Inadmissibility is the idea that the United States can prevent a foreign national from entering the country or remaining in the country on a temporary or permanent basis. There are several grounds of inadmissibility, including:

  • Criminal convictions
    • Felonies
    • Misdemeanors
    • Multiple convictions
    • Crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT)
  • Medical
  • Communicable diseases
  • Physical/mental disorders
  • Violation of immigration laws
    • Undocumented immigrations who entered without inspection (see Parole in Place)
    • Previously deported
    • Out of status/overstay of status
    • Unlawful employment
  • Communist ties
  • Intent to commit espionage or engage in terrorist acts
  • Public charge


If a foreign national is deemed inadmissible, the next step is to determine whether relief is available in the form of a waiver. A waiver is an application to request that entry or status be given to a foreign national despite being inadmissible. Depending on the grounds for inadmissibility, there are several types of waivers available:

Form I-601 Waiver:  Foreign nationals seeking permanent residence in the United States (either an immigrant visa or adjustment of status) will be required to apply, and be approved for an I-601.

Form I-601A Unlawful Presence Provisional Waiver:  Applicants who have U.S. citizen parents or spouses, or permanent resident spouses, who are the beneficiaries of immigrant visa petitions may apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before departing the United States for a immigrant visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that denial of admission to the U.S. will cause extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent, or a permanent resident spouse.

I-212 Waiver:  This is an application to re-apply for admission to the U.S. after being deported. Foreign nationals who are inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(A) or (C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) may seek “consent to reapply for admission” in order to lawfully return to the United States.

I-192 Waiver:  Some inadmissible foreign nationals may to apply for advance permission to temporarily enter the United States. It is a very limited waiver in that the applicant must be seeking temporary entry with no intent to remain permanently. The applicant must also have valid travel documents to the United States at the time of entry (i.e., valid visa).

I-690 WaiverForeign nationals with Tuberculosis (TB) or who seek to vaccination requirement before adjusting status must file a waiver.  Grounds for waiving the vaccination requirement can include moral or religious reasons.