Visas: Waiver for Ineligible Nonimmigrants Under Section 212(d)(3)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a visa applicant found inadmissible is ineligible for a visa and for admission to the United States. The INA provides the Secretary of State and consular officers the authority to recommend that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approve a waiver, of most grounds of inadmissibility, that will allow the nonimmigrant visa applicant to be issued a visa and seek admission to the United States. This rule amends U.S. Department of State (``State'') regulations relating to consular officer recommendations relating to DHS waivers for nonimmigrant visa applicants, including the requirement that a consular officer, upon the request of an applicant, must submit a report to State concerning a waiver. Under the revised rule, consular officers will be required to refer waiver requests to State only when they involve security-related inadmissibility grounds or, with respect to applicant requests, only if the case meets circumstances where a referral is required by State guidance. The rule does not infringe current consular officer discretion to refer cases to State or to make recommendations directly to the Department of Homeland Security.