Waiver I-601

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Form I601 is a waiver for someone who has entered the United States illegally and whose family members are US citizens or green card holders. These relatives must be from immediate family – parents, spouse, etc. It waives the “misrepresentation” and “unlawful presence” grounds of inadmissibility for non citizens who have a spouse or guardian who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. As per 9 FAM 41.81 N9.3(a) and 8 CFR 212.7(a)(1), a US citizen’s civil partner may also qualify as a relation for the requirements of the waiver.

As you can see, waiver I-601 is a complicated legal process. But if you are ever found “inadmissible to the United States”, this form can save you from a 3 or 10-year ban.

Your chances of success increase with the expertise of your attorney. The right immigration attorney will help you throughout the process.

Let’s learn more about form I-601 waiver and I-601A waiver.

What is an I-601 waiver?

Waiver 1-601 Lawyer San JoseIf you find yourself ineligible to enter the US as an immigrant or to adjust your status in the US due to certain grounds of inadmissibility, Form I-601 lets you request a waiver. For information on which grounds of admissibility have the possibility of being waved for your visa category, go through Form I-601 instructions.

Any non-citizen who believes they are not qualified for entry to the United States due to certain grounds for inadmissibility must submit an I-601 application. The application must address the grounds for inadmissibility. It must also offer credible proof that the related U.S. citizen or legal resident (qualifying relative) will suffer great loss if the application is rejected.

Who can be a qualifying relative? 

Your family member has to meet certain conditions to be a qualifying citizen. The qualifying relative must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States. They must be the spouse, parent, or child of an immigrant whose application is rejected due to a criminal background. He/she can also be a married or engaged American citizen.

Proof of hardship

Among the many conditions to get a form I-601 waiver, an important condition is that your qualifying relative must suffer hardship due to your inadmissible status. However, proving the hardship of your family member can be complicated. More so because the definitions of hardship tend to vary depending on the context.

Here are some grounds through which you can prove that your qualifying relative will suffer immense hardship in your absence:

  • The family member must travel abroad to be with you.
  • You must receive ongoing medical care (e.g., for a brain tumor or multiple sclerosis).
  • There is a civil war or ongoing political unrest in your country.
  • You are an old, disabled, or severely and chronically ill relative’s primary caregiver.
  • Your educational career would be severely curtailed or ended.
  • If rejected, you would miss out on or be denied substantial job possibilities.
  • You are responsible for providing the majority of the care for your emotionally attached children from a previous relationship.

Until and unless you have verified and authentic proof of these grounds, your I-601 waiver may not be accepted.

What Is Form I-601A

For individuals who entered the country illegally and have immediate family members who are US citizens or hold green cards, form I-601A is used. You must travel outside the country in order to submit a green card application at a U.S. embassy or consulate. You are required to submit an application for a waiver of inadmissibility to re-enter the U.S. to escape the three or ten-year entrance ban.

A waiver needs to be requested using Form I-601A while in the country. You will be qualified to schedule a green card application in your home country if U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants approval. Nevertheless, it comes with qualifying requirements that will be covered later and must be applied for even before you leave the United States.

You can use the form I-601A waiver under the following conditions

  • You are physically located in the United States of America
  • At the time of submission, you are at least 17 years old
  • You possess an open immigration visa case with the US Department of State

Here you can see that forms I-601 and I-601A are not the same thing. Unlike form I-601A, form I-601 grants you a waiver if you are:

  • Presently outside the US and you had a visa interview with a consular officer where you were informed you do not qualify for an immigrant visa or the K/V visa.
  • A candidate for status adjustment to lawful permanent residence, albeit some adjustment categories are not included.
  • A candidate for temporary protected status (TPS).
  • A candidate for status adjustment under the Central American and Nicaraguan Adjustment and Relief Act.
  • A self-petitioner under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) or the child of a self-petitioner under the VAWA and you are applying for an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status.
  • A T non immigrant who is applying for adjustment of status.


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Are you eligible for a waiver?

Not everyone who applies for a form I-601 or I-601A waiver has it granted. You can be ineligible for the waiver if you:

  • Were present illegally in the country for more than a year, left, and then returned without being checked.
  • Were or gave the impression that they were a gang member (such as having gang tattoos).
  • Have been convicted of a drug offense after turning 18 unless it involved the possession of fewer than 30 grams of marijuana.
  • Having been present in the country for at least five years but did not show up for a removal hearing.
  • Were in a fictitious marriage, according to immigration officials.
  • Made an absurd asylum request.
  • Previously fabricated U.S. citizenship, (unless you can prove that your claim was unintentional and without a reasonable basis/you had legitimate grounds for your claim)

Get help From a San Jose I-601 Immigration Attorney Today

As you can see, Forms I-601 and I-601a are significant for anyone who has been deemed inadmissible for entry to the United States. With the right lawyer, you can navigate the legal process with confidence. Contact us at Getachew & Ansari Immigration Attorneys, P.C. to speak about your case.

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