Integrity Legal

29th April 2009

Waivers of Inadmissibility from Thailand: Brief Synopsis

In previous posts the topic of grounds of inadmissibility has been discussed. A grounds of inadmissibility is the legal finding by a consular officer that an immigrant is ineligible for a visa to the USA. Most grounds of inadmissibility have a remedy should one decide that they still wish to immigrate to the USA. That remedy is a waiver. A waiver application is adjudicated by USCIS and upon the granting of a waiver the petition is sent back to the US Embassy where the visa is approved and granted.

However, not all grounds of inadmissibility can be waived and this post briefly discusses two major unwaivable grounds with regard to US Visas from Thailand. (Note: A Waiver of Inadmissibility is not an “appeal,” of the consular officer’s denial of a visa petition. Some publications, particularly on the internet, claim that a decision to deny a US Visa can be “appealed,” strictly speaking this is not true, a waiver is a petition seeking to have a ground of inadmissibility waived so that the visa petition may be approved.)

Although generally there are many waivers of inadmissibility allowed under the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States, there are some situations in which an alien will be deemed inadmissible to the United States in perpetuity.

Drug conviction

Currently, a prior criminal conviction involving drugs is a grounds of inadmissibility with no available waiver. That being said, if the conviction was for simple possession of marijuana of a quantity less than 30 grams, then a waiver may be sought.  In Thailand, many of those applicants with drug convictions were arrested and convicted for activities relating to “yabaa,” the Thai street term meaning methamphetamine. Unfortunately, a conviction involving methamphetamine would lead to a likely finding of inadmissibility that and a waiver could not be obtained.

False Claims of US Citizenship

Another ground of inadmissibility that cannot be waived is a finding that an applicant has falsely presented themselves as a US Citizen on a prior occasion. At one time, falsely claiming US Citizenship was not an unwaivable ground of inadmissibility, but recent amendments to the US Immigration and Nationality Act have  resulted in a policy that claiming false citizenship in nearly any way is a grounds of inadmissibility without recourse to a waiver.

These two grounds of inadmissibility are not the only two grounds that have no recourse to a waiver, but they are more common than most other unwaivable grounds which is hy they were briefly mentioned here.

(Note: Nothing in this post should be taken as a substitution for legal advice from a duly licensed attoney with experience practicing US Immigration law. No Attorney client privilege should be inferred from reading this article.)

For more about Family Visas from Thailand please see

K1 visa

K3 visa


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