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Top 10 Reasons for I-601 Waiver Denial


The I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility is available for foreign nationals that have issues that prevent them from obtaining permanent residency in the United States. The most common types of foreign nationals that will require the I-601 waiver include:

  • Unlawful entry into the U.S., which prevents the foreign national from being able to adjust status or file a Green Card application inside of the United States
  • Prior history of criminal charges and/or convictions, which prevents the foreign national from being able to return to the U.S. after attending the visa interview abroad
  • Entering the U.S. legally (with valid travel documents), but remaining in the U.S. for longer than SIX (6) months after travel authorization expires (and then departing the U.S.)
  • Entering the U.S. legally (with valid travel documents), but not maintaining valid nonimmigrant status while waiting for the approval of an immigrant petition
  • Entering the U.S. on a K-1 fiancée petition, but failing to marry within NINETY (90) days after arrival
  • Entering the U.S. on a C-1/D crewman visa or entering the U.S. as crew members to board a ship or airplane
  • Entering the U.S. as a J-1 or J-2 exchange visitor

There are various waivers available (i.e. I-601, I-601A, I-212), but the appropriate type of waiver application depends on the facts of your case. Additionally, the adjudication process is discretionary and submitting a case will not automatically guarantee that the case will be approved.

These are the top TEN (10) reasons why I-601 extreme hardship waiver cases are denied.

Failure to submit required documents.

Applicants must provide evidence that the family and/or marriage relationship is bona fide (“good faith”) and their qualified family member would suffer extreme hardship. Many applicants will be able to prove a bona fide family and/or marriage relationship but will fail to prove the extreme hardship requirement or vice versa.

Failure to submit the appropriate waiver application.

There are many different types of waiver applications available. The appropriate one to use depends heavily on the facts of a client’s case. Unless an attorney speaks to a client, s/he will not be able to determine the best type of waiver application to use. Obtaining an approval of an incorrect waiver application may be detrimental to a case.

Failure to understand the waiver application process.

The waiver application process is delicate and involves communications with three or more agencies under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Primarily, it will involve the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the National Visa Center (NVC), and the U.S. Consulate/Embassy abroad. Sometimes, it will involve the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR), Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), and the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). The I-601 hardship waivers require communications with various organizations at appropriate times. Contacting an agency out of sequence may be detrimental to a case.

Missing appointments and deadlines.

If you file the application yourself, USCIS will only send notifications to you. However, if you hire an attorney, your attorney will be notified as well. An experienced immigration attorney will help you avoid missing important notices and/or deadlines – and help you find legal ways to extend certain deadlines.

Failing to prepare for the visa interview after the I-601 approval.

Some applicants believe that having an approved I-601 waiver will protect them from any issues at the visa interview. Unfortunately, there are various ways that visa officers can legally deny the immigrant visa. It is not uncommon for visa officers to reexamine the applicant’s qualifications pursuant to the approved I-130 petition. Visa officers may also try to deny the visa application for other inadmissibility reasons (i.e. obtaining public benefits for self and/or children, failing to apply for the appropriate waiver(s), etc.)

Failing to hire a qualified attorney.

When hiring an immigration attorney, it is important to ask the attorney to provide you with proof of prior successes. Additionally, it is important to ask the attorney how s/he will help you with the process. Good attorneys will guide you throughout the immigration process and provide you with resources to complete your case.

Failing to prove “extreme hardship”.

All hardship waiver cases require that the applicant prove “extreme hardship.” Unfortunately, the government’s definition of extreme hardship is vague. The government merely states that the applicant should prove that qualified family members would suffer more than what could be expected. An experienced attorney can look at previously approved court cases to make a successful argument that your case meets the definition of extreme hardship.

Being inconsistent with what is on your application and what you say during the interview.

It is important to tell the truth and the entire truth. Sometimes people forget. A knowledgeable attorney will often ask who, what, when, where, why, and how to ensure that you provide the asylum officer with the information s/he needs to make an informed decision.

Failing to provide a legal brief.

The Law Office of David Nguyen always includes a legal brief with hardship waiver cases. The legal brief summarizes the client’s case, analyzes laws pertaining to the hardship waiver, and argues why the client’s case should be approved.

Failing to re-file after prior denial.

There is no limit to how many times a person can file for a hardship waiver. If you have previously submitted a hardship waiver case and were denied, we strongly recommend that you contact our office – even if you have previously hired an attorney to help you.

For more information on I-601 waiver, I-601A waiver, or I-212 waiver, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (281) 777-1236 today.

The Law Office of David Nguyen, PC has successfully handled hundreds of immigration petitions and/or applications – and can assist you with your immigration needs.

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