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Illegal drugs

J.G. Azarcon, ESQ.By J.G. Azarcon, Esq.
Use, possession, trafficking and other drug related actions could cost an alien the opportunity to become a permanent resident.

Drug abuse and drug addiction are grounds for inadmissibility for permanent resident purposes. The regulations define drug abuse as the non-medical use of a substance listed in the Controlled Substances Act which has not necessarily resulted in physical or psychological dependence. This definition covers the simple and even isolated and occasional use of controlled substances. Aliens who test positive for drug use would be in jeopardy for immigration purposes. Drug addiction is defined as the non-medical use of a controlled substance which has resulted in physical or psychological dependence. A medical finding would be necessary for the government to establish the fact of the alien’s drug dependence.

Aliens who violate, or who conspire or who attempt to violate, any law or regulation of a state, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance are also inadmissible. Drug possession falls under this category. The law however provides limited relief for the alien. This ground for inadmissibility can be waived for a single conviction for simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana, if the offense occurred more than fifteen years before the date of application for admission. Moreover, the alien has to establish that his admission would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the U.S., and that he has been rehabilitated. A waiver may also be granted by the INS if the alien can establish that a denial of admission would result in extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, son or daughter.

An alien can also be inadmissible if the consular officer or immigration officer knows or has reason to believe that the alien has been involved or has assisted, abetted, conspired, or colluded with others in illicit trafficking of controlled substances. The alien does not have to be criminally convicted to be denied an immigrant visa. There is no waiver or relief for aliens involved in drug trafficking, even if his immediate family members are U.S. citizens.

If you want the doors to America to open for you, just say no to drugs and remain clean.

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