Waivers in Adjustment of Status Cases: PROSTITUTION

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This is the second in a line of posts in which we will be discussing waivers in adjustment of status cases. Adjustment of status is the process by which an individual who has a temporary status (a B visa or an F visa, for example) or no status (has an expired visa) can adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident (“greencard”). For this line of posts we will be assuming you qualify for adjustment of status and we will be looking solely at waivers.

Convictions Related to Prostitution & Extreme Hardship

The Ranchod Law Group has helped clients who have convictions related to prostitution. It is somewhat easier to receive a waiver of a prostitution conviction because with some other convictions, it is necessary for you to prove extreme hardship to a qualifying relative. With a conviction for prostitution you do NOT need to prove extreme hardship, only that you have been rehabilitated and approval will not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the U.S.

In one case, Anna (not her real name) had entered the U.S. by herself with a tourist visa.(*) She had overstayed her visa and was living with her boyfriend. After an argument with her boyfriend, she went to stay with a woman she had previously met at the woman’s hotel room. Lacking work authorization and needing money badly, Anna occasionally engaged in prostitution. One night, police raided the hotel room in which she was staying. Although she had not been prostituting the night of the raid she accepted a plea deal in order to avoid the possibility of jail time. Anna later went on to meet the love of her life (a U.S. Citizen) and started a family.

Anna’s waiver was approved because her life was different now.  A statement describing the circumstances that led to her conviction and how circumstances had changed helped her obtain an approval. She was now a family woman, who babysat for a friend for money, and had aspirations of going to beauty school. She had even started blow drying friends’ hair for practice and to make a little extra money. She had other skills, the ability to care for children and blow dry hair, which diminished the possibility of having to return to prostituting.

Convictions for solicitation of prostitution

On the opposite side of Anna, there is Juan (not his real name), who had multiple convictions for solicitation of prostitution.(*) Juan entered the United States with his wife on an H1B visa. He stopped working for his employer and fell out of status but remained with his wife in the United States. The couple had three children here. When Juan’s oldest son turned 21 his son wanted to sponsor his father for a greencard. Juan needed a waiver for his convictions for prostitution. In Juan’s native country, prostitution was legal and he didn’t see anything wrong with occasionally seeking the companionship of a prostitute. Although he had always loved his wife dearly, we understand that all relationships are different and what works for one couple does not necessarily work for another.

By arguing on Juan’s behalf that it had been several years since his last conviction for prostitution, his waiver was approved. Additionally, he went to a psychologist to discuss why he felt the need to return to prostitutes. Finally, we also included a statement from Juan in which he discussed why his prior belief in prostitution as a victimless crime was wrong and describing the harm caused by prostitution. Juan also vowed to never solicit the services of a prostitute again.

Life is complicated, no one is perfect

Both Anna and Juan were initially embarrassed to come to our offices to discuss their convictions but we understand that life is complicated and no one is perfect. Both Anna and Juan obtained the results they needed and were able to move on with their lives. We are happy to address your needs with the same sensitivity and dedication. If you or a loved one has a conviction for prostitution or something else please contact our office to discuss whether you qualify for a greencard and whether you’d be a good candidate for a waiver. We have offices in Sacramento, Santa Clara and San Francisco but we are happy to help clients anywhere in the United States or abroad.

* Examples are taken from actual cases worked on by a member of Ranchod Law Group.

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