Due to their discretionary nature, waivers are best presented with the help of a professional. Our qualified immigration attorneys can help you gather the most persuasive supporting documentation and present it in the most convincing format possible, as well as draft a cover letter highlighting the strengths of your waiver application.
Foreign nationals who are ineligible to file for admissibility to the U.S. for a certain period of years, or who are deemed permanently inadmissible, may file an application for an I-212 waiver for permission to reapply to the U.S. In many of these cases, an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility must be filed as well.
The USCIS orders that certain foreign nationals who have been deported or ordered removed may not reapply or be readmitted to the U.S. for these periods of time:
- Ten years if you were ordered removed after removal proceedings or departed while a removal order was outstanding
- Ten years if you were in the U.S. unlawfully for more than one year or were ordered removed and reentered the U.S. without inspection or admission
- Five years if by summary exclusion or by removal exclusions upon your arrival to the U.S.
- Twenty years if you were ordered removed for a second time
The I-212 waiver is another form of visa dependent on hardship to some degree though other factors are also weighed. The issuance of the waiver is largely discretionary and depends on how persuasive your situation is and what mitigating or positive factors your attorney can demonstrate to support your application. Unlike an I-601 waiver, the 212 waiver does not require a qualifying relative or proof of extreme hardship.
Your application needs to be submitted either at the consulate where the visa will be issued or at the USCIS office that has jurisdiction over the location of the original removal. Your attorney can help you determine which location is appropriate for your situation.
Factors Considered in Issuing the 212 Waiver
As indicated, issuing of a 212 waiver is a matter of discretion. An immigration officer will look at the positives and negatives in your individual case to determine whether you are a criminal or will re-offend. The immigration officer will also consider whether you have any convictions and whether you severely disrespected immigration laws while illegally entering or residing in the U.S. Having an approved immigrant or nonimmigrant petition is a substantial positive in your application.
An immigration official will consider the following factors when reviewing your application for a waiver:
- Reason for deportation
- Whether you were only deported once before
- How long you have been in the U.S.
- Your status while in the U.S.
- Family responsibilities
- Evidence of community involvement
- Evidence of sound moral character
- Employment skills
- If you have a criminal history and any evidence of rehabilitation
- Whether you have an approved immigrant or nonimmigrant visa petition
- Hardship to you or relatives if your waiver application is denied
If the officer believes that you will be a burden or public charge, or that you have no marketable skills, a significant criminal history, committed an aggravated felony, no family ties and willfully disregarded the immigration and other laws of the U.S., it is unlikely you will receive a waiver.