Petitioner seeking waiver of removability held “Otherwise Admissible” in Fares V. Barr



Recently, in Fares v. Barr, No. 13-71916 (9th Cir. 2019), the Ninth Circuit held that a petitioner seeking a waiver of removability was “otherwise admissible” for purposes of immigration law after receiving a denial when applying for naturalization for failing to return to his country of origin for at least two years.

Specifically, the panel held,

“… that a noncitizen who seeks a section 237(a)(1)(H) waiver is ‘otherwise admissible’ even though he failed to return to his country of origin for at least two years, as required by INA section 212(e). Therefore, the BIA’s contrary interpretation contravened the statute’s text, and petitioner was otherwise admissible for purposes of section 237(a)(1)(H) waiver notwithstanding 212(e). In this case, notwithstanding his failure to satisfy or receive a waiver of the two-year residency requirement, petitioner was admissible under several provisions of 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15). The panel remanded for the agency to use its discretion in determining whether to grant the requested waiver.”

Here is a link to the case summary.


This holding is a potential gamechanger for many individuals seeking immigration benefits after failing to return home for two years to their countries of origin when required by immigration law. Although the law requires individuals to do so, this ruling might make it possible for certain individuals to be deemed “otherwise admissible” and therefore be eligible to apply for certain immigration benefits even if they fail or failed to meet this requirement.

We are here to help.

If you or someone you know failed to return to your country of origin for two years after being required to do so, and want to apply for immigration benefits, Christians Law, PLLC is here to help. Tyler Christians is an experienced immigration attorney and can help you with your immigration needs.

Just give us a call by clicking or tapping here, text us by tapping here, visit our contact page, or simply fill out our short form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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