Entry without Inspection and Waivers of Inadmisibility: FAQs
1. I entered the U.S. without a visa (or without inspection), am I eligible to obtain residency in the U.S.? Or what options do I have to legalize myself?
There are generally three options through which people are able to obtain legal status in the U.S.:
1). An employment petition;
2). A petition filed by an immediate family member; or
3). A special petition such as political asylum or cancellation of removal (deportation).
However, in general, people will fall in one of four categories of eligibility:
1). People who entered the U.S. with a visa and are eligible to get their residency in the U.S. through a family petition (even if the visa has expired or the visa was not valid).
2). People who entered the U.S. without inspection or visa and are eligible to obtain residency through family or employment because they are 245(i) eligible. (see explanation of who is 245(i) eligible).
3). People who entered the U.S. with a valid U.S. visa, with a current, un-expired I-94 (small white card issued at the time you entered the U.S., which tells you how long you are allowed to remain in the U.S.). These persons are eligible to apply for any other category of visa. The visa approval will depend on the person meeting the specific qualifications required by the particular visa.
4). Persons who came into the U.S. without inspection or persons that came with a visa and the visa has expired, may be eligible to apply for residency in the U.S., however, their adjustment of status petition may require a waiver. A waiver is a “pardon” from the U.S. government that says that even though you have violated an immigration regulation you will be granted a green card under special circumstances. These waivers are generally granted to individuals with special family connections to the U.S. These waivers are most commonly issued at a U.S. consulate abroad.
2. I am a US citizen but my spouse entered without inspection, can I assist him/her in obtaining a green card?
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT
The information contained here is general in nature and it may not necessarily apply to all situations. It is also subject to change at any point in time. Therefore, under no circumstance it should be construed as legal advice. Please ensure that you consult with an attorney regarding your specific situation before starting a legal process.
Watch video: How to obtain an immigration Pardon or a 601 waiver