Inadmissibility Grounds That Don’t Have a Waiver (for Admission as a Permanent Resident) – PART ONE

It is important to know inadmissibility grounds, grounds which prevent some noncitizens from gaining admission into the US or from gaining certain benefits or certain relief from removal while in the US. If one of these inadmissibility grounds applies, the non-citizen to whom it applies will be ineligible for certain benefits (unless the noncitizen receives a waiver or some other kind of relief), and any effort to get that benefit will often come to a permanent and crashing halt.

A list of such inadmissibility grounds is important for many noncitizens to know, not only for people seeking admission as a permanent residents for the first time. Such list is also important for permanent residents who are seeking readmission after having had permanent residence for decades. It is not a foregone conclusion that the long-time permanent residents will be admitted into the US. Some permanent residents will be put in removal proceedings, like the subject of the case discussed in the blog post “July 2017 Decision from the 2nd Circuit: Why Even Permanent Residents Should Consult an Attorney Before Travelling Abroad” because of inadmissibility grounds.

In addition, this list is significant for people who are not permanent residents too: many sets of requirements in immigration law, related to non-permanent residents, cross-reference certain inadmissibility grounds. For example, requirements to receive asylum, TPS, or cancellation of removal cross-reference certain inadmissibility grounds.

While a waiver may wipe away some inadmissibility grounds, waivers are not available to waive some inadmissibility grounds. The grounds that may not be waived are the grounds that present (often) insurmountable obstacles.

Here, In this first part of a two-part blog post, we will list at about half of the indamissibility grounds that are not waivable and that might prevent a noncitizen from being admissible as an permanent resident. in the next part of this blog post, we will list nearly all of the remaining half.

Inadmissibility that may not be waived, relating to admission as a permanent resident, include the following:

  • Being a current drug abuser or addict (INA § 212(a)(1)(A)(iv) (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(1)(A)(iv))).
  • Being an illicit trafficker of controlled substances or chemicals, or a close relative who has knowingly gained a financial benefit from the trafficking (INA § 212(a)(2)(C) (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(C))).
  • As a foreign government official, having carried out or being responsible for severe religious freedom violations (INA § 212(a)(2)(G) (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(G))).
  • Being a human trafficker, or a close relative who has knowingly gained a financial benefit from the trafficking (INA § 212(a)(2)(H) (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(H))).
  • Being a money launderer (INA § 212(a)(2)(I) (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(I))).
  • Coming to the US to engage in one of the following:
    • Espionage or sabotage.
    • Unlawfully exporting goods, technology, or sensitive information.
    • Opposing or overthrowing the US government. (INA § 212(a)(3)(A) (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(A)).)