What do I Need to Know About 212(h) Waivers?

When people wish to come to the United States, there are a variety of ways that this can be accomplished depending on their reasoning for coming to the country. The different methods provide them with a status. Once they are in the country, if a person wishes to change their status they have to apply to do so. One document that is important to keep in mind throughout this process is a 212(h) waiver. Continue reading below to learn more.

What is a 212(h) Waiver?

When a person has a criminal conviction on their record, they may not be able to get a green card. If they already have a green card, the conviction could result in them losing it. That is why the 212(h) waiver exists. This waiver can help a person get or keep a green card if they have been convicted of a crime. 

A 212(h) waiver is done on a form I-601. When filing the waiver, the applicant is required to show that it would be an extreme hardship to a parent, child, or spouse who is either a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident.In addition to this, they must show that they deserve the waiver. Once this is done, the judge or immigration service can look into discretionary factors to see if the person should be allowed to stay in the country. This can include their length of residence in the United States, family ties, the hardship to them if they are not allowed to stay, the hardship to their family if they are not allowed to stay, and their employment history. They will also look into the country that they would be returning to. Then they could look into the individual’s potential for rehabilitation. 

Am I Eligible for a 212(h) Waiver?

Individuals who can qualify for a 212(h) waiver are those who have never been in removal proceedings, have a criminal record, and are eligible for a green card with the exception of the crime. It is important to keep in mind that if the waiver is denied by immigration, the individual can be placed into removal proceedings. Individuals who were convicted of one of the following crimes may still be able to get a 212(h) waiver:

  • Crimes involving moral turpitude
  • Convictions for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence was 5 years or more
  • Engaging in prostitution or procuring prostitutes
  • Involvement in serious criminal activity where immunity from prosecution was asserted
  • A single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana

Contact Our Firm

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. Immigration is a sensitive issue, which is why you should consider a compassionate, experienced, and aggressive immigration attorney who will guide you every step of the way. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your circumstances and options.