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What Is a 212(h) Waiver?

Signing PapersPeople come to the United States for a variety of reasons. In order to stay here as a lawful permanent resident, immigrants are required to obtain a green card. However, there are different ways this opportunity can be lost, such as if the applicant has or receives a criminal record. Continue reading to learn more about what you can do in these situations.

What Is a 212(h) Waiver?

A 212(h) waiver exists to help individuals get or keep a green card in the event that they were convicted of a crime. The waiver is done on a form I-601. When filing it, the applicant must 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 if they were to leave the country and they deserve the waiver. Once this is done, the judge or immigration service can look into the situation to see if they should be allowed to stay in the United States. Factors that can be considered can include their length of residence in the country, 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 employment history. In addition to this, they will also look into the country the individual would be returning to and their potential for rehabilitation.

Am I Eligible for a 212(h) Waiver?

Those who can qualify for a 212(h) waiver are individuals who have never been in removal proceedings, have a criminal record, and are eligible for a green card outside of having a criminal record. It is important to know that if the waiver is denied by immigration, the applicant can be placed into removal proceedings. Individuals who were convicted of any of the following crimes may 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

Katona & Associates, PLLC is an experienced, highly dedicated New York City immigration law firm located in lower Manhattan. Our firm works with clients in all matters of immigration law, including employment immigration, family immigration, deportation defense, green cards, and citizenship. Contact us to discuss your case and get the help you need.

Client Reviews
"Before I decided to hire David as my immigration attorney, I made thorough research online and I can say that I don’t regret a second that I made the right choice to choose him to represent me as my immigration attorney to apply for my green card. From day one, he was very helpful and patient. I asked him lots of questions during the application process and he provided me always great advice. I am definitely recommending David to every person who needs legal advice. He was very helpful." Alper
"Mr. Katona helped us well prepared our AOS interview, and gave us tons of recommendations. He’s not only professional but also very friendly and patient. He listened to our concerns, answered all our questions and eased our anxiety. He went to the interview with us and our case approved on the spot. He’s definitely the best immigration lawyer in the city. If you need an immigration attorney, Mr. Katona is the right person to talk with." Luyao Y.
"I am overjoyed to come back here and give attorney Katona yet another outstanding review. He confidently guided me and I took what other attorneys considered too big of the risk and I am back with GC!!!" Marta