The Difference Between Removable and Inadmissible Immigration

  • By: Serving Immigrants
  • Published: May 2, 2021
The Difference Between Removable and Inadmissible Immigration

The Difference Between Removable and Inadmissible Immigration

The difference between these two terms is simple: inadmissible is used when someone is denied entry into the United States; removable refers to someone who is already in the country. They may fall into one of these categories:

  • Living in the U.S. legally (they possess a nonimmigrant visa or a green card)
  • They are undocumented (no green card or nonimmigrant visa) and are here illegally

Why are these two terms important for you to know? It’s because of what they have in common. Regardless of whether you are inadmissible or removable, you will not be allowed to live in the United States. 


This applies when you are trying to become a legal permanent resident (a green card holder). It MAY apply to legal permanent residents who reenter the US under specific circumstances. The grounds for inadmissibility for people who are applying for a green card can be broken down into the following categories:

  • Criminal
  • Health
  • Security 
  • Someone Dependent on the Government (A Public Charge)
  • Having Entered the U.S. Illegally

There are various reasons for people being inadmissible under each category. Some of them can be waived. Even if one or more of these applies to you, your chances of getting a green card might not be over.

Look at the following reasons why you may be inadmissible under the health-related category:

  • Having a communicable disease
  • Failure to submit proof of vaccinations
  • A physical or mental disorder that may be deemed a threat to yourself or others
  • Being an illegal drug abuser or addict

These factors will be determined for you during your required immigration medical exam. Of these 4 points, you can get waivers for the first 3. This is why it is important to be represented by an attorney who deals with immigration law. These waivers are your chance for obtaining a green card even when you have been deemed inadmissible. And your attorney can go over what qualifies you as inadmissible and whether you can pursue a waiver. 


Removable pertains to those who have been admitted to the United States legally. But some people who have become legal permanent residents have done so under false pretenses. People who have done this are going to be subject to deportation. Furthermore, legal permanent residents—who have been admitted legally—can do things to get themselves deported. 

Here are some examples of both things:

  • Committing crimes (felonies, drug charges, weapons offenses, violent acts)
  • Unlawfully voting (legal permanent residents do not have this right)
  • Falsifying documents
  • Becoming a public charge (mentioned above)

Cuprys & Associates

At Cuprys & Associates, our clients are our family. We understand how potentially difficult the immigration process can be—and we work to make it easier for you. If you have any questions regarding immigration laws and how they pertain to you, contact us to schedule a consultation. You can contact us by phone at (305) 907-6151.

Magdalena Cuprys, Esq.

As an immigrant and a refugee herself, attorney Magdalena Cuprys understands how
important, terrifying, and exciting immigrating to America can be. She understands
how important it is to have one’s legal status in order to achieve the American dream.

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