Do I have options?
What happens if a person is inadmissible or deportable because of the commission of crime? Is the person out of luck? It depends. Sometimes the person will be out of luck and unable to enter or remain in the US. But other times, the person might have a relief available that will allow them to enter or remain in the US. This week we will discuss two relief options available for someone that has committed a crime and is inadmissible or deportable from the US. Next week, we will discuss 2 other relief options.
Relief Option: Adjustment of Status
- Adjustment of status is the process in which someone becomes a lawful permanent resident while in the US.
- If the crime is a ground of deportability, the adjustment of status may act as a waiver of this ground.
- If the crime is a ground of inadmissibility, the adjustment of status will not act as a waiver pf this ground and the person will not be able to adjust status
- All negative information, arrest records, and other criminal activity, must have been revealed to the immigration officer for their consideration at the time the person applied for adjustment of status
- The officer in their discretion may decide that the person is able to adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident.
Relief Option: Waivers under INA §212(h)
Waivers under INA §212(h) are used to “forgive” grounds of inadmissibility for crimes involving moral turpitude, prostitution, crimes that were not prosecuted because of immunity, and single offenses for simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.
There are three different scenarios in which the waiver may apply:
1. The 15-year waiver is available to waive inadmissibility due to prostitution type offenses or crimes involving moral turpitude that occurred more than 15 years before the application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status. The individual must show that they are not a danger to the community and have been rehabilitated.
2. The extreme hardship waiver requires a qualifying relative who is the US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, son, or daughter of the applicant. The person will need to show that the qualifying relative will suffer extreme hardship if the application is not granted and the person is removed.
3. The battered spouse or child waiver requires that the spouse causing the damage be a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. this waiver does not require a qualifying relative or the showing of extreme hardship.
The granting of these waivers is discretionary and the person may meet all the requirements in paper but still be denied by the immigration officer as an exercise of their discretion.
Any person that has been convicted of, admitted to, or is known to have committed a crime that could make them inadmissible or deportable, should meet with an attorney to determine if there is any relief available to the person.
If you have questions about your immigration case, it’s important to speak with an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your specific case and circumstances. Attorney Evelyn J. Pabon Figueroa is an Associate in the Orlando office of CPLS, P.A. She is a member of the firm’s Immigration Practice Group. Contact Attorney Evelyn today at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any immigration issues you may be experiencing.