Starting around January of 2017, the United States Customs & Border Protection (CBP) will begin issuing nonimmigrant waivers that are valid for periods of five years. This includes both new waivers as well as waivers that are set to be renewed. Currently, nonimmigrant waivers are typically issued for shorter increments, usually only two years. With so many waivers to process, this had led to a massive backlog of nonimmigrant waiver applications. The extended length waivers may be able to help to reduce this jam. This is extremely important because the backlog puts a tremendous burden on visiting nonimmigrants and their families.
Who Needs a Nonimmigrant Waiver?
The United States has notoriously strict immigration laws. These laws impact foreign nationals who are simply seeking to visit the U.S. on a temporary basis. In fact, a foreign national may be ruled inadmissible for entry into the United States based on a number of different factors. The good news is that a nonimmigrant waiver can be used to allow visitors to potentially overcome their initial inadmissibility. Specifically, this is done by obtaining a 212(d)(3) waiver. However, it must be noted that the process for obtaining this type of waiver can be very challenging. Nonimmigrant applicants should apply as early as possible.
What Factors Could Make Someone Inadmissible?
You may be ruled inadmissible for nonimmigrant entry into the United States due to:
- Concerns about your health, including potential drug use;
- Concerns about your past criminal conduct or involvement in criminal activity; or
- Any other factors which make your entry into the county a ‘risk’.
These issues can cause you to be denied access to a work visa, a student visa or even a travel visa. Of course, an initial denial does not mean you are completely out of luck. However if you deemed inadmissible, you need to take immediate action to protect your rights. If you are in need of a nonimmigrant waiver, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced 212(d)(3) waiver attorney immediately.
Nonimmigrant Waivers: Understanding the Process
A 212(d)(3) waiver, also sometimes known as a Hranka waiver, is available under the Immigration and Nationality Act. Generally, you will be required to complete and submit Form I-192. This is the form for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant. You will also be required to submit supporting documentation along with your completed application. Some documentation that might be required in your case includes:
- Affidavits pertaining to your visit and your personal history;
- Medical records;
- Criminal records; and
- Other immigration or travel records.
Right now, it usually takes 4 to 6 months to get your application through the process. In some cases, it can take considerably longer than that. This means that it is critical that you get your application right the first time. Let an attorney help. Remember, even the simplest of mistakes could increase your processing time. Hopefully, the new five-year waiver policy will go a long way towards alleviating the current backlog, but there are no guarantees of that yet.
Will I Actually Qualify for a Nonimmigrant Waiver?
There is a good chance that you will be able to qualify. Many initially ‘inadmissible’ people do qualify for entry once they complete the waiver process. Still, the application process needs to be taken seriously. If you make any mistakes, leave any section incomplete or lack forthrightness in the application process, your nonimmigrant waiver application could be denied. When it comes time to review your applications on the merits, the following three questions will be considered:
- How much risk is currently presented by the applicant?
- How serious are the reasons behind the applicant’s initial inadmissibility?
- How important is the applicant’s visit to the United States?
Overcoming a Delay in Your Application
Waiting for a decision on your application can be incredibly frustrating. If your nonimmigrant waiver application has already been pending for a considerable period of time, an attorney can help you get an expedited decision. This is especially true if your application has already been pending for more than one year. Unfortunately, this length of delay currently happens in many cases. However, with an experienced immigration attorney pushing the issue, you can usually get a decision made within forty to sixty days. Of course, there is no guarantee as to what that decision will be, but you will not be able to take further action until you get your initial decision.
Legal Advice for Immigrants in L.A.
The experienced immigration services attorneys at the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers can help. We have an office on the west coast in Los Angeles and another office on the east coast in Boston, and we have significant experience in the entertainment industry. If you have any questions about nonimmigrant waivers or need immigration help or immigration solutions, please do not hesitate to contact our team today to set up an initial consultation.