Individualized, Innovative

Alien Smuggling Inadmissibility Waiver

Introduction: The term “alien smuggling” refers to aiding anyone, regardless of their relationship or monetary gain, to enter the United States unlawfully. This action can have various consequences for immigrants, such as rendering them inadmissible, subject to deportation, impacting their moral character evaluation, and resulting in an aggravated felony conviction.

SCOPE: If you’ve either been found guilty of alien smuggling or have been involved in it without facing a conviction, you could face deportation from or be deemed ineligible for entry into the United States. This implies that if you currently hold a green card, it’s possible for you to be deported, and if you’re in the process of applying for one, your application may be rejected.

Who qualifies: To qualify for this discretionary waiver, two primary conditions must be met:

The individual seeking the waiver must be EITHER:

  1. A lawful permanent resident who voluntarily traveled abroad (not as a result of an order of deportation or removal) and is otherwise admissible, OR
  2. Someone applying for a green card based on a family-based petition (including immediate relatives or through first, second, or third preference visa petitions, but excluding fourth preference visa petitions for brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens).


The person must have facilitated the smuggling of only their spouse, parent, son, or daughter (with no involvement of any other individual).

These constitute the fundamental eligibility criteria for obtaining the inadmissibility waiver. Once these prerequisites are satisfied, the applicant must then persuade the adjudicator to grant the waiver based on one or more of the following reasons:

  1. a) “Humanitarian purposes,” such as the applicant suffering from a serious illness with inadequate access to medical care in their home country.
  2. b) “To assure family unity,” for instance, when leaving a U.S. citizen spouse and child behind in the United States.
  3. c) When it is “otherwise in the public interest,” for example if the individual is an active member of a church or a valued employee, whose absence would be felt within the community.

NOTE. This waiver does not apply to anyone who:

  • Assisted someone other than, or in addition to, her own son/daughter, parent, or spouse;
  • Must establish good moral character;
  • Seeks to immigrate through the fourth preference category (siblings of U.S. citizens);
  • Seeks to immigrate through a work visa; or
  • Applies for some other form of relief (although certain forms of relief have general waivers that may apply, see Section II(A)(2) below).

Schedule A Free Case Evaluation With An Immigration Lawyer

Our firm offers an initial consultation for free. If you have been accused or declared inadmissible because of smuggling, we encourage you to schedule a consultation to discuss your particular situation. You can call our office at 612-430-8022 or send us an email to schedule this free appointment.