In a long awaited decision, the Ninth Circuit in Negrete-Ramirez v. Holder finally joined the Seventh, Fourth, Third, Eleventh and Fifth Circuits in finding an exception to the 212(h) waiver bar for lawful permanent residents.
Section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act offers a waiver for certain crimes for immigrant applicants. However, section 212(h) provides an exception in that certain lawful permanent residents who have either been convicted of an aggravated felony, or did not have seven years of continuous lawful residence before the start of removal proceedings, could not apply for the 212(h) waiver.
In its decision, the Ninth Circuit joined an ever growing number of circuit courts, to hold that the language of 212(h) means that the bar only applies to lawful permanent residents who were previously admitted at the border as lawful permanent residents. Lawful permanent residents who adjusted status in the United States, without more, do not trigger the bar–thus allowing these certain lawful permanent residents to apply for the 212(h) waiver for certain crimes.
Becker & Lee LLP want to personally congratulate attorneys Rachel Keast and Michael Mehr on a job well done!