Some dreamers decide to stop waiting in the U.S., and go abroad to make their lives, whether in Canada, Mexico, Spain or elsewhere. Many of those dreamers have inadmissibility issues, principally “unlawful presence” which can hinder their ability to obtain a U.S. visa to return to the U.S.
Can those dreamers get a tourist visa to come back to the U.S. for a short visit? The answer is, yes, possibly, by obtaining a “Hranka” nonimmigrant visa waiver.
This article delves into the Hranka waiver (also known as a 212(d)(3) waiver), a potentially crucial tool for Dreamers (DACA recipients) who have left the United States or are contemplating doing so, but still desire to return for a visit.
While many are familiar with the concept of applying for a waiver of inadmissibility, the availability of a waiver specifically designed for individuals seeking a non-immigrant visa, such as tourists, students, or others, is lesser known. This is where the Hranka waiver comes into play, granting a chance to visit the United States temporarily without pursuing a green card.
Understanding the Hranka Waiver
This waiver, if granted, can allow an inadmissible person to visit the United States for temporary stay.
A Hranka waiver allows individuals with previous criminal or immigration violations that would normally render them inadmissible to the United States to request entry on a non-immigrant visa. The Hranka Waiver is based on a 1978 Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) case called Matter of Hranka. Its purpose is to enable people who are inadmissible to the United States a chance to visit temporarily for a short stay.
While the Hranka waiver is not just available to Dreamers, it’s particularly relevant for Dreamers who have decided to leave the United States, because they typically leave with inadmissibility issues that would prevent them from coming back to the United States, without a waiver.
Factors Considered for Hranka Waiver Eligibility
The decision whether to grant a Hranka waiver is discretionary, and based primarily on three factors, as mentioned below.
Factor #1 - Risk to Society
The first factor assessed when evaluating a Hranka waiver application is the potential risk or harm to society if the waiver is granted.
The seriousness of any previous criminal convictions or immigration violations is taken into account. Individuals with records of violent crimes are likely to face more significant challenges in obtaining the waiver. However, most Dreamers with an otherwise clean history, except for unlawful presence, may have a stronger chance of this factor in their favor.
Factor #2 - Severity of Previous Immigration or Criminal Violations
The seriousness of an applicant's prior immigration or criminal violations is another crucial factor in the Hranka waiver analysis. Applicants with a pattern of multiple offenses may find it more difficult to secure the waiver, while those with a single violation are likely to receive more favorable consideration, as it indicates a less severe transgression.
Factor #3 - Purpose of Entry
The nature of an applicant's reasons for wanting to enter the United States also plays a pivotal role. Whether it is for educational pursuits, work-related engagements, or visiting close family and maintaining relationships, the underlying purpose influences the decision of whether a consular officer decides to grant an applicant a Hranka waiver.
The strength of an applicant's ties to the United States and their commitment to adhering to the conditions of the intended visa contribute to the evaluation.
Applying for a Hranka Waiver
Practically speaking, the Hranka waiver application is typically submitted simultaneously with the desired non-immigrant visa application, such as a tourist visa (B1/B2). There is no numbered form for the Hranka waiver (such as the I-601A unlawful presence waiver, for example).
Importantly, oftentimes an applicant must rely on their own verbal advocacy at a visa interview to obtain a Hranka waiver. This is unlike many other immigration processes, in which an applicant or lawyer can rely on being able to make their arguments in a written submission.
You may end up at a window like this with 5 minutes to make you can for why you deserve a Hranka waiver.
This is why, at Malakouti Law, our assistance in a Hranka waiver matter focuses nearly as much on preparing the applicant to make their case verbally at the interview, as it does on our written submission. Essential elements of the application include a well-crafted cover letter that articulates the arguments supporting the applicant's eligibility based on the three-factor test, accompanied by relevant supporting documentation to substantiate the claims made.
Request a Consultation with Malakouti Law
While the Hranka waiver offers Dreamers and DACA recipients a pathway to revisit the United States for a temporary visit, it is vital to understand that it is not a guaranteed solution. It is unwise to base decisions about leaving the United States on the assumption that the waiver will be easily granted.
Careful consideration should be given to various factors before embarking on such a journey.
For those who choose to explore the Hranka waiver, seeking professional advice from an immigration attorney is highly recommended. We’re happy to discuss your case with you at Malakouti Law. You can request a consultation here.
Each immigration and citizenship case is particular and you should consult with a qualified immigration and citizenship lawyer about your case before taking any steps. The Law Office of Parviz Malakouti does not guarantee the accuracy of information presented nor assume responsibility for actions taken in reliance of this information. The information in this page could become outdated. Attorney marketing.