immigration attorney help them prepare their waiver application.
We Are Ready to Help You!
When applying for a criminal conviction waiver, it is essential that you first understand what is involved in the application process. The more you know, the better prepared you will be. To hear more about how we can help you, call KPPB Law today. We are ready to take all the required steps to help you reach your goal.