There are many instances in which a person can find himself or herself ineligible to enter the United States. This could be due to overstaying one’s visa, being arrested in regard to human smuggling (which often enough involves nothing more than being in the same car as someone trying to sneak across the border), or a host of other issues. For those who find themselves in such a situation, it may seem like they will never see their friends or loved ones in the US again. That is not necessarily the case. There is a waiver available that allows for otherwise ineligible aliens to temporarily enter the United States on a non-immigrant visa. This waiver is known as the 212(d)(3)(A) waiver, and it is available to almost everyone (barring only those who have participated in genocidal activities, have tried to overthrow the government, were involved in espionage, or are otherwise ineligible due to foreign policy considerations). While the waiver does not in any way lead to or confer permanent residence, it does permit the applicant to enter the United States temporarily. The standard for receiving this waiver is deceptively easy. In determining whether to grant the waiver or not, three factors will be considered: (1) what the risk of harm to society would be if admitted; (2) how serious the applicant’s immigration/criminal law violation was, if applicable, and (3) why the alien wishes to enter the United States. For the third factor, the alien’s reason for entering the United States does not need to be “compelling.” And while it is not officially listed as a requirement, the Board of Immigration Appeals has taken into account the rehabilitation of the alien. It is important when meeting these requirements to attach proper supporting documents and to present them in an organized manner. Whether or not the waiver will be granted will depend on whether the alien’s supporting documents, and argument as to why their ineligibility should be waived, are deemed credible. While the waiver is in no way a panacea, it is of enormous utility to people who have admissibility problems and who do not wish to enter and stay here permanently.
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