What can keep me from getting a visa or green card?

Anyone who has investigated the process of entering Louisiana or other parts of the U.S. with a green card or visa probably already knows how complicated and time-consuming it can be. The number of people seeking entry seems to grow each year, and certain programs have annual caps or limitations on the number of visas granted. Additionally, there are often numerous steps to the process, and each takes time for agents to evaluate, investigate and approve before moving to the next phase.

One of the most frustrating things that can happen during the immigration process is to learn that you are ineligible for entry because of certain grounds of inadmissibility. These are factors that may automatically disqualify you from entering or remaining in the U.S., and they can be difficult if not impossible to overcome.

Grounds of inadmissibility

The purpose of the long, involved immigration process is to ensure the safety and well-being of the citizens of the country by carefully controlling who may and may not enter. Someone who presents a risk to the population will likely not receive a green card or visa. Some of the most common grounds of inadmissibility include the following:

  • Having a communicable disease, an addiction to illegal drugs or a lack of proof that you are properly vaccinated
  • Having a conviction for certain crimes, such as drug trafficking, money laundering or crimes of moral turpitude
  • Violating a child custody order imposed by a U.S. family court
  • Lying, committing fraud or misrepresenting facts on your immigration applications or during the interview process
  • Participating in organizations or activities that pose a security risk or violate U.S. democracy, such as Totalitarian parties, terrorist organizations or espionage
  • Failing to have the proper documentation to authorize your entry

Of course, if you have already gone through the removal process, you are likely under a ban for re-entry for a certain amount of time. If you are in the U.S. now but did not obtain admission through the legal immigration channels, you may have to obtain a waiver before becoming eligible to apply for a green card or visa.

To obtain a waiver, you may have to prove the existence of an extreme hardship. Some examples of hardship include your age, the difficulty you or your children would have returning to your native land, or the need for medical treatment that is unavailable in your home country. The USCIS has some discretion in determining whether to waive grounds of inadmissibility for individuals who are seeking permanent residence in good faith.