You may be ineligible for a nonimmigrant visa or a green card because of a criminal record. However, this is not the end of the line if you’re concerned about trying to obtain lawful status in the U.S. Many people who learn that they are not currently able to get a visa because of their criminal status do not know about the avenues available to them in terms of a visa waiver. Sitting down with a California immigration lawyer is the best way to figure out whether or not you could apply for a waiver and benefit from having one approved.
This is not an easy process to pursue, especially if you do not have an experienced immigration lawyer at your side. Thankfully, hiring a California immigration attorney can help you with all phases of a case like this and can enable you to receive a visa or green card in some cases. Be aware that the law requires that very high standards be met in order to obtain a visa waiver. Careful preparation on the part of your immigration lawyer is vital if you find yourself in this situation.
Your lawyer should begin by collecting all of the relevant information from you to support your waiver application. Furthermore, your attorney should be confident about following up with USCIS when your waiver application is submitted. You may be eligible to get a visa waiver if:
- You plan to start a business in the U.S. and want to get a National Interest Waiver.
- You need to pursue waivers under the clauses in the Immigration and Nationality Act related to crime, fraud, or nonimmigrant temporary waivers.
You must be able to show that you have a qualifying relative in order to apply for a fraud, crime-based, or green card waiver. You must also show convincing evidence to USCIS that denial of a green card would leave you with undue hardship in terms of your relative. It’s critical that your lawyer be engaged early on in the process to show the psychological or economic hardship this would place on your family if you were denied. This requires a detailed and disciplined approach on the part of your CA immigration attorney.