Everyone makes mistakes. The consequence of some mistakes is irreversible, yet many more are curable. Sometimes course correction is the simple remedy. Other times, advocacy for an exception or waiver within the law is required. When your mistake is a criminal or immigration violation, it is called an issue of inadmissibility or deportability.

Immigration law is very statute driven. Reading the law is easier when you understand that a law essentially consists of 3 parts. The first part explains the purpose for the law’s creation. The second part defines circumstances that trigger its application. Finally, the law notes exceptions to the rule and whether waiver of its application is authorized. By reading the statute you will better understand whether or not you have an issue of inadmissibility or deportability. If you do have an issue, you may also see if a waiver is authorized.

If you are not a lawful permanent resident and you plead guilty or “nolo contendere”, or have been found guilty for committing a crime, you may need to present such a waiver of inadmissibility when applying for your “green card”. Immigration violations and prior deportations also require a waiver. If you already were a legal permanent resident, you may need to demonstrate an exception to the rule of your deportability if held to answer by the government.