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What is the I-601 waiver?


Foreign nationals that seek a visa to enter the United States, maybe banned from entering for various reasons, such as:

  • No longer residing in the U.S., but when they were in the U.S., they overstayed their visa for more than SIX (6) months;
  • No longer residing in the U.S, but previously entered the U.S. without a visa;
  • Having a communicable (contagious) disease;
  • Having multiple criminal convictions with an aggregate (total) sentence of confinement of at least 5 years;
  • Being convicted of prostitution;
  • Having a marijuana conviction under 30 grams;
  • Having a prior conviction of a crime of moral turpitude (crimes involving dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation);
  • Engaging in alien smuggling
  • Lying on their prior visa application (fraud/misrepresentation) or immigration-related forms

With the I-601 Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, foreign nationals can obtain a waiver (permission) to return to the U.S., so that they can return to the U.S.

What is the general process for the I-601 Waiver?
  1. The U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident will submit USCIS Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  2. After the I-130 approval, the attorney will contact the National Visa Center (NVC) and submit various documents.
  3. The NVC will contact the U.S. consulate or embassy abroad in the foreign national’s country to schedule a visa interview.
  4. The foreign national will arrive a few days to the foreign country to obtain a required immigration physical/exam.
  5. After the visa interview, the foreign national will receive a letter instructing them to file USCIS Form I-601, because the visa officer determined that they are ineligible for a visa due to inadmissibility reasons.
  6. The foreign national will file USCIS Form I-601, Application for Waiver for Grounds of Inadmissibility. USCIS will generally take approximately SIX (6) to TWELVE (12) months to adjudicate (make a decision) the waiver application.
  7. If the I-601 waiver application is approved, the foreign national can reschedule an interview with the U.S. consulate/embassy abroad and obtain a visa.
  8. In approximately ONE (1) to THREE (3) months after arriving to the U.S., the foreign national will receive his/her Permanent Resident Card (“Green Card”).

In order to reduce the chances of having the waiver application denied and losing over a year (6 months to wait for the first waiver application decision and another 6 months to wait for the second waiver application), we recommend that you hire an experienced immigration attorney that is familiar with the waiver application process.

Why do so many I-601 Waiver cases get denied?

The I-601 Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility requires a showing of “extreme hardship.” Unfortunately, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) does not define extreme hardship. For this reason, many people may find the process difficult, since they do not know what to submit as evidence to demonstrate extreme hardship.

As an experienced immigration law attorney, Attorney David Nguyen will write a legal brief describing why you qualify for the I-601 Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. Attorney Nguyen will also use his over TEN (10) years of legal experience to help you compile evidence to demonstrate extreme hardship.

Is it a guarantee that I can return to the U.S. after I obtain an I-601 Waiver?

No. The I-601 Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility only forgives certain inadmissibility grounds. It does not provide a waiver for any other legal grounds under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). A person can still be inadmissible for certain criminal history, prior removal/deportation history, public charge grounds, etc.

Hiring an experienced immigration attorney can help you determine if the I-601 Waiver is right for you.

I was previously ordered removed/deported. What should I do?

The I-601 Waiver only forgives certain grounds of inadmissibility. If you have a prior deportation order, you may need to file a separate waiver called the I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal that will waive a prior order of removal.

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

To avoid having your case potentially denied, paying additional filing fees for the same application/petition, and/or spending months or years for a decision, please contact our office so we can help you with your case.

Call For A Free Consultation
(281) 777-1236

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