212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Crime Involving Moral Turpitude or CIMT

212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Crime Involving Moral Turpitude or CIMT

Inadmissibility Series INA 212– Part II

212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Crime Involving Moral Turpitude or CIMT

Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 lists a series of classes of foreign nationals who are inadmissible to the United States.  Some classes are complete bars and others allow specific types of waivers of inadmissibility.  If you are attempting to enter the Unites States or are already in the United States and you are inadmissible then you will be barred from receiving immigration benefits such as a visa or green card.  There are many ways a foreign national may be deemed inadmissible.  The three most common ways are when he or she applies for a visa at a US Consulate, attempts to enter the US with a visa or applies for an immigration benefit while in the United States.  In making one of these types of immigration applications, an immigration officer can make a determination that the foreign national’s past actions make him or her inadmissible or ineligible for benefits.

If an immigration officer determines that you are inadmissible then you have two options to overcome the determination.  You can either challenge the determination of inadmissibility or apply for a waiver of inadmissibility if the law allows.  In many cases. challenging the determination of inadmissibility is the only option because the foreign national is either not eligible for a waiver or the law does not offer a waiver.

212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Crime Involving Moral Turpitude or CIMT

In general.-Except as provided in clause (ii), any alien convicted of, or who admits having committed, or who admits committing acts which constitute the essential elements of-

(I) a crime involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such a crime).

212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) CIMT List or List of Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude

The Immigration and Nationality Act does not provide a CIMT list.  However, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) does provide a list of the type of crimes which are commonly CIMT.

According to 9 FAM 40.21(a) N2.2, a crime is likely a CIMT if an element of the crime includes fraud, larceny or intent to harm persons or things.

9 FAM 40.21(a) N2.3-1 lists common crimes against property that are considered CIMT

a. Most crimes committed against property that involve moral turpitude include the element of fraud. The act of fraud involves moral turpitude whether it is aimed against individuals or government. Fraud generally involves:
(1) Making false representation;
(2) Knowledge of such false representation by the perpetrator;
(3) Reliance on the false representation by the person defrauded;
(4) An intent to defraud; and
(5) The actual act of committing fraud
b. Other crimes committed against property involving moral turpitude involve an inherently evil intent, such as the act of arson. The following list comprises crimes frequently committed against property, which may be held to involve moral turpitude for the purposes of visa issuance:
(1) Arson;
(2) Blackmail;
(3) Burglary;
(4) Embezzlement;
(5) Extortion;
(6) False pretenses;
(7) Forgery;
(8) Fraud;
(9) Larceny (grand or petty);
(10) Malicious destruction of property;
(11) Receiving stolen goods (with guilty knowledge);
(12) Robbery;
(13) Theft (when it involves the intention of permanent taking); and
(14) Transporting stolen property (with guilty knowledge).
c. Crimes against property which do not fall within the definition of moral turpitude include:
(1) Damaging private property (where intent to damage not required);
(2) Breaking and entering (requiring no specific or implicit intent to commit a crime involving moral turpitude);
(3) Passing bad checks (where intent to defraud not required);
(4) Possessing stolen property (if guilty knowledge is not essential);
(5) Joy riding (where the intention to take permanently not required); and
(6) Juvenile delinquency.

9 FAM 40.21(a) N2.3-2 lists common crimes against government authorities that are CIMT

a. Crimes committed against governmental authority which fall within the definition of moral turpitude include:
(1) Bribery;
(2) Counterfeiting;
(3) Fraud against revenue or other government functions;
(4) Mail fraud;
(5) Perjury;
(6) Harboring a fugitive from justice (with guilty knowledge); and
(7) Tax evasion (willful).
b. Crimes committed against governmental authority, which would not constitute moral turpitude for visa-issuance purposes, are, in general, violation of laws which are regulatory in character and which do not involve the element of fraud or other evil intent. The following list assumes that the statutes involved do not require the showing of an intent to defraud, or evil intent:
(1) Black market violations;
(2) Breach of the peace;
(3) Carrying a concealed weapon;
(4) Desertion from the Armed Forces;
(5) Disorderly conduct;
(6) Drunk or reckless driving;
(7) Drunkenness;
(8) Escape from prison;
(9) Failure to report for military induction;
(10) False statements (not amounting to perjury or involving fraud);
(11) Firearms violations;
(12) Gambling violations;
(13) Immigration violations;
(14) Liquor violations;
(15) Loan sharking;
(16) Lottery violations;
(17) Possessing burglar tools (without intent to commit burglary);
(18) Smuggling and customs violations (where intent to commit fraud is absent);
(19) Tax evasion (without intent to defraud); and
(20) Vagrancy.

9 FAM 40.21(a) N2.3-3 lists common crimes against a person, family relationship and sexual morality

a. Crimes committed against the person, family relationship, and sexual morality, which constitute moral turpitude as it relates to visa issuance, include:
(1) Abandonment of a minor child (if willful and resulting in the destitution of the child);
(2) Adultery (see INA 101(f)(2) repealed by Public Law 97-116);
(3) Assault (this crime is broken down into several categories, which involve moral turpitude):
(a) Assault with intent to kill;
(b) Assault with intent to commit rape;
(c) Assault with intent to commit robbery;
(d) Assault with intent to commit serious bodily harm; and
(e) Assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon (some weapons may be found to be lethal as a matter of law, while others may or may not be found factually to be such, depending upon all the circumstances in the case. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, the size of the weapon, the manner of its use, and the nature and extent of injuries inflicted.);
(4) Bigamy;
(5) Contributing to the delinquency of a minor;
(6) Gross indecency;
(7) Incest (if the result of an improper sexual relationship);
(8) Kidnapping;
(9) Lewdness;
(10) Manslaughter:
(a) Voluntary, occurs when a person intentionally kills another person after “adequate provocation”; that is, there has been action that was sufficient to incite an “ordinary person” to “sudden and intense passion” such that s/he loses self-control. It should be noted that the time between provocation and the killing should not be long enough for the passion to have cooled off. In most states, “adequate provocation” is defined to be only situations in which there is a threat of deadly force, or in which a person finds his/her spouse in bed with another person. Verbal threats are usually not considered adequate provocation; and
(b) Involuntary, where the statute requires proof of recklessness, which is defined as the awareness and conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustified risk which constitutes a gross deviation from the standard that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A conviction for the statutory offense of vehicular homicide or other involuntary manslaughter that only requires a showing of negligence will not involve moral turpitude even if it appears the defendant in fact acted recklessly.
(11) Mayhem;
(12) Murder;
(13) Pandering;
(14) Prostitution; and
(15) Rape (By statute, a person may be convicted of statutory rape even though the victim consents and provided she or he is under the statutory age at the time of the commission of the act. “Statutory rape” is also deemed to involve moral turpitude.)
b. Crimes committed against the person, family relationship, or sexual morality which do not involve moral turpitude include:
(1) Assault (simple) (i.e., any assault, which does not require an evil intent or depraved motive, although it may involve the use of a weapon, which is neither dangerous nor deadly);
(2) Illegitimacy (i.e., the offense of begetting an illegitimate child);
(3) Creating or maintaining a nuisance (where knowledge that premises were used for prostitution is not necessary);
(4) Incest (when a result of a marital status prohibited by law);
(5) Involuntary manslaughter (when killing is not the result of recklessness);
(6) Libel;
(7) Mailing an obscene letter;
(8) Mann Act violations (where coercion is not present);
(9) Riot; and
(10) Suicide (attempted).

9 FAM 40.21(a) N2.4 lists common crimes involving aiding and abetting, accessories and conspiracy

a. The following types of crimes are held to be crimes involving moral turpitude:
(1) An attempt to commit a crime deemed to involve moral turpitude;
(2) Aiding and abetting in the commission of a crime deemed to involve moral turpitude;
(3) Being an accessory (before or after the fact) in the commission of a crime deemed to involve moral turpitude; or
(4) Taking part in a conspiracy (or attempting to take part in a conspiracy) to commit a crime involving moral turpitude.
b. Conversely, where an alien has been convicted of, or admits having committed the essential elements of, a criminal attempt, or a criminal act of aiding and abetting, accessory before or after the fact, or conspiracy, and the underlying crime is not deemed to involve moral turpitude, then INA 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) would not be applicable.

How to obtain a determination that the 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) ground of inadmissibility was incorrectly made.

No matter which US government agency made the inadmissibility determination, each provides a method to dispute the determination, though each has drastically different processing times. We have achieved successful outcomes by petitioning the US Department of State where the determination was made by the Consulate in as little as 2 weeks. CBP quotes turnaround times of as little as 30 days and USCIS will not offer a time frame. In our experience, the more difficult the situation, the longer it will take to get resolved.

Waiver of Inadmissibility for an Immigrant Visa due to 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Crime Involving Moral Turpitude or CIMT

There is only one section of law which allow a foreign national to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility where he or she is ultimately applying for an immigrant visa or permanent residence (green card).

INA 212(h) – The Attorney General may, in his discretion, waive the application of subparagraphs (A)(i)(I), (B), (D), and (E) of subsection (a)(2) and subparagraph (A)(i)(II) of such subsection insofar as it relates to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana if-

(1) (A) in the case of any immigrant it is established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that-
(i) the alien is inadmissible only under subparagraph (D)(i) or (D)(ii) of such subsection or the activities for which the alien is inadmissible occurred more than 15 years before the date of the alien’s application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status.
(ii) the admission to the United States of such alien would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States, and
(iii) the alien has been rehabilitated; or

(B) in the case of an immigrant who is the spouse, parent, son, or daughter of a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if it is established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the alien’s denial of admission would result in extreme hardship to the United States citizen or lawfully resident spouse, parent, son, or daughter of such alien; or

(C) the alien is a VAWA self-petitioner; and

(2) the Attorney General, in his discretion, and pursuant to such terms, conditions and procedures as he may by regulations prescribe, has consented to the alien’s applying or reapplying for a visa, for admission to the United States, or adjustment of status.
No waiver shall be provided under this subsection in the case of an alien who has been convicted of (or who has admitted committing acts that constitute) murder or criminal acts involving torture, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit murder or a criminal act involving torture. No waiver shall be granted under this subsection in the case of an alien who has previously been admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if either since the date of such admission the alien has been convicted of an aggravated felony or the alien has not lawfully resided continuously in the United States for a period of not less than 7 years immediately preceding the date of initiation of proceedings to remove the alien from the United States. No court shall have jurisdiction to review a decision of the Attorney General to grant or deny a waiver under this subsection.

Waiver of Inadmissibility for a Non Immigrant Visa due to 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Crime Involving Moral Turpitude or CIMT

INA 212(d)(3) – Except as provided in this subsection, an alien (i) 20b/ who is applying for a non immigrant 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), 20a/ 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 non immigrant in the discretion of the Attorney General, or (ii) 20b/ who is inadmissible under subsection (a) (other than paragraphs (3)(A)(i)(I), (3)(A)(ii), (3)(A)(iii), (3)(C), 20a/ 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.

If you have been determined to be inadmissible, we can help you overcome the determination or obtain a waiver

Many people who are faced with a inadmissibility determination believe that they will never be able to obtain a waiver or enter the US again.  This is simply not true.  For almost all types of inadmissibility classes, a waiver is available and there is always an option to challenge the determination.  We have successfully helped many clients who were determined to be inadmissible and we can assist you.  We believe that with the right approach, there is always a hope to win your case.

26 Responses

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  1. Written by Alex
    on November 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    I’m a Cuban Immigrant. I got here in 1994. I was here under political asylum. In 1998 i got a felony charge and in 1999 I was found guilty. I served my time and I’m not on probation. I also have an order for Removal under section:
    212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I). I’ve made several attempts to apply for my I-765, paid $340 both times. I’m now on the second try and been waiting to be approve for almost a year now. I just received a letter from ICE. They are asking me to show evidence that I was released on an Order Of Supervision pursuant to Section 241(a)(3). And also they want me to show evidence of my economic necessity for employment.

    I was released in 2007 and have not been able to obtain a State ID. nor driver license due to the lack of document required to get the same. Any help or advised you can give me please? I’m about to give up. I can’t even get a passport from Cuba because the Cuban consul in Miami is asking me for my Green Card Or Work Permit.
    Thank you and I really hope to hear from you soon.

  2. Written by Zeliha
    on February 11, 2011 at 7:57 am

    My husband is in admisiable under 212a2 because of controlled substance violation. I am an american citizen married since june 2009. Please help me bring my husband in to the US. I am losing my mind. I don’t want to be away from him anymore. Is there any way to waive this?

  3. Written by Eris
    on June 1, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    My father has been an LPR since 89′ and has been married to my mother for 20+ years. He was charged with domestic violence in 2001 in which I understand is a CIMT. He has been a model citizen in every way since then and desperately wants to be a USC. Some one please help me with options.

  4. Written by Jane
    on August 24, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Help please! My husband was charged two assault_family violence in 2000 & 2005 respectively, misdemeanor Class A, dismissed & expunged in 2002, another misdemeanor Class B was dismissed in 2006. Can the waiver of inadmissibility still be apply when he seek green card? We have US citzen child.

  5. Written by KThompson
    on September 28, 2011 at 9:09 am

    My fiance was denied entry at JFK airport and told he was unadmissable under 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) and 2(C) in August 2005. He applied for a visa in Feb 2010 and was denied under the same grounds.

    He would like to re-apply for a visa so that we can visit the USA in September 2012 for our honeymoon. This would be 12 years after the offence.

    Will he be granted a visa? Is the 5 year ban true? Any advice much appreciated

  6. Written by edward
    on October 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I recently have been denied a B1B2 visa under the grounds of 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). I have quite a few previous convictions:
    3 X Robbery (14yrs ago) = 3yrs in Prison
    Affray (7 yrs ago) = 100 hrs community service
    Possession Class A, C (5 yrs ago) = Caution
    What are my chances of getting a Waiver?
    Would it be best to use the services of a lawyer?
    Should I re apply straight away?
    Would re applying with caracter references, negative drug test result? What could I do to improve my chances.
    I really have changed and have a fantastic job, allowing me to travel the world. However I will loose my job if this visa is denied. I would only need to be in the US for a couple of 2 week periods over a few months.
    Can anyone offer any advice?

    Thank you in advance!

  7. Written by Al Range
    on January 31, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Hi i applied for an F11 visa but when i got to the port of entry the vehicle i was traveling smelled for marijuana (the dog slle it) but there was nothing on the vehicle. I gor a vilation of section 212 (a) (2) (A) (i) (II). Is there a posibility to apply again for the F1 visa and have it done without rejecting it

  8. Written by Joseph Johnston
    on April 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    My girlfriend is a Colombian citizen and a resident of the United States. Yesterday she was denied admission to the United States after visitng family in Colombia. She is currently held in a detention center in Houston. in 2006 she was convicted of Child Abandonment with Intent to Return. The child was 8 years old and was alone in the house for about 30 minutes. There was no harm or injury to the child. As I understand FAM 40.21(a) N2.3-3a.(1), to be considered a crime of moral turpitude, the abandonment must be willful AND result in the destitution of the child. There was no destitution.

    She is still awaiting arraignment. Can the judge dismiss this at her arraignment? If not, what happens? Also, how does a waiver of inadmissability work?

  9. Written by Joseph Johnston
    on April 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Correction to my previous post. If she does not qualify for a CIMT, then she should not be deemed inadmissable. She shouldn’t need a waiver, she should be allowed to come and go freely. How do we fight this?

  10. Written by Larysa Barysheva
    on July 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    My daughter still remain in ICE custody BTC detention.ICE won’t let me use my Employment Authorization Card.She never ever been accused,charged,convicted,or engaged in any criminal activity either in /or outside the USA.She is clear and have clean background.please Help us get her out ICE detention.She come in USA and border officer don’t her inter USA.We don’t know why.

    on July 24, 2012 at 11:40 pm


  12. Written by H. Trinh
    on September 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    My sister was arrested on July 8, 2011 for a misdemeanor $32 theft (1st offense), she is living in France of the US, by the time she was arrested she has to return back to her county 3 days later, she hired an attorney to represent her and postponed a court date in April to return to the US to attend her court date, but the immigration denied not to issue her visa on February 2012 under Section 212(a)(2)(A)(I)(I) Crime Involving Moral Turpitude. On April 2012 her lawyer represent her to appear in court and she was sentenced to 3 years probation (INFORMAL PROBATION).
    1. Is she eligible to file a motion to terminate her probation early and expunge her record?
    2. Is she eligible to apply a “reissuance visa” again or she has to reapply from a beginning
    3. Is her case hurt her in the future to apply for a green card if she is still under probation because her mother is a US Citizen.
    4. She needs to come to the US to help her mother due to her serious illness.

    Her husband just passed away 2 months ago, please help.

  13. Written by jamie
    on October 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    can someone please help me with my questions ? does anyone know how long it takes for a renewal waiver? i was granted one which was valid for a yr, it took 7 months to obtain, does the renewal process take less time?

    also can i apply for an L1 to work in the usa if i have an i92 waiver?

  14. Written by ismael
    on November 18, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I need help im inadmisible by 212(a)(9)(a) there are a waiver please help

  15. Written by Jose D
    on November 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I was arrested in 2000/03. Under section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(i).
    my wife is an American citizen, we have a child whichis an American citizen..i am a Canadian permanent resident.i was denied to enter U.S.under spouse sponsor.is there any waiver for my case.

  16. Written by M. Montenegro
    on February 1, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Help my husband is in removal precedings under 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) & 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)….does he have a change to re apply. I’m a US Citizen we got married in 94 and have 2 sons. He became citizen in 2001.

  17. Written by claude
    on May 18, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Help me, is in removal precedings under 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) & 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I). please contact me claudehmichel@yahoo.com

  18. Written by Kevin
    on May 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

    To all you bloggers.

    US immigration law is very complexed. I recommend doing your own research before hiring a lawyer, which can be very costly, just to be told that you are not eligible for a waiver. If you need advice from a lawyer, there are a few that will give free advice. The web is full of information concerning inadmissibilities, you’ll just have to take time and do your own research, plus there are numerous cases on the web that might relate to your situation, that way you will get an idea on what options you have, if any. Some inadmissibilities can be waived but you will have to produce full documentations on your cases from the country/countries that your crimes were committed. Other inadmissibilities i.e “serious crimes,” there are no waivers and carry a permanent ban to enter the US. There is a waiver for a one time only offence involving a “single possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana” which is called the I-601. With that waiver, you would have to prove “extreme hardship” on your US citizen spouse or LPR if you were denied a visa. I recommend hiring a immigration lawyer to help you with that waiver. You can also call the “Department of Homeland Security” for information on inadmissibilities. Just make sure you speak with someone experienced. Without getting into detail about my case, I was denied a green card, even though I am married to a US citizen, but I have been made eligible for a B1/B2 visitor visa for quite sometime now and i am greatful for that. I wish everyone the best of luck.

  19. Written by FRANK
    on June 10, 2013 at 4:32 pm


  20. Written by Jo Bent
    on January 3, 2014 at 12:35 am

    If 212 & 601 is approved can a person upon return after 20 yrs go straight to file for citizenship, wife is USC they are still married, would they have to live in same house, they married 1983

  21. Written by jackie
    on August 7, 2014 at 10:40 pm

    I am a paralegal that assist Canadians with criminal records gain access into the United States, individuals who have overstayed, been deported or who have a criminal record, and rarely is someone denied entry into the United States. What i did find, is that non-Canadian that have a criminal records or some type of immigration violation are rarely granted a visitors visa into the United States, unless they can prove extreme hardship. I believe the reason why a visiting visa is impossible for non-Canadian to get is because they have NO ties to the country they are living in. There are no roots. Canada could be just a stepping stone before your final destination- USA. The United States have thousands of illegal aliens living and working. I sure you know where I’m going with this. I’m speaking to non immigrant living in Canada. Best thing for you to do is become a Canadian citizen, then apply for a U.S. waiver (I-192). When you become a Canadian citizen the waiver is much easily obtained.

    Ms. Paralegal

  22. Written by jackie
    on August 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Hi, When I said that I was speaking to non immigrant, I meant to say immigrant living in Canada. Again, best way to overcome your inadmissibility is to become a citizen then apply for the


    Ms. Paralegal

  23. Written by Maschender
    on September 26, 2014 at 7:12 am

    I was a H1B visa holder but denied entry into the US under CIMT. It has been 7 years now and currently I am working as a software engineer in India.
    What are my chances of getting a waiver in my case as my company wants to send me to the US?

  24. Written by Jo Bent
    on November 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Has anyone gotten a D3 waiver for a visa who has a permanent bar for felony=non violent.

    Is anyone contacting their congress-person for reform on
    the permanent bar non violent , one offence applicant being allowed a waiver since its a broad brush that paints everyone
    whether a threat or not and these ppl needs family re-unification too

  25. Written by JAY
    on November 23, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Did you get you waiver and you are a citizen of what countries

  26. Written by Adeola
    on June 8, 2020 at 3:21 am

    Good day,

    I am presently in South Africa and having my family in the US and I was denied visa due CIMT

    How do you assist me in this situation

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