Non-Immigrant Visa Waiver

INA §212(d)(3) waives most grounds of inadmissability in connection with non-immigrant visas and visa-waivers. It states:

(A) Except as provided in this subsection, an alien (i) who is applying for a nonimmigrant visa and is known or believed by the consular officer to be ineligible for such visa under subsection (a) (other than paragraphs (3)(A)(i)(I), (3)(A)(ii), (3)(A)(iii), (3)(C), and clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (3)(E) of such subsection), may, after approval by the Attorney General of a recommendation by the Secretary of State or by the consular officer that the alien be admitted temporarily despite his inadmissibility, be granted such a visa and may be admitted into the United States temporarily as a nonimmigrant in the discretion of the Attorney General, or (ii) who is inadmissible under subsection (a) (other than paragraphs (3)(A)(i)(I), (3)(A)(ii), (3)(A)(iii), (3)(C), and clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (3)(E) of such subsection), but who is in possession of appropriate documents or is granted a waiver thereof and is seeking admission, may be admitted into the United States temporarily as a nonimmigrant in the discretion of the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall prescribe conditions, including exaction of such bonds as may be necessary, to control and regulate the admission and return of inadmissible aliens applying for temporary admission under this paragraph.

Note: There is no bar or aggravated felonies; there is no necessity for a "qualifying relative"; the waiver is available for many offenses that cannot be waived in connection with an application for an immigrant visa; the waiver can be used even after a deportation (though it may be necessary to request advance permission to reapply for admission)

The seminal case on the 212(d)(3) waiver is (still) Matter of Hranka, 16 I&N Dec. 491(BIA 1978).

Foreign Affairs Manual at 9 FAM Section 40.301, which provides guidance to consular officers, states, "The law does not require that such waiver action be limited to exceptional, humanitarian or national interest cases. Thus, while the exercise of discretion and good judgment is essential, generally, consular officers may recommend waivers for any legitimate purpose such as family visits, medical treatment (whether available abroad), business conferences, tourism, etc."