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Prostitution ground of inadmissibility

INA §§212(a)(2)(D)(i)–(ii), 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(2)(D)(i)–(ii)

A person who has engaged – or tried to engage – in prostitution within the past ten years is inadmissible. Before you blow past this section, read on.

Certainly, a prostitution-related conviction will be a serious problem under this ground of inadmissibility. But in reality, the immigration agencies can cast a broad net when screening for prostitution. In practice, this can cause problems for visa applicants who were never actually prostitutes.

This often creates a problem for foreign nationals who have worked in the entertainment or tourism industries. In other countries there is often no bright line between brothels and businesses that may have a racy element to them, though not actually engaged in prostitution.

In Thailand and the Philippines – just to name two countries where this commonly arises – consular officers will often strongly question a visa applicant who has worked as a server in a bar. Your fiancée or spouse may face serious scrutiny, even if she herself was a completely legitimate employee.

If the foreign national has an employment background that could raise these concerns, careful preparation is warranted. You may want to consider getting declarations from her employer, friends and relatives – and the applicant herself – describing the nature of her job.

Greg McLawsen

Greg is recognized as the leading national authority on enforcement of the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. Greg represents low-income green card holders in lawsuits to recover support from their sponsors. Practicing family-based immigration law, Greg also focuses on helping married and engaged couples with U.S. immigration.

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