I-601 Waivers of Inadmissibility

I-601 Waivers of Inadmissibility

By Brandon Gillin, Immigration Attorney with Genesis Law Firm, PLLC.

This guide pertains to both the standard I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility (“standard waiver”) and the I-601A Provisional Waiver for Unlawful Presence (“provisional waiver”). The standard waiver and the provisional waiver are similar, yet have important differences. Not all individuals eligible for the standard waiver are eligible for the provisional waiver. Seek the assistance of an immigration attorney who is licensed and in good standing with a Bar Association (any U.S. state) for advice on waivers of inadmissibility.

The I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility


The I-601A Provisional Waiver for Unlawful Presence

Known simply as the “provisional waiver,” this type of relief came into being in March 2013. It allows immediate relatives to apply for waivers of unlawful presence in the United States and wait for its adjudication in the U.S. rather than having to travel abroad during adjudication. Once approved, the immediate relative of the petitioner must travel abroad for consular processing, which usually only takes a few weeks at most. The provisional waiver has encouraged many spouses of U.S. citizens to initiate their family-based immigration. It has also encouraged Lawful Permanent Residents to naturalize to U.S. citizens in order to petition for their spouses.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS. The basic requirements for a provisional waiver are: (1) have a Form I-130 (or I-360 in special cases) approved; (2) have paid the NVC immigrant visa fee; (3) have not been scheduled for a consular interview before January 3, 2013 based on the approved I-130; (4) not be an applicant for Adjustment of Status; (5) not be in removal proceedings (exceptions apply); (6) not be inadmissible for anything other than unlawful presence; (7) not have a final order of removal or subject to reinstatement of a prior order of removal; (8) are at least 17 years old; and (9) be present in the U.S. at the time of filing the waiver and for the ASC biometrics appointment.

WHAT IS AN IMMEDIATE RELATIVE? An immediate relative for immigration purposes is either a: (1) spouse of a U.S. citizen; (2) unmarried minor (under 21) child of a U.S. citizen; or(3) parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least age 21. Widows and widowers of U.S. citizens may also be classified as an immediate relative. These categories of individuals are the only ones who may beeligible for the provisional waiver.


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