Grounds of Inadmissibility 


Every immigrant and nonimmigrant must first establish that they are admissible to the U.S. before being granted admission. The grounds of inadmissibility are outlined at section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The grounds of inadmissibility apply in removal proceedings when an individual is charged with being removable for being inadmissible at the time of their entry into the U.S. or adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident. INA § 237(a)(1)(A). Thus, even though an individual may have been admitted and living in the U.S. for several years, that individual could be placed into removal proceedings based on a preexisting inadmissibility at the time of his or her admission. Below is a list of the most common grounds of inadmissibility:

Health-Related Grounds

  • Health-Related Grounds - INA § 212(a)(1)

Criminal Grounds

  • Multiple Criminal Convictions - INA § 212(a)(2)(B)
  • Controlled Substance Violations - INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II)
  • Controlled Substance Traffickers - INA § 212(a)(2)(C)
  • Prostitution and Commercialized Vice - INA § 212(a)(2)(D)
  • Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT) - INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)

National Security Grounds

  • Terrorist Activites - INA § 212(a)(B)(i)
  • Potential Serious Adverse Consequences to U.S. Foreign Policy - INA § INA(a)(3)(C)
  • Membership in the Communist or a Totalitarian Party - INA § 212(a)(3)(D)(i)

Public Charge

  • Public Charge - INA § 212(a)(4)(A)

Labor Related Grounds

  • Labor Related Grounds of Inadmissibility - INA § 212(a)(5)(A)(i)

Immigration Violations

  • Present in the U.S. Without Being Lawfully Admitted or Paroled - INA § 212(a)(6)(A)
  • Failure to Attend Removal Proceeding - INA § 212(a)(6)(B)
  • Fraud or Willful Misrepresentation - INA § 212(a)(6)(C)
  • Stowaways - INA § 212(a)(6)(D)
  • Smugglers - INA § 212(a)(6)(E)
  • Documentation Requirements - INA § 212(a)(7)(A)
  • Previously Removed - INA § 212(a)(9)(A)
  • Unlawfully Present - INA § 212(a)(9)(B)
  • Reentering the United States Without Authorization - INA § 212(a)(9)(C)