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Laws current as of May 29, 2024

What are the "grounds of inadmissibility" and how can they affect my chances of getting lawful permanent residence?

Most people who want to enter the US or get legal status in the US must show they are not barred by a long set of rules called the “grounds of inadmissibility.” This is also true for approved VAWA self-petitioners who are filing for lawful permanent residence. These grounds of inadmissibility rules are very complicated and your lawyer will need to know what the immigration courts and federal courts have said about them to answer the government’s questions correctly.

In addition to filling out the necessary forms, your lawyer will have to show that the grounds of inadmissibility do not apply to you, or that you qualify for a waiver, which means you should get status even if they do apply to you. For more information, see What are the “grounds of inadmissibility” and how can they affect my chances of getting lawful permanent residence?

If you have done something that conflicts with one of the “grounds” on the list, you may be able to ask for a waiver, which would allow you to get legal status despite having done something that conflicts with the grounds. US Citizenship and Immigration Services will consider the pros and cons of your application to decide whether you should get the waiver, and therefore lawful permanent residence. If USCIS denies you the waiver, it will deny your case and may put you into immigration proceedings, which may result in your deportation. This is one main reason you must work with an immigration lawyer who knows about VAWA self-petitions.

1 8 USC § 1182; INA § 212