Below are common grounds of admissibility for which immigrant visa waivers may be available. The rules are often stringent. But with focused representation your chances are greatly increased to win your case.
See New Waiver Procedures at Ciudad Juarez
Overstay/Out of Status
a) overstay for more than 6 months but less then a year : any alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S. for between 6 months-1 year and who then leaves the U.S. and tries to seek admission to the U.S. is inadmissible if trying to reenter within 3 years from the date of such alien's departure or removal.
b) overstay for 1 year or more : any alien unlawfully present in the U.S. for 1 year or more, leaves the U.S. (either voluntarily or by removal, is also inadmissible as above in (a). However, this time the alien will be barred for 10 years from the date of such alien's departure or removal rather then 3 years.
In both cases of overstay above, there is the possibility of obtaining an immigrant visa waiver if the alien is the spouse, son, or daughter of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and extreme hardship would be caused to such qualifying relative.
a) crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT): This is the most common inadmissibility criminal related ground which people face in most part because CIMTs include such a broad category of crimes. If you have a conviction record for a crime, the crime is likely included as a CIMIT for immigration purposes. It is important to be aware that not only convictions but admissions of acts which constitute the essential elements of an CIMT make one inadmissible. Crimes committed when under the age of 18 more than 5 years prior to application for admission do not count. Crimes committed for which the maximum penalty possible did not exceed imprisonment for 1 year also do not count so long as you were not sentenced to imprisonment in exess of 6 months. A waiver is possible for immigrants under 212(h) if you are the spouse, parent, son, or daughter of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and you can establish extreme hardship to such qualifying relative. This is a very hard waiver to win but one which R&A can help you build a case if you have such a qualifying relative. There is also the possibility of a waiver under 212(c) under very limited circumstances.
b) controlled substance: Convictions (or admitting the essential elements) of any law of the U.S. or foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in 21 U.S.C. 802) also renders one inadmissible to the U.S. There is a limited waiver possible here for immigrants under 212(h) as with a CIMT above but only if your conviction was for a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana. Because of the very stringent restrictions placed on the chance for obtaining any type of waiver of convictions of controlled substances, the possibility of criminal conviction for controlled substances should be avoided if at all possible. The rules are even more stringent for anyone that is known or an officer has reason to be a trafficker of such controlled substances because no waivers are possible in the case of trafficking.
c) multiple convictions: If you have been convicted or 2 or more offenses (does not have to be a CIMT) for which the aggregate sentences to confinement are 5 years or more, you are inadmissible. There is a possible waiver for those having a qualified relative as with a CMIT conviction above.
d) prostitution: anyone coming to the US to engage in prostitution or who has engaged in prostitution within 10 years of the date of application is inadmissible. Also inadmissible is anyone who procured or attempts to procure postitutes within 10 years of application. A waiver for those having a qualified relative as with a CMIT conviction is possible.
Communicable Diseases: Certain communicable diseases of public health significance make someone inadmisssible to the U.S. Such diseases include HIV and turburculos. A waiver is possible for immigrants if you have a "qualifying relative" such as a spouse or parent who is already a US citizen or permanent resident.
Immigration Violators :
a) present without inspection : An alien who is present without having been admitted or paroled into the U.S. is inadmissible. An example o f this is someone who say crosses the U.S.-Mexico border rather then entering through a port of entry. Exceptions to this ground of inadmissibility are very limited and include legalization applicants under 245(i) as well as NACARA applicants under 202(d)(1)(D).
b) fraud or misrepresentation : An alien who fraudulently or willfully misrepresents a material fact in order to procure documentation such as a visa or admission into the U.S. may find themselves up against this ground of inadmissibility. A waiver is possible for immigrants if you are the spouse, son or daughter of a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident and can show extreme hardship to such qualified relative.
c) false claim to U.S. citizenship: Any alien who falsely represents (on or after 9/30/96) herself to be a U.S. citizen to procure a benefit is inadmissible. There is a limited exception for reasonble mistaken belief by the alien who was a permanent resident by the age of 16 and child of U.S. citizen parents. Unlike with fraud/misrepresentation above, no waivers are allowed for immigrant visas.
c) student visa abusers: Any alien student visa holder who violates at term or condition of such status is inadmissible until such alien has been outside the U.S. for a continuous period of 5 years after the date of the violation. No immigrant visa waivers are available.