If you have criminal convictions, it is more difficult to get legal status through a family member. You may be eligible to ask for a waiver (or pardon) for your crimes. There are several types of waivers, but the most common is a 212(h) waiver.
It can waive the following crimes:
- Crimes of “moral turpitude” except murder of torture
- Multiple criminal convictions
- Only one offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana
- Diplomats who claimed “immunity” to keep from being prosecuted
What you need to show to have your waiver granted differs from case to case. Because getting your waiver approved can be very difficult, it is imperative that you work with an experience immigration attorney.