The Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, was created in 1952. Before the INA, a variety of statutes governed immigration law but were not organized in one location. The McCarran-Walter bill of 1952, Public Law No. 82-414, collected and codified many existing provisions and reorganized the structure of immigration law. The Act has been amended many times over the years, but is still the basic body of immigration law.

The INA is divided into titles, chapters, and sections. Although it stands alone as a body of law, the Act is also contained in the United States Code (U.S.C.). The code is a collection of all the laws of the United States. It is arranged in fifty subject titles by general alphabetic order. Title 8 of the U.S. Code is but one of the fifty titles and deals with Aliens and Nationality. When browsing the INA or other statutes you will often see reference to the U.S. Code citation. For example, Section 208 of the INA deals with asylum, and is also contained in 8 U.S.C. 1158. Although it is correct to refer to a specific section by either its INA citation or its U.S. code, the INA citation is more commonly used.

Grounds for refusal under the Immigration and Nationality Act
Section Description
212(a)(l)(A)(i) Communicable Disease
212(a)(l)(A)(ii) Immigrant lacking required vaccinations
212(a)(l )(A)(iii) Physical or mental disorder
212(a)(l)(A)(iv) Drug Abuser or Addict
212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I) Crime Involving Moral Turpitude
212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) Controlled Substance Violators
212(a)(2)(B) Multiple Criminal Convictions
212(a)(2)(C)(i) Illicit Trafficker in Any Controlled Substance
212(a)(2)(C)(ii) Spouse, Son, or Daughter Who Benefited from Illicit Activities of Trafficker
212(a)(2)(D)(i) Prostitution (within 10 years)
212(a)(2)(D)(ii) Procuring (within 10 years)
212(a)(2)(D)(iii) Unlawful Commercialized Vice
212(a)(2)(E) Asserted immunity to avoid prosecution
212(a)(2)(G) Foreign government officials who have engaged in violations of religious freedom
212(a)(2)(H) Significant traffickers in persons
212(a)(2)(I) Money Laundering
212(a)(3)(A)(i) Espionage, sabotage, technology transfer, etc.
212(a)(3)(A)(ii) Other Unlawful Activity
212(a)(3)(A)(iii) Act to Overthrow U.S. Government
212(a)(3)(B) Terrorist Activities
212(a)(3)(C) Foreign Policy
212(a)(3)(D) Immigrant Membership in Totalitarian Party
212(a)(3 )(E)(i) Participants In Nazi Persecutions
212(a)(3)(E)(ii) Participants in Genocide
212(a)(3 )(E)(iii) Commission of Acts of Torture or Extrajudicial Killings
212(a)(3 )(F) Association with Terrorist Organizations
212(a)(3)(G) Recruitment of Use of Child Soldiers
212(a)(4) Public Charge
212(a)(5)(A) Labor Certification (immigrants only)
212(a)(5)(B) Unqualified Physician (immigrants only)
212(a)(5)(C) Uncertified foreign health-care workers
212(a)(6)(B) Failure to attend removal proceedings
212(a)(6)(C)(i) Misrepresentation
212(a)( 6)(C)(ii) Falsely claiming citizenship
212(a)(6)(E) Smugglers
212(a)(6)(F) Subject of civil penalty (under INA 274C)
212(a)(6)(G) Student visa abusers
212(a)(7)(B) Documentation requirement for nonimmigrants
212(a)(8)(A) Immigrant permanently ineligible for citizenship (IV only)
212(a)(8)(B) Draft evader
212(a)(9)(A)(i) Ordered removed upon arrival
212(a)(9)(A)(i) Ordered removed upon arrival - multiple removals
212(a)(9)(A)(i) Ordered removed upon arrival - convicted aggravated felony
212(a)(9)(A)(ii) Ordered removed or departed while removal order outstanding
212(a)(9)(A)(ii) Ordered removed or departed while removal order outstanding - multiple removals
212(a)(9)(A)(ii) Ordered removed or departed while removal order outstanding - convicted aggravated felony
212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) Unlawfully present 181-364 days (within 3 years)
212(a)(9)(B)(i)(Il) Unlawfully present 365 or more days (within 10 years)
212(a)(9)(C) Unlawfully present after previous immigration violations
212(a)(10)(A) Practicing polygamist (immigrants only)
212(a)(10)(C)(i) International child abductor
212(a)(10)(C)(ii) Aliens supporting abductors and relatives of abductors
212(a)(10)(D) Unlawful voter
212(a)(10)(E) Former U.S. citizen who renounced citizenship to avoid taxation
212(e) Certain former exchange visitors
212(f) Presidential proclamation
214(b) Failure to establish entitlement to nonimmigrant status
221(g) Application does not comply with provisions of INA or regulations issued pursuant thereto
222(g)(2) Alien in illegal status, required to apply for new nonimmigrant visa in country of alien’s nationality
Sec. 103 Pub. Law 105-227 Disclosure/trafficking of confidential U.S. business information
Sec. 401 Pub. Law 104-114 Helms-Burton refusal
Sec. 402 Pub. Law 104-114 Conversion of confiscated U.S. property for gain
Sec. 306 Pub. Law 107-173 Inadmissible alien from a country that is a state sponsor of terrorism

Source: USCIS