(317) 247-5040 | office@wehelpimmigrants.com | 3500 DePauw Blvd, Ste 2071, Indianapolis IN 46268


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Disclaimer: The legal information on our website is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. No attorney-client relationship is created through the use of our website. All information on this site is of a general nature and should not be considered legal advice. Always consult our firm or another qualified immigration lawyer about your specific situation prior to taking any action in your case.


Nobody's perfect. You may have issues in your immigration history such as unlawful entries, overstaying your visa, deportations, or criminal convictions.

We can help you get back on the right side of the law by obtaining forgiveness from the government.

Waivers are a highly technical area of immigration law, and you are much more likely to be granted a waiver if you're working with an experienced attorney.

What can be forgiven?

Unlawful Presence

If you have been in the United States without permission or stayed too long, you may need a waiver to complete your case. If you have been unlawfully present for more than 6 months, you might be barred from completing your case until you spend 3 years outside of the United States. If you've been unlawfully present for one year or more, you may be barred from completing your case until you spend 10 years outside of the United States. In many, but not all, cases we are able to get a waiver to forgive your unlawful presence so that you can win your green card application without living abroad for the 3 or 10-year period.

It is important to know that you might be able to win your case without needing a waiver, even if you're undocumented. Our lawyers will help create the best strategy in your specific case so we can do things as quickly and inexpensively as possible.

The "Permanent" Bar

There is an extra penalty if you have been unlawfully present in the United States for at least one year, left the United States, and returned again without permission. This penalty is sometimes called the "Permanent Bar," because it is very hard to get forgiven. Most individuals with a permanent bar have to live outside of the United States for at least ten years before they are even allowed to apply for a waiver. The technical name for this type of forgiveness is not actually a "waiver," but "permission to reapply."

If you have the permanent bar but have lived abroad for ten years, we can help you try to obtain permission to reapply so you can finally obtain your green card.


Also, it is important to know that there are some important exceptions to the permanent bar. This law did not take effect until April 1, 1997, so some immigrants whose unlawful presence was a long time ago do not actually have the permanent bar. There are also immigrants who have been the victims of crimes or abuse, or who are in immigration court proceedings, who may be able to fix their status despite their permanent bar.


Have you ever been deported? Have you ever had a judge order you to be deported (even if you didn't leave)? Have you missed a hearing in Immigration Court? A deportation or removal order is a big barrier to fixing your immigration status. However, we may be able to help you fix things either by obtaining a waiver or reopening your case in Immigration Court. 

Criminal History

There are many types of criminal convictions that can prevent you from obtaining a green card. Some of these convictions can be waived and others cannot. We can assess your situation and determine whether your offense can legally be waived and how likely it is that your waiver application will be approved. 

J1 Foreign Residence

If you have ever held a J visa, you might be required to go and live in your home country for two years before applying for another status in the United States. This rule is called the "Two-Year Foreign Residence Requirement," and even marrying a U.S. citizen doesn't erase it.

Fortunately, there are ways we may be able to help you obtain a waiver of the requirement so you don't have to go back home after you've already  started your life here in the U.S.

Joint Filing Requirement

If you have received a two-year, conditional green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you are required to apply together with your spouse to remove the conditions so you can get a renewable 10-year green card. But what if your spouse refuses to sign? What if you've gotten divorced? What if your spouse has passed away?


Fortunately, there are waivers available for these tragic cases that can allow you to remove the conditions by yourself so you can still remain living in the United States with your green card.

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