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If you are inadmissible to the United States and are seeking an immigrant visa, adjustment of status, certain nonimmigrant statuses or certain other immigration benefits, you may be eligible to seek a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) admissibility is generally a requirement for admission to the United States, adjustment of status, and other immigration benefits. The grounds that make foreign nationals inadmissible to the United States are generally described in section 212 of the INA.

Several statutory provisions authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to grant discretionary waivers of particular grounds of inadmissibility for those who demonstrate that a denial of admission would result in “extreme hardship” to specified U.S. citizen or LPR family members. These specified family members are known as “qualifying relatives.

Each of these statutory provisions conditions a waiver on both a finding of extreme hardship to one or more qualifying relatives and the favorable exercise of discretion. These waiver applications are adjudicated by USCIS (and in some cases by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review.

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