Grounds of Inadmissibility

Grounds of Inadmissibility

There are 10 categories of inadmissibility, each with a subset of multiple grounds of inadmissibility. The categories are:

(1) Health-related grounds;

(2) Criminal and related grounds;

(3) Security and related grounds;

(4) Public charge;

(5) Labor certification and qualifications for certain immigrants;

(6) Illegal entrants and immigration violators;

(7) Documentation requirements;

(8) Ineligible for citizenship;

(9) Aliens previously removed; and

(10) Miscellaneous grounds of inadmissibility.

Within these categories can be found the most common grounds of inadmissibility, including:

Crimes involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”). The term CIMT is not defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). Its definition, however, has been set forth by the U.S. courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”). A CIMT is a criminal act that is, in and of itself, morally reprehensible and intrinsically wrong, as opposed to criminal conduct that is simply prohibited by law. Examples of CIMTs include: murder; rape; assault; kidnapping; theft; and fraud.

Controlled substance offense. Regardless of the particular substance or amount of the substance involved, a foreign national is inadmissible to the U.S. if s/he has ever been convicted of a violation of any law relating to a controlled substance.

Present without admission or parole. Any foreign national who is found within the borders of the U.S. who entered the country without being lawfully admitted or paroled into the U.S. is inadmissible. While these individuals are technically inadmissible to the U.S. under the INA, they will be placed into removal proceedings upon apprehension by U.S. immigration officials in the U.S.

Fraud/Misrepresentation. Any foreign national who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure a visa, other documentation, or admission into the U.S. or other immigration benefit is inadmissible. A false claim to U.S. citizenship is also an extremely egregious violation of the INA and a ground of inadmissibility.

Intending Immigrant. Any foreign national who seeks to enter the U.S. with the intent of residing in the U.S. permanently but who does not have the proper authorization to do so is inadmissible. This ground of inadmissibility is often applied by U.S. immigration authorities to individuals who have spent a considerable amount of time “visiting” the U.S. and/or those who do not have significant ties to a foreign country.

• Unlawful Presence. A foreign national is unlawfully present in the U.S. if s/he is present in the U.S. after the expiration of the period of stay authorized by U.S. immigration officials or who is present in the U.S. without being lawfully admitted or paroled into the U.S. Individuals who are unlawfully present for less than six (6) months are not inadmissible under this section of law. Those who are unlawfully present for more than six (6) months but less than one (1) year are inadmissible for a period of three (3) years following departure from the U.S. Individuals who are unlawfully present for more than one (1) year are inadmissible to the U.S. for a period of 10 years following the date of departure from the U.S.