The U.S. Entry Waiver is a temporary visa application that, if approved, grants a person a temporary legal waiver of inadmissibility for the United States. It permits people who might be otherwise denied access to and passage through the United States the chance to travel abroad. Some of these legal waivers have provisions for people with criminal backgrounds. Before a visa can be approved for any reason, whether valid or not, applicants for the legal waiver must be provided with an immigrant eligibility questionnaire (LES) and a background check.
U.S.A Waiver Eligibility
- To qualify for an immigrant eligibility questionnaire, applicants must state the reason for applying for an immigrant entry waiver. A typical reason for asking to apply for an entry waiver is to avoid removal from the United States on grounds of illegal conduct. If someone in the United States has been accused of a crime, such as assault, murder, or drug possession, he or she may apply for an immigrant eligibility questionnaire and be allowed to enter the United States legally. However, some crimes such as felonies remain punishable by jail time and cannot be expunged.
- However, some crimes, such as possession of drugs or trafficking drugs, are not allowed by the Immigration and Nationality Act, commonly called the Immigration and Nationality Act. The government treats an inadmissible act as one that was prejudiced against a particular group of people. For example, an immigrant with a criminal record of burglary may not apply for a waiver of ineligibility to stay in the United States. An act that a U.S. citizen engages in does not necessarily mean that person is guilty of the crime. For example, an American tourist could be held in violation of the law for entering the country when he or she has no intention of committing a crime.
- Sometimes a U.S. citizen who has been accused of a crime may ask for a waiver of ineligibility. Such a request will only be granted if there is reasonable cause to believe that the applicant may face ineligibility for admission. A U.S. citizen who enters the country illegally may face criminal penalties if they are found to have entered the country illegally. Some crimes such as conspiracy to possess drugs or to launder money require proof that the defendant intended to do so. If an immigrant attempts to reach a country that does not accept them based on their criminal record, they can be denied entry into the country.
- The immigration law allows an immigrant to enter the country, provided that they meet various requirements and waivers. However, some crimes, such as drug trafficking, are not allowed by the federal immigration law. An immigrant who has been convicted of a felony, for example, cannot apply for an immigrant status under the provisions of the INA. Drug trafficking is considered a felony under federal law.
- When an applicant is denied an immigrant visa based on their criminal record, they can still apply for a US waiver by pardon applications. A U.S. entry waiver allows an immigrant who has been convicted of a misdemeanor violation to apply for admission. This type of waiver does not affect the applicant’s conviction or sentence. The applicant can still live in the United States provided that they provide proof that they are not in violation of any other federal criminal statutes. The waiver will specify which offenses are covered.
There are two different types of entry waivers available.
- The first type of waiver is a “voluntary” application. An immigrant who has received a guilty plea or completed deferred adjudication, is allowed to apply for entry relief. A person who has been granted deferred adjudication is not eligible for this type of waiver.
- The second type of entry waiver is an “inadmissible” application. An immigrant who enters the United States illegally is subject to removal. The applicant who attempts to overstay is subject to removal. These are just two different types of entries into the United States that have different requirements. If you are subject to removal, you must apply for and receive an immigrant status parole.