US Visa Waiver of Inadmissibility

Waivers of Inadmissibility for those applying for a US visa with Arrests, Cautions, Criminal Convictions or prior US immigration violations.

Whether you are applying for a permanent US visa (aka the “green card”) or a temporary visa, there are two hurdles you must overcome:

1) that you are eligible for the particular visa in which you are applying and

2) that you are admissible to the United States.

This page is focusing on whether a person is admissible to the US. A person may be inadmissible and thus not allowed to enter the US for many reasons, but the majority of people applying for visas who are found to be inadmissible have a prior criminal arrest, caution or conviction, US immigration violation or have been found to have committed US visa fraud.

Please note that the UK Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to US immigration law which means that a no matter how long ago a criminal conviction occurred, a person must delclare that arrest, caution or conviction when applying for a visa or entry into the US.

Prior Criminal Convictions

Those who have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”) or an offence related to a controlled substance (i.e. drugs) are inadmissible to the US.

In general, a CIMT is usually an offence which involves violence, theft or fraud. The offence of Drink Driving is not considered a CIMT but if a person has been arrested or convicted of Drink Driving recently they may be required to have a medical exam with the US Embassy’s designated civil surgeon to ensure he or she does not have a drinking problem and is not a danger to himself or others.

Those who have been cautioned in the UK for certain offences may be found to be inadmissible to the US.

Drug Abusers or Addicts

In addition to CIMTs, those who admit to abusing controlled substances (ie drugs) are inadmissible to the United States.

Prior US Immigration Law Violations

Those who have violated US immigration either by committing fraud to gain an immigration benefit or those who have remained in the US beyond the time period they were allowed to remain in the US for more than six months are inadmissible to the US. In addition, if a person stays more than 90 days while in the US on the Visa Waiver Program, they may no longer travel to the US visa-free as a visitor for business or tourism and will need to obtain a B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa.


The main types of waivers available are for temporary or permanent visa applicants and are dependent upon the reason you are inadmissible. If you have a prior arrest, caution or conviction and wish to travel to the US, you can contact us on our contact page and possibly book a consultation. Whether you are eligible for a waiver usually requires a complex legal assessment and advice regarding eligibility cannot be given outside the context of an initial consultation.