Set(s) of Immigration Rules to Which Foreign Nationals Might be Subject

Immigrants and Non-immigrants might be subject to the following set(s) of Immigration rules: Inadmissibility Under INA §212, Deportability Under INA §237, and Good Moral Character Under INA §101(f). 

1) Inadmissibility Under INA §212


Inadmissibility is a determination that a person seeking admission to the United States or who has already entered the United States without admission is not entitled to be admitted. The following are examples of persons who are subject to the grounds of inadmissibility under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) §212:


·  Noncitizens who entered without inspection (EWIs)

·  All noncitizens seeking admission to the United States at the border, either temporarily or as lawful permanent residents (LPRs)

·  Persons physically in the United States who are seeking to adjust their status to lawful permanent residency

·  Foreign individuals paroled into the United States

·  LPRs returning from a trip abroad may be considered to be seeking admission under INA §101(a)(13)(C), including those who have committed criminal offenses that would make them inadmissible under INA §212(a)(2).


Under INA §101(a)(13)(C), LPRs are not considered to be seeking an admission into the U.S. unless the alien (i) Has abandoned or relinquished that status; (ii) Has been absent from the United States for a continuous period in excess of 180 days; (iii) Has engaged in illegal activity after having departed the U.S.; (iv) Has departed form the U.S. while under legal process seeking removal of the alien from the U.S.; (v) Has committed an offense identified in section 212(a)(2), unless since such offense the alien has been granted relief under 212(h) or 240(A)(a); and (vi) Is attempting to enter at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers or has not been admitted to the U.S. after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.


2) Deportability Under INA §237


Foreign individuals, who were admitted in any status, even if that status has expired, are subject to the grounds of deportability listed in INA §237. Lawful Permanent Residents, other than those returning from a trip abroad and subject to classification as arriving Foreign individuals under INA §101(a)(13)(C), are considered to have been admitted as of the day they adjust status.


3) Good Moral Character Under INA §101(f)


The following foreign individuals will have to show they are of good moral character under INA §101(f):


·  Those applying for residency (Green Cards) through special immigration laws, such as applicants under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), seven-year suspension of deportation, and 10-year cancellation of removal

·  Lawful permanent residents applying for naturalization


It is important to recognize more than one set of immigration rules may apply to foreign nationals and any issues should be analyzed under each set of applicable rules. For example, all applicants for adjustment who entered with admission are subject to both INA §212 and INA §237. 


Please also see the first 2014 quarterly newsletter on Legal Permanent Resident and Ground of Inadmissibility/Deportability. If you have questions about the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), please contact Sujin Kim, Esq. at (251) 379-8065/ (251) 387-2544 or