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Green Card Waivers

For Unlawful Presence, Crimes, and Misrepresentation

Did you enter the U.S. illegally and would like to obtain a green card?
Do you have a criminal record and would like
to become U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident?
Did you lie to immigration and want to see if you can get green card?

We’re Here to Help!

Illegal Entry and Unlawful Presence in the U.S.- Unlawful Presence Waivers

Many immigrants enter the U.S. illegally and stay many years without lawful immigration status. They may do this for a number of reasons: searching for a better life, fear of persecution in their home country, etc. If they meet a U.S. citizen or green card holder, fall in love, get married we can help  and are  in the U.S. for more than a year illegally, than we may help by filing a waiver so that they can take advantage of a marriage-based green card.

For persons wishing to immigrate to the US, the process of getting a green card  can become very difficult if they have accumulated a certain amount of “unlawful presence” in the US. It is possible to obtain waivers of the 3 and the 10-year bars by showing that certain qualifying relatives would suffer “extreme hardship” if the person were not permitted to return to the US for 3 or 10 years. In the past, most people had to go abroad to apply for a waiver. However, in 2013, it became possible to apply for a provisional I-601A waiver without leaving the US. Let’s discuss the likelihood of  success with our help.

Past Criminal Issues- Criminal Waivers

If you are applying for a U.S. visa or green card and you have a criminal record,  have a thorough analysis of your criminal case history done before proceeding with your immigration application. Committing certain crime(s) can bar you from a green card even if you are married to a U.S. citizen. Crimes can even bar you from sponsoring someone else for a green card if you are a U.S. citizen. You will need to find out whether your crime makes you “inadmissible” to the United States (ineligible for a visa or green card). Some, but not all crimes result in inadmissibility.

You can apply for a waiver only if you were convicted of the following (except murder or torture):

  • prostitution
  • unlawful commercialized vice whether or not related to prostitution
  • a crime of moral turpitude (CIMT)
  • simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana
  • multiple criminal convictions with an aggregate sentence of confinement of at least five years, or
  • a serious criminal offense (as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act or I.N.A., § 101(h)) in a case where you asserted immunity from prosecution, left the United States, and refused to submit to the jurisdiction of a U.S. court.

Assuming your crime fits one of these categories, you can apply for a waiver if one of the following applies to your situation:

  • you committed the crime at least 15 years ago (except in a case of prostitution for which there is no required waiting period) and can show that giving you a green card would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States, and can also demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated
  • you are the spouse, parent, son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or green card holder who can show that denial of your green card would cause extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen/green card holder, or
  • you are a VAWA self-petitioner

Misrepresentation and Fraud Waivers

The penalty for misrepresentation or fraud is severe – you will be permanently inadmissible to the United States. This is true even if you have strong family ties to the United States or are married to a United States citizen. You should always check with an immigration lawyer to find out if a past misrepresentation or fraud will be an issue in your immigration case.

To qualify for this type of waiver, you must show “extreme hardship” to a United States citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent. It can be very difficult to prove that you meet the extreme hardship standard. It isn’t enough to show that it would be financially difficult or emotionally upsetting if you are separated from your family. You have to show that the hardship to your qualifying relative would be extreme compared to the hardship normally encountered in a family separation.These are complicated situations and you need immigration attorneys who are experienced in helping you decipher the alleged fraud and whether there is a way to fight the inadmissibility charge and if not, how to help you receive an approved waiver.

Call us today to discuss your case. Let us help you explain the circumstances that led you to that desperate choice and help you put together a strong misrepresentation waiver.

About Our Firm

The Law Offices of David S. Santee is a Philadelphia-based law firm that represents individuals and businesses in a variety of immigration matters, including family-based applications for permanent residency and naturalization, employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions, asylum petitions, and removal defense. We have  extensive experience with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, having worked on more than 175 projects seeking EB-5 financing. Our firm’s founder, David S. Santee, Esquire, has nearly two decades of experience practicing law. A seasoned courtroom advocate, Mr. Santee is the former Director of Trial Advocacy Programs at Villanova University School of Law, where he continues to teach a course in Trial Advocacy as an Adjunct Professor. In addition to representing clients in immigration matters, Mr. Santee has also tried hundreds of criminal cases. He often represents individuals who are at risk of being removed from the United States due to pending or past criminal charges.

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See What Our Clients Have to Say

  • “I have had the privilege of working closely with Mr. Santee for over 5 years and have relied on his superb skills and excellent judgement to assist me in completing complex cases to successful outcomes. Our organization wouldn’t be where we are today without the strong relationship we have with Mr. Santee.”

    Thomas Martin Vice President, Baker Tilly Capital
  • “Mr. Santee represented me on my appeal. He got my conspiracy charge reduced and my sentence cut in half so that I ended up with time-served. He saved me four years of parole!”

    K.T. Lawncrest
  • "I thought I was going to die in prison. However, today I can see the light at the end of the tunnel because of the dedication and hard work of Attorney at Law David Santee. Anyone who is seeking true representation from an attorney who is not going to take your money and sell you out should consider David Santee because he will ensure your rights are protected."

    Luis Gonzalez Former Juvenile Lifer

More About Our Immigration Practice


Family Petitions

We represent individuals who are seeking to immigrate to the United States through a family member who is a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. This includes spouses, finances, children, siblings, and other family members.


Employment Petitions

We represent individuals who are seeking to travel or immigrate to the United States based on their employment status. This includes priority workers, skilled workers, professionals with advanced degrees, and foreign investors.


Removal Defense

We represent individuals in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. If you or a loved one has been served with a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court, contact us now to find out what defenses are available.

Based in Philadelphia
Serving all of Pennsylvania

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