Past Criminal Issues – Criminal Waivers

Past Criminal Issues – Criminal Waivers

Have you or loved one who you are trying to sponsor for a green card even been convicted of a theft crime?
Done something stupid in the past that is now barring you from a green card?
Been caught with drugs? Committed a DUI? Engaged in Prostitution? 


There may be options. No one is perfect. Life is hard. Everyone makes mistakes. But U.S. immigration law can be harsh. Committing certain crime(s) can bar you from a green card even if you are married to a U.S. citizen. Crimes can even bar you from sponsoring someone else for a green card if you are a U.S. citizen. And the consequences of committing such crimes can depend on where you live, how the courts have interpreted such crimes as they relate to federal immigration law, and the sentence you received – even if you never spent a day in jail.

If you are a drug abuser, there is reason to believe you’re a drug trafficker because of how much you are caught with, you committed document fraud, domestic violence, even entered without inspection, you could be charged with the crime that could lead to your removal, stop you from obtaining a green card or even keeping your green card.

It is so important to speak with an immigration attorney as soon as you are arrested for a crime but if you’ve already been convicted, consult an experienced immigration attorney before you file anything with USCIS or the Department of State. You never know if those crimes will stop issuance of a green card or worse, land you in deportation proceedings just by applying for a green card and thus, alerting the immigration agencies of the U.S. government to what you’ve done.

But all hope need not be lost. There are waivers for certain crimes available under the Immigration and Nationality Act if you are applying for a green card.

Waivers for Those Applying for Green Cards include:

  • Fraud or misrepresentation Waivers
  • Waivers for Criminal Conduct (including substance abuse offenses and prostitution)

Alien Smuggling

Most of the waivers, require a showing of “extreme hardship” to a family member who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR). Extreme hardship looks at all of the facts and circumstances in an individual case. No two cases will be identical. What is true n all inadmissibility waivers,  is that it is the applicant’s burden to demonstrate that he or she is deserving of such waiver.  This discretion component typically requires the immigrant to show that s/he has good moral character and is unlikely to commit crime again and has turned their life around. This is easier said than done with some of the more serious crimes or in situations involving multiple crimes.

It is extremely important to consult with an experienced immigration waiver attorney if you have to waive any criminal conduct to be eligible for green card. Don’t wait to the last minute. If a criminal inadmissibility ground is discovered or is needed according to the interviewing officer, you will have little time to put together a waiver. Let us help you put together the most compelling case possible given your situation. The immigration attorneys at SGG regularly handle criminal waivers for prostitution, smuggling, crimes of moral turpitude, and even drug crimes.

To work with an SGG immigration attorney on your criminal waiver case, click here or call us at 213.627.8997 today to book a detailed Case Evaluation appointment with an experienced family and removal immigration attorney.