Immigration Grounds for Inadmissibility to the U.S.

What circumstances would make someone inadmissible to enter the United States?

A non-citizen can be denied admission to the U.S. and removed or denied a green card and adjustment to lawful permanent resident status if he or she has a ground of inadmissibility. There are numerous grounds of inadmissibility.  The most commonly applied grounds of inadmissibility are below:

  1. Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility:

    A foreign national will be denied entry if they are determined to have a communicable disease of public significance.  Inadmissibility may also be determined based on vaccination history, physical or mental disorder, drug abuse and addiction.  HIV+ individuals no longer fall into this category.

  2. Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility:

    A foreign national is inadmissible to the U.S. if he or she has been convicted of or admits having committed acts which constitute the essential elements of either (1) a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT); or (2) an offense relating to a controlled substance.

  3. Economic Grounds of Inadmissibility:

    A foreign national who is deemed to be a “public charge” is inadmissible. A public charge has been defined as a person who, by reason of poverty, insanity, disease or disability would become a charge upon the public.  For more information on public charge, please see our informational section on “Public Charge.”

  4. Illegal Entrants and Immigration Violations:

    Individuals present in the U.S. without being admitted or paroled are inadmissible.  This ground of inadmissibility will be applied to anyone found within the U.S. who has entered the U.S. without inspection or used fraud and misrepresentation to enter.  Additionally, any foreign national who has been unlawfully present for a period of more than 180 days but less than one year is inadmissible for three years, and any foreign national who has been unlawfully present for a period of one year or more is inadmissible for 10 years.

  5. Intending Immigration:

    Any foreign national who seeks to enter the U.S. and remain here permanently, or who is suspected of seeking to enter the U.S. and remain here permanently, but who does not have the proper documents to demonstrate that he or she has authorization to do so, is inadmissible.

  6. Foreign Nationals Previously Removed:

    Any foreign national who has been previously removed and whose removal proceedings were initiated upon the foreign national’s arrival in the U.S. and who again seeks admission within five years of the date of such removal.

  7. Miscellaneous Grounds of Inadmissibility:

    This category can include foreign nationals who are practicing polygamists, involved in international child abduction, unlawful voters, are  ineligible for citizenship, and foreign nationals who evaded the draft.




If you or a loved one is applying for a Permanent Resident Green Card immigration case and involves one of these difficulties, you MUST have an effective and knowledgeable immigration attorney. Contact our experienced immigration attorneys in our Los Angeles office.  We offer a free initial consultation.

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