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You might be ineligible for a US visa if…

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You might be ineligible for a US visa if…

Ask the US Embassy

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

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Q: The consular officer informed me I was ineligible for an immigrant visa. What does that mean? 

A: There are many reasons a visa applicant can be determined ineligible for a visa. They can be among the list of ineligibilities stated in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and other immigration laws.

Some ineligibilities can be overcome by you, the visa applicant, while others are permanent.

Permanent ineligibilities can arise from prior criminal activity or immigration violations. If you have a permanent visa ineligibility you cannot qualify for a visa unless you receive a waiver of ineligibility from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

After your visa interview, the consular officer will provide a letter explaining your visa ineligibility and instructions on the waiver process. Waivers are only available in some circumstances.

For certain visa ineligibilities you can only apply for a waiver if you have a US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent who would endure extreme hardship if you were not able to immigrate. 

Q: How do I apply for a waiver of ineligibility? 

A: Immigrant visa applicants must apply for waivers of ineligibility themselves. The consular officer cannot do so for you.

If you are found ineligible, the US Embassy cannot take any further action on your case unless you receive an approved waiver. To apply, you must file the I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, with USCIS.

If you have previously been deported or ordered removed from the United States you will also need to file the I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission to the United States After Deportation or Removal.

Waivers are discretionary, meaning that there are no guarantees that USCIS will approve a waiver for you. For detailed instructions on filing these forms, visit the USCIS website: https://www.uscis.gov/i-601 and https://www.uscis.gov/i-212. 

Q: What happens if USCIS approves my waiver application? 

A: If USCIS approves a waiver of your ineligibility the US Embassy will resume processing your case.

If you are otherwise eligible, you will be issued an immigrant visa.

Depending on the time elapsed since your original visa interview you may need to return to the embassy for a follow-up appointment and provide updated documentation.

The Immigrant Visa Unit will contact you with instructions.

For more information on visa ineligibilities and the waiver process, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/waivers.html. 

You can find more information on our website ( www.jm.usembassy.gov ) and the Department of State’s travel website www.travel.state.gov . Keep on top of embassy news on our Facebook page ( https:// www.facebook.com/USEmbassyJamaica/) and by following @USEmbassyJA on Twitter. We also answer general visa questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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