When a Client comes to us after being advised by U.S. Customs & Border Protection or another entity that they require a waiver in order to overcome their inadmissibility, the first step that we always undertake is to ensure that a waiver really is required for the individual to accomplish what they are seeking. If we determine that a waiver is in fact necessary, we then discuss the merits of the waiver application itself with the client.
In matters relating to inadmissibility relating from a criminal incident, once we review the facts, we will want to review the associated criminal documents (police report, charging document, certificate of disposition, etc.), as well as the statute(s) that the individual was convicted under as it existed at the time of the conviction.
Once we have all the information necessary, our firm reviews the following issues to determine whether or not the Client truly does require a waiver:
- Does the Client actually have a "conviction" as defined under immigration law?
- If the Client does have a conviction, does it render them inadmissible? (For example, if they are alleged to be inadmissible for a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude - is the conviction actually for a CIMT?)
- If the Client does have a conviction rendering them inadmissible, do they qualify for any exceptions (Petty Offense Exception or Juvenile Exception) that would waive the inadmissibility?
If at any point during our analysis we find sufficient legal and factual grounds to determine that the Client is not inadmissible and therefore does not require a waiver, we would propose a strategy to the Client to prepare a submission to the appropriate agency demonstrating why they do not require a waiver.
What's the point of this review? Just because a foreign national has been told they require a waiver, they should still seek experienced legal counsel to confirm they do in fact require a waiver.