Grounds of Inadmissibility Chart

In the realm of immigration, understanding the “grounds of inadmissibility” is vital for anyone hoping to enter or stay in the United States. These grounds dictate who is barred from entry due to various legal or personal reasons. Whether it’s a medical condition or a past criminal conviction, it’s essential to know what factors might affect your immigration status. Let’s explore the key grounds of inadmissibility in this comprehensive guide.

Grounds of Inadmissibility Chart

The grounds of inadmissibility chart is divided into various categories that outline reasons individuals might be denied entry or residency. These categories include:

  1. Medical Grounds
  2. Criminal Grounds
  3. Security Grounds
  4. Public Charge Grounds
  5. Misrepresentation Grounds
  6. Labor Certification Grounds
  7. Immigration Violations Grounds

Let’s break down each category:

Medical Grounds

Certain medical conditions can prevent individuals from gaining entry. These include:

  1. Communicable Diseases: Conditions like tuberculosis or syphilis that pose a public health risk are key examples.

  2. Mental Disorders: Individuals who may exhibit violent behavior due to mental disorders could be considered inadmissible.

  3. Vaccination Requirements: Applicants who refuse required vaccinations for illnesses like measles or polio might face inadmissibility.

Criminal Grounds

Criminal grounds are strictly enforced and include:

  1. Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT): Examples include fraud, theft, and crimes involving violence.

  2. Controlled Substances Violations: Any drug-related crime, including possession, distribution, or trafficking.

Security Grounds

The U.S. prioritizes national security, so individuals involved in the following activities are inadmissible:

  1. Terrorist Activities: Any affiliation or involvement with terrorist groups.

  2. Espionage: Spying or intelligence gathering against the U.S.

  3. Human Rights Violations: Genocide, torture, or other acts that violate basic human rights.

Public Charge Grounds

Applicants who are likely to become reliant on government assistance are considered a “public charge” and may be denied entry.

Misrepresentation Grounds

  1. Fraud or Misrepresentation: Providing false information or documents during the immigration process.

  2. False Claims to U.S. Citizenship: Claiming U.S. citizenship without authorization.

Labor Certification Grounds

These apply to those seeking employment-based visas and include:

  1. Unauthorized Employment: Working without proper authorization.

  2. Labor Certification Violations: Misrepresenting qualifications or credentials.

Immigration Violations Grounds

Violations of U.S. immigration law can lead to inadmissibility:

  1. Unlawful Presence: Staying beyond a visa expiration date or entering illegally.

  2. Prior Removals: Previously removed individuals often face restrictions.

  3. Smuggling: Assisting others to enter the U.S. illegally.

Waivers and Exceptions

While these grounds can be strict, some waivers and exceptions may apply:

  1. Eligibility for Waivers: Certain grounds may have waiver options if specific criteria are met.

  2. Humanitarian Exceptions: For individuals fleeing persecution or extreme hardship.

  3. National Interest Waivers: Skilled individuals whose work is in the national interest may qualify.

Application Process

If you believe you are eligible for a waiver or have grounds for entry despite potential inadmissibility, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Forms Required: Form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility) and other supporting documents.

  2. Evidence Needed: Medical records, criminal background checks, employment letters, etc.

  3. Application Tips: Provide as much detailed information as possible to make a compelling case.

Legal Support and Resources

Facing possible inadmissibility requires expertise and guidance:

  1. Immigration Lawyers: Professionals can help assess eligibility and navigate waivers.

  2. Support Organizations: Non-profits can offer free or low-cost legal assistance.

  3. Government Resources: Official websites like USCIS provide up-to-date information.

Consequences of Inadmissibility

If found inadmissible, it can impact:

  1. Visa Applications: Denial of tourist, student, or work visas.

  2. Appeal Options: Some decisions can be challenged through appeals.

  3. Future Immigration Challenges: A history of inadmissibility might complicate future applications.


Category Details
Medical Grounds Communicable Diseases: Tuberculosis, syphilis, etc.
  Mental Disorders: Violent behavior linked to mental disorders.
  Vaccination Requirements: Refusal of required vaccinations like measles or polio.
Criminal Grounds Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT): Theft, fraud, violent crimes.
  Controlled Substances Violations: Drug-related crimes, possession, trafficking.
Security Grounds Terrorist Activities: Involvement with terrorist organizations.
  Espionage: Spying against U.S. interests.
  Human Rights Violations: Genocide, torture, etc.
Public Charge Grounds Public Charge Risk: Likelihood of becoming reliant on government assistance.
Misrepresentation Grounds Fraud/Misrepresentation: Providing false information in the immigration process.
  False Claims to U.S. Citizenship: Claiming U.S. citizenship without authorization.
Labor Certification Grounds Unauthorized Employment: Working without proper authorization.
  Labor Certification Violations: Misrepresenting qualifications.
Immigration Violations Grounds Unlawful Presence: Overstaying visas or entering illegally.
  Prior Removals: Previous removals can lead to restrictions.
  Smuggling: Assisting illegal entry into the U.S.
Waivers and Exceptions Eligibility for Waivers: Some grounds may qualify for a waiver.
  Humanitarian Exceptions: For individuals facing persecution.
  National Interest Waivers: Skilled workers benefiting national interest.
Application Process Forms Required: Form I-601 for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.
  Evidence Needed: Medical records, criminal checks, employment letters.
  Application Tips: Submit detailed information to build a strong case.
Legal Support & Resources Immigration Lawyers: Assist in waiver applications and eligibility.
  Support Organizations: Non-profits for free or low-cost legal help.
  Government Resources: USCIS and official websites for information.
Consequences of Inadmissibility Visa Applications: Denial of tourist, student, or work visas.
  Appeal Options: Some decisions may be challenged.
  Future Immigration Challenges: Can complicate future applications.



Inadmissibility can be a complex issue, but understanding its grounds can help individuals make informed decisions. With various waivers and exceptions available, working with knowledgeable legal professionals and resources can make all the difference in addressing challenges and ensuring fair consideration.


  1. Can I apply for a waiver if I have a criminal record?

    • Yes, some criminal grounds of inadmissibility are eligible for waivers, depending on the type of crime and circumstances.
  2. Do all medical conditions make someone inadmissible?

    • Not all conditions are grounds for inadmissibility. Only communicable diseases or conditions that pose a significant risk are considered.
  3. How long does a waiver application take?

    • Processing times can vary but typically take several months.
  4. Is a prior removal an automatic denial?

    • Not necessarily. The context of the removal and the time elapsed since can influence decisions.
  5. Can I reapply if my visa was denied due to inadmissibility?

    • Yes, reapplying is possible, especially if circumstances change or you qualify for a waiver.