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What are 212(h) waivers and who can get them?

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2015 | Criminal Defense

Having a criminal record can have an extremely negative affect on one’s ability to obtain a visa. Immigrants who have been convicted or accused of crimes of moral turpitude, drug involvement and various other offenses are likely to have visa applications denied and may even be deported. For those seeking to enter California or avoid deportation and who find themselves such situations, 212(h) waivers may be the answer to getting visa applications approved.

Qualifying for 212(h) waivers is not necessarily easy. Those who wish to obtain this waiver must demonstrate to the Attorney General that the crime preventing him or her from obtaining a visa occurred more than 15 years before the visa application was submitted. He or she must also prove that being in the country would not cause a safety concern and that he or she has been rehabilitated.

These waivers are not likely to be granted to individuals who are accused of certain violent crimes — such a murder or torture. Immigrants who are facing deportation may try to apply for 212(h) waivers along with applying for status adjustments. Those who are lawful permanent residents who are seeking admission into the country may also apply as a way to overcome issues that are preventing them from being granted permission to enter.

Immigrants who are accused of criminal activities are subjected to increased scrutiny when it comes to getting permission to enter or remain in the United States. However, 212(h) waivers — if granted — can allow these individuals the ability to obtain visas or apply for status adjustments. An immigrantion attorney in California can help those who are dealing with criminal records work through the immigrantion process and apply for any and all waivers that may help them achieve the status they desire.

Source:, “Act 212(h)”, Accessed on Dec. 10, 2015