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Immigration Waiver Attorney


With 50+ years of immigration experience, our team at Spar & Bernstein has helped tens of thousands of people who were not allowed to enter the United States, to obtain a waiver, stay in the US and reunite with their families.

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If you have been denied entrance into the US due to nonimmigrant inadmissibility reasons, health-related grounds or previous criminal convictions, our experienced immigration waiver attorneys will look into your case, identify the type of waiver you need to apply for and support you throughout the process.


Some individuals are not permitted to enter or obtain status in the United States on the grounds of inadmissibility. If eligible, they may apply for and obtain a waiver to overcome their inadmissibility.

The purpose of an immigration waiver is to:

  • Provide humanitarian results and promote family unity
  • Advance national interest if admission of noncitizens can benefit the welfare of the US
  • Provide relief to victims of human trafficking, refugees and asylees who seek protection from persecution and permanent residency in the US
  • Ensure concerns regarding public health and safety are met by ensuring that applicants satisfy all medical requirements before entering the US or seek necessary treatment if admitted to the country
  • Evaluate national security and public safety concerns against the humanitarian and social benefits of granting admission to a noncitizen


When applied to immigration law, inadmissibility refers to the inability to enter the US on legal grounds. Inadmissibility may be based on:


Admitting individuals with communicable diseases can constitute a risk to public health, while individuals with mental health disorders can be a potential threat to public safety.

Criminal Reasons

Admitting individuals with a criminal record can put public safety at risk.

Fraud Or Misrepresentation

Individuals trying to enter the US with a fraudulent identity may have nefarious intent

Other Reasons

Other reasons for inadmissibility may include alien smugglers, student visa abusers, individuals who have entered the US illegally, former US citizens who renounced citizenship to avoid taxes, and more.

If an official identifies a person as inadmissible, they should determine whether the applicant is eligible for a waiver or other type of relief.

Officials include representatives of various agencies that handle immigration applications, including the US State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, through sub-agencies US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).


The conditions for waiver eligibility outlined by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) include the following:

  • The applicant meets all regulatory and statutory requirements
  • An inadmissibility ground waiver is available
  • A favorable exercise of discretion is warranted


There are different types of waivers under the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA). Each requires different evidence and depends on the issue that needs to be waived.

Some of the most common waiver types include:

  1. Waiver Of Inadmissibility For Nonimmigrants: INA 212(d)(3)

    The waiver of inadmissibility for nonimmigrants applies to foreign nationals who are applying for admission at a port of entry or at a consular post abroad.

  2. Waiver Of Health-Related Grounds Of Inadmissibility: INA 212(a)(1)

    The waiver of health-related grounds of inadmissibility applies to individuals who are not allowed to enter the US due to health-related reasons, such as communicable diseases or failure to obtain required vaccines.

  3. Waiver Of Fraud And Misrepresentation: INA 212(i)

    The waiver of fraud and misrepresentation applies to lawful permanent residents or prospective residents who committed fraud or misrepresentation at the time of entry and are deportable for this reason, or people who have entered the US with a fraudulent identity.

  4. Waiver To Avoid Deportation After A Criminal Conviction: 212(c)

    The waiver to avoid deportation after a criminal conviction applies to lawful permanent residents who were convicted of a criminal offense and have been placed in removal proceedings.

  5. Waiver Of Inadmissibility For Criminal Acts: 212(h)

    The waiver of inadmissibility for criminal acts applies to individuals who have committed certain crimes. The requirements vary depending on the grounds for inadmissibility, the conviction date, and other factors.

  6. Waiver Of Unlawful Presence: I-601A

    The waiver of unlawful presence applies to individuals who have been unlawfully present in the United States for more than 180 days and have a three-year bar to reentry or who have been unlawfully present in the US for one year and have a ten-year bar to reentry. This waiver is filed in the US before departure.

  7. Waiver After Prior Removal

    The waiver after prior removal applies to individuals who have been removed from the US and are seeking a visa to enter the country before the statutory timeframe.

  8. National Interest Waiver

    The national interest waiver applies to individuals who seek to immigrate to the US without a labor certification in the second preference category and hold an advanced degree.


To apply for a waiver for most inadmissibility factors, including those that are related to health, fraud, or a criminal conviction, file Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.

To apply for a waiver of unlawful presence, submit Form I-601A.

To identify the type of waiver you need to file, along with the additional documents you may need to submit, contact our knowledgeable immigration waiver attorneys at The Law Offices Of Spar & Bernstein.

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Can I Get A Waiver Without Filing A Form?

In some situations, a USCIS official may make a decision about a waiver without asking the applicant to submit a form. Examples include waivers of inadmissibility for asylees or refugees seeking adjustment of status.

Although in these instances the applicant will not need to file a form, the official must document the determination of the waiver in the applicant’s record.

When Can I Apply For A 212(d)(3) Waiver Of Inadmissibility For Nonimmigrants?

A 212(d)(3) waiver is a nonimmigrant waiver that can waive almost every reason for inadmissibility to the US In addition, it does not require the applicant to have a relative who is a lawful permanent resident or US citizen or prove evidence of hardship.

A 212(d)(3) waiver can be applied to foreign nationals who:

  • Apply for admission to the US as a nonimmigrant at a port of entry
  • Apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a consular post abroad
  • To enter the United States temporarily to visit, study or work

To grant the waiver, officials take into account three main factors:

  • Whether you pose a risk to society
  • Whether you have immigration violations or a prior criminal record
  • Your reasons to request entry to the US

This type of waiver is not available for inadmissibility grounds such as terrorism, participation in genocide, espionage and other serious offenses.

To identify if you are eligible to apply for a 212(d)(3), contact an experienced immigration waiver lawyer at Spar & Bernstein.

How Do I Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver?

There are two ways to apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver:

  • Before being granted a visa: Request a waiver when you apply for a visa at a US consular post by filing Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.
  • When you have a valid visa: Submit Form I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant.

I Have Been Barred From Re-Entry For Breach Of Immigration Law. How Is The Bar Determined?

The length of your bar depends on how long you stayed in the US before departing.

If you entered the country illegally, your date of entry is the beginning of the unlawful period. If your temporary visa expired, your unlawful period starts at the time of your visa expiration date.

A three-year bar is given to individuals who were in the US illegally from 180 days to 12 months.

A ten-year bar is given to individuals who were in the US illegally for more than one year.

In some situations, individuals might receive a permanent bar to enter the US In this case, a waiver is not possible.

Who Can Apply For A 212(a)(1) Waiver Of Health-Related Grounds Of Inadmissibility?

A 212(a)(1) waiver extends to foreign nationals who have:

  • Communicable diseases of significant public interest
  • Certain physical and mental conditions
  • Failed to obtain required vaccines

To apply for this waiver, you must show proof that:

  • You have a qualifying member in the US such as a spouse, parent, unmarried child, or adopted minor child who is a U.S citizen or permanent resident
  • Your qualifying family member will suffer extreme hardship if you are not allowed to enter and stay in the US
  • Your qualifying family member will suffer extreme hardship if they join you abroad

What Information Should I Provide To Apply For A Health-Based Inadmissibility Waiver?

When applying for a 212(a)(1) for communicable diseases, you must provide evidence that your disease can be treated in the US

When applying for a 212(a)(1) for physical or mental disorder, you must provide a history of your condition, harmful behavior, prognosis, life expectancy and recommended treatment. You do not need to have a qualifying family member to apply for this waiver.

When applying for a 212(a)(1) for failure to obtain necessary vaccinations, you must provide evidence that your objection to the vaccinations is based on moral convictions or religious beliefs.

Each type of health-based inadmissibility waiver has different approval requirements. Contact our team at Spar & Bernstein for help with the application process.

Is A Waiver Of Health-Related Grounds Of Inadmissibility Subject To Additional Conditions?

Being granted a waiver of inadmissibility for a mental or physical disorder or communicable disease can be combined with additional conditions aimed to limit the spread of your disease. These conditions may include travel restrictions and a requirement to undergo medical treatment.

In addition, you may be required to post a monetary bond.

Non-compliance with the imposed conditions may result in deportation and/or forfeiture of your bond money.

What Is Extreme Hardship?

Extreme hardship goes beyond the normal hardship of separation between family members and can include numerous factors such as physical, mental, and emotional pain and suffering as well as financial turmoil.

More specifically, this can refer to the following negative impacts on the qualifying relative:

  • The qualifying relative has a serious medical condition that does not allow traveling abroad or being left alone
  • The qualifying relative is taking care of other individuals in the US, such as minor children or aging parents
  • The qualifying relative would not be able to work abroad, would suffer financially, and lose benefits
  • The qualifying relative would be unable to continue their education

What Are The Requirements To Apply For A 212(i) Fraud Waiver?

To apply for a 212(i) waiver, you must provide evidence that:

  • Your spouse or parent is a US citizen or a Green Card holder
  • Your relatives will suffer extreme hardship if you are not granted a waiver

When Am I Not Eligible To Apply For A 212(i) Fraud Waiver?

You are not eligible to apply for a 212(i) fraud waiver if you have falsely represented yourself to be a US citizen after September 30th, 1996 for any purpose or benefit under immigration law.

A timely retraction of your false claim to US citizenship may not be a bar to obtaining immigration benefits.

What Are The Requirements To Apply For A 212(c) Waiver To Avoid Deportation After a Criminal Conviction?

To apply for a 212(c) waiver, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You have been not been imprisoned for more than five years on a conviction after November, 1st 1990
  • You are returning to a lawful, unrelinquished residence of at least seven consecutive years
  • You are not subject to deportation on terrorism or national security grounds
  • You are not unlawfully in the US due to a previous immigration offense
  • You were found guilty of all of your criminal offenses before April 1st, 1997

When Am I Not Eligible To Receive A 212(c) Waiver To Avoid Deportation After a Criminal Conviction?

You are not allowed to file for a 212(c) waiver if you:

  • Have a conviction after April, 1st, 1997
  • Have departed and are currently outside of the US
  • Have illegally returned after deportation or removal
  • Are present in the US without having been admitted or paroled

What Are The Crimes For Which I Can Get A 212(h) Waiver?

You may be eligible for a 212(h) waiver if you are inadmissible for:

  • One offense for possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana
  • Prostitution
  • A moral turpitude crime (except for torture or murder)
  • Crimes for which you have received a combined sentence of five years or more (except for torture and murder)

What Are The Crimes For Which I Will Not Be Able To Get A 212 (h) Waiver?

You will not be able to receive a 212(h) waiver if you are inadmissible for:

  • Murder or torture
  • Drug crimes other than possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana
  • Drug trafficking
  • Money laundering
  • Human trafficking
  • Severe violation of religious freedom in the capacity of a foreign government official
  • Violent or dangerous crimes unless the applicant can demonstrate extraordinary circumstances

How Can Spar & Bernstein Help Me Apply For A Waiver?

Filing the forms is just one part of the waiver application process.

Our experienced immigration waiver lawyers at The Law Offices Of Spar & Bernstein will:

  • Research the family members you have in the US
  • Explore different options if your waiver is not initially approved (such as the hardship to be experienced if your family moves back to your home country or you are forced to go back alone)
  • Meet with you and with your qualifying relatives
  • Provide a list of documents you should bring
  • Review your documents and application
  • Research the conditions in your home country where you will have to return if denied a waiver
  • Help arrange statements from doctors, psychologists or other professionals on the possible effects of hardship
  • Conduct additional legal research if you have a criminal record or history of fraud
  • Prepare documents relevant to your waiver application
  • Prepare a detailed summary of the collected evidence and the reasons you are applying for a waiver

What Types of Immigration Lawyers Spar & Bernstein Has?

Experienced Leader in Immigration and Injury Law

Bradford H. Bernstein, a second-generation leader at Law Offices of Spar & Bernstein, P.C., has helped over 100,000 clients with immigration and personal injury issues. Brad joined the firm in 1993, became a partner in 1997, and assumed leadership in 2000 after Harry Spar retired.

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