When Visas and Waivers Mix
There are many reasons why an immigrant visa applicant might need a waiver in order for his or her visa or petition to be successfully presented and approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of State, or Customs and Border Protection. The top 5 reasons to need an immigration waiver for your case, are as follows:
- You have overstayed your visa in the United States for more than six months recently or in the past, and you have unknowingly or knowingly triggered the bar to reenter the U.S. by departing and traveling abroad. This means you will not be able to reenter the U.S. for 3 years or more unless you obtain a waiver.
- You have overstayed your visa in the United States for more than one year, and you have unknowingly or knowingly triggered the bar to reenter the U.S. by departing and traveling abroad. This means that you will not be able to reenter the U.S. for 10 years or more unless you obtain a waiver.
- You have entered the U.S. illegally without a visa at all, and then departed the U.S., and triggered bar to reentry, or you have married a United States Citizen and wish to become a lawful permanent resident through that marriage and to apply while living in the United States for a provisional waiver stateside.
- You have committed fraud or a crime and now seek to become a lawful permanent resident through a family or business petition on your behalf.
- You have been deported or excluded from the U.S. and seek to renter or to obtain your residence in the U.S.
Get Help with Your Immigration Waiver
It is very important that you consult counsel to provide you with a detailed preliminary analysis of your case prior to filing any applications with the government. The filing of a waiver is a multi-step process fraught with potential pitfalls. Any filing with immigration could have serious consequences, and it is important to remember that even if you have a valid family or business relationship, any application can be denied by the government, especially in the examples noted above, as a visa is viewed as a privilege, not a right.
Most cases involving immigration decision -making involve tremendous discretion. This means that the examiner or officer looking at your case has a lot of authority but he or she must also follow the guidance of the immigration laws, regulations, and operations instructions and an attorney in most cases can represent you.
Sometimes the reason for the denial can be overcome by submitting additional evidence, writing a good brief (or letter) supported by factual evidence that overcomes the reasons for denial, or filing a waiver. A waiver can be defined as a discretionary pardon or forgiveness for an immigration or criminal violation.
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