Inadmissibility and Deportability

Immigrant working with machinery

What Are Inadmissibility and Deportability?

Inadmissibility and deportability are two concepts in immigration law that can lead to removal from the United States.  They come into play at different times, however.  The grounds of inadmissibility or deportability will either result in the non-citizen being refused entry to the United States or deported back to his or her country of origin.

Examples of Grounds of Inadmissibility

Some examples of possible grounds of inadmissibility include:

  • Having been convicted of certain crimes;
  • Being likely to become a “public charge;”
  • Having entered the United States without permission; or
  • Having smuggled non-citizens into the United States.

This list is not exhaustive.

Examples of Grounds of Deportability

Some examples of possible grounds of deportability include:

  • Being a terrorist;
  • Having acquired lawful status by committing marriage fraud;
  • Having falsely claimed to be a U.S. citizen in order to gain benefits from the U.S. government;
  • Having been granted lawful status which was not deserved due to being inadmissible at the time.

Again, this list is not exhaustive and only seeks to provide some examples.

The Law Supporting these Grounds

Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) mentions the grounds of inadmissibility.  These grounds apply to an individual seeking admission to the United States, whether he or she is actually at the border or applying for the right to remain here legally.

Section 237 of the INA discusses the deportability grounds.  These apply to the person who is within the United States, whether he or she is living here legally or not.

Impact of Being Found Inadmissible or Deportable

If authorities believe that you are either inadmissible or deportable, you will likely be put in removal proceedings.  Removal proceedings take place in an immigration court before a judge.  The law on these topics is complex and consideration of the grounds indicated above is only one part of the analysis involved in anyone’s immigration matter.  The possibility of a waiver for the relevant ground of inadmissibility or deportability is another point to evaluate.

These uniquely challenging scenarios do require the services of an experienced immigration attorney.  Success in immigration court might mean the difference between being permitted to live and remain in the United States or not.  We would be happy to provide you with a consultation to assess your circumstances and provide professional guidance.


Section 212 a of the INA corresponds with 8 U.S. Code 1182, as seen here.

Section 237 of the INA corresponds with 8 U.S. Code 1227, as seen here.

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