What Are the Grounds for Inadmissibility to the U.S.?

Even if you fit into a particular visa or green card category, your application will be denied if the U.S. government determines that you are “inadmissible.” As your Massachusetts immigration attorney will advise you, there is a long list of grounds. Some of the most common and problematic include:

Health Issues


  • Have a communicable disease of public health significance.
  • Will not comply with the vaccination requirement.
  • Have or had a physical or mental disorder and behavior associated with that disorder may pose or has posed a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of yourself or others.
  • Are or were a drug abuser or drug addict.

Criminal Activities


  • Have been involved in a crime of moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense).
  • Violated a controlled substance law.
  • Have been convicted of two or more offenses, other than purely political ones, for which the combined sentences were five years or more.
  • Have been involved in prostitution within the last 10 years.
  • Are entering the U.S. to engage in unlawful commercial vice, whether or not related to prostitution.
  • Have been involved in serious criminal activity.

Immigration Violations


  • Sought to procure an immigration benefit by fraud or by concealing or misrepresenting a material fact.
  • Engaged in alien smuggling.
  • Have been unlawfully present in the U.S. in excess of either 180 days or one year, and subsequently departed the U.S. (This is a temporary bar for three or 10 years.)
  • Were previously removed (deported) from the U.S.
  • Entered the U.S. as a stowaway.

Economic Grounds


  • Are likely to need public assistance or welfare.
  • Came to the U.S. as a non-immigrant and applied for public benefits though not eligible or through fraud.

National Security Risks


  • Are or have been a member of the Communist party or any other totalitarian party.
  • Attempted, conspired, or engaged in the recruitment of child soldiers.
  • Are a terrorist, member of a foreign terrorist organization, spy, or government saboteur.
  • Have participated in genocide, torture, or persecution of anyone because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion, or Nazi persecution.

For some, but not all, inadmissibility grounds, it may be possible to get a waiver by explaining the situation to the satisfaction of immigration officials. Applying for a waiver is complicated. If any grounds of inadmissibility may apply to you, you are encouraged to have your situation evaluated by a knowledgeable Massachusetts immigration attorney. Your Massachusetts immigration attorney can determine if you could be eligible for a waiver and can help you prepare the proper forms and gather the best possible evidence.

Contact Us

The Massachusetts immigration lawyers at Ionson Law are available to provide you with advice and assistance with your particular immigration problem. Please call us today at 781-674-2562 to schedule an appointment.