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U.S. permanent residency: grounds for inadmissibility

On Behalf of Palacios Law Group

Whether you are crossing the U.S. port of entry or applying for a new visa status, it is common for the country to review your eligibility. No matter how prepared you are with your documents and interview answers, immigration may flag you as inadmissible if you fall under the barring circumstances under its laws. Generally, these circumstances are those that pose a threat to the country’s national security, public health or safety.

Common grounds

The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act lays down several circumstances that bar one from entering the country. These grounds are divided into the following classes:

  • Health concerns and diseases
  • Criminal history and records
  • National security threats
  • Public charge or someone likely to depend on the government’s aid
  • Absence of labor certification
  • Fraud or misrepresentation
  • Removal history and unlawful entry

These are the common grounds for permanent residency inadmissibility. The country may deny entry for reasons not mentioned which may cause harm to the nation’s security, health and safety.

What happens if one is found inadmissible?

Depending on the applicant’s current status, the appropriate U.S. agencies will enforce certain measures when dealing with inadmissible individuals. If the person is:

  • Crossing the border: Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will deny entry to inadmissible individuals. Depending on the circumstances, CBP may send the individual back home or initiate removal proceedings at an immigration court.
  • Applying for a visa: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can also block one’s application if falling under one of the common grounds mentioned. They can also deny the visa change application of those lawfully staying in the country.
  • Illegally present in the country: If the inadmissible individual is already in the country, they may face deportation.

However, one may submit a waiver application which may allow them to enter the country if they meet the requirements. It can be a complex process and does not guarantee entry, but it is a promising option. One can seek assistance from a legal immigration professional to ensure that one meets the requirements for a waiver and prevent any issues.

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