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What is the I-601A provisional waiver?


Although there a few exceptions, generally, a foreign national cannot adjust status in the United States and become a Lawful Permanent Resident (“Green Card holder”) unless s/he has entered the U.S. lawfully. This is a problem, because many people enter the U.S. without inspection (illegally) or enter the U.S. with a valid visa but overstay.

According to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), foreign nationals that are unlawfully present in the U.S. will be subject to bars from reentering the U.S. after foreign travel depending on how long they remain inside the country. Foreign nationals that are unlawfully present for over SIX (6) months will be automatically barred (banned from obtaining a visa) for THREE (3) years after departing the U.S. Meanwhile, foreign nationals that are unlawfully present for over ONE (1) year will be automatically barred (banned from obtaining a visa) for TEN (10) years after departing the U.S.

Since the law requires one lawful entry (with visa) to the U.S., many people are afraid to go to their visa interviews abroad, since they understand that once they leave the U.S., they cannot come back for THREE (3) to TEN (10) years.

With the I-601A Provisional Waiver, foreign nationals can obtain a waiver (permission) to return to the U.S., so that they can return to the U.S. immediately after their visa interview – instead of remaining outside of the U.S. for THREE (3) to TEN (10) years.

What is the general process for the I-601A Provisional Waiver?
  1. After the I-130 immigrant petition is approved, the foreign national will file the I-601A Provisional Waiver. USCIS will generally take approximately SIX (6) months to adjudicate (make a decision) the waiver application.
  2. After 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 obtain a U.S. visa.
  6. In approximately ONE (1) month 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-601A Provisional Waiver cases get denied?

The I-601A Provisional Waiver 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 Provisional Waiver. Attorney Nguyen will also use his over TEN (10) years of legal experience to help you compile evidence to demonstrate extreme hardship.

If my I-601A Provisional Waiver is approved, how long do I have to remain outside of the country when I apply for a visa?

You will be required to undergo an immigration exam (physical) before the visa interview. The medical results will be ready in 3-5 days. We recommend that you contact the physician to see schedule an appointment and to inquire how long it takes them to obtain the results. Additionally, after the visa interview is conducted, immigration officers will take a few days or weeks to process the visa. The entire time period outside of the United States could be approximately a few days or (1) month.

If you are a client, we will provide you with instructions to help expedite the process.

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

No. The I-601A Provisional Waiver only forgives unlawful entry or unlawful presence. 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 health-related grounds, prior criminal history, prior removal/deportation history, public charge grounds, etc.

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

I entered the country without inspection (without a visa) and I have a criminal record. What should I do?

The I-601A Provisional Waiver only forgives unlawful entry or unlawful presence. If you have a criminal record, you may need to file a separate waiver called the I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility that will waive certain crimes.

I entered the country without inspection (without a visa) and I was previously ordered removed/deported. What should I do?

The I-601A Provisional Waiver only forgives unlawful entry or unlawful presence. 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-601A Provisional 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.

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(281) 777-1236

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