Being found inadmissible to the United States can be daunting to someone wishing to immigrate. However, all hope is not lost for entering the United States even if the applicant has been found inadmissible for certain reasons. An I-601 Waiver for Grounds of Inadmissibility is a form that people must file if they are inadmissible to the United States and would like a status adjustment, immigrant visa, certain nonimmigrant statuses, or specific benefits related to immigration. At Ivanor Law, we understand the ins and outs of immigration law and can help you navigate through the complexities of the I-601 waiver process. We have outlined the top 5 things to know if you are seeking an I-601 Waiver.
Everything You Should Know About An I-601 Waiver
What Is An I-601 Waiver?
An I-601 waiver, or Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, is a form used by certain immigrant applicants when applying for a visa, an adjustment of status, or an immigration benefit for which they are not eligible. Applicants who have been denied a green card or different immigration benefits can submit the waiver to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting that the grounds for their inadmissibility be waived. An I-601 Waiver allows a non-citizen alien to immigrate to the United States, adjust their status to permanent residence, or seek admission to the United States in a nonimmigrant status, if certain grounds of inadmissibility, circumstances, or conduct otherwise prevents them from entering the United States. Even if a K-1 fiancé visa or spousal visa petition is approved and the petitioning spouse or fiancé sits for the immigration interview, that does not ensure that a visa will be issued. It is important to note that note that not everyone is eligible for a waiver and certain criteria must be met in order to be eligible.
Eligible applicants need an I-601 Waiver if they are deemed inadmissible to the United States. In many cases, it is possible to apply for a waiver by completing form I-601 on the grounds of inadmissibility. Waivers under form I-601 can generally be granted if the applicant can prove that the denial of the visa application will cause “extreme hardship” to a qualifying relative, such as a parent or spouse who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States or for waivers due to fraud or unlawful presence. This includes children if seeking waivers for other grounds, such as crimes.
What Are The Reasons I May Need An I-601 Waiver?
There are several reasons why a petitioner may be deemed inadmissible to the U.S. These include a petitioner who:
- Has been convicted of certain crimes and/or committed serious criminal acts
- Has a drug and/or alcohol addiction
- Is likely to require public assistance such as mental or financial support through social service programs
- Has a two-foreign-residency requirement and/or is an exchange visitor
- Has a mental or physical condition that is likely to cause a danger to others
- Has entered the United States previously using fraud, misrepresentation or other illicit means
- Has been in the United States illegally for more than 180 days either through initial illegal entry or overstaying a prior visa
- Has a communicable disease
What Are The Requirements For A Waiver?
There are specific grounds for inadmissibility under the Immigration and Nationality Act and not every visa category will qualify for the inadmissibility categories. You will be able to apply for a waiver for specific categories based on what type of visa you wish to obtain. In order to use a Form I-601 waiver, the applicant must:
- Require adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence applicant. Note that one may apply for this even though a few adjustment categories are excluded from this
- Be an immigrant visa or Adjustment of Status applicant as a self-petitioner under the Violence Against Women Act, or a VAWA self-petitioner’s child
- Be a Temporary Protected Status applicant
- Be a K or V visa or an immigrant visa applicant, and be outside the U.S., having had your interview for the visa with a consular officer and having been found inadmissible during the interview
- Be an Adjustment of Status applicant as a Special Immigrant Juvenile based on a Form I-360 that was approved
- Be an Adjustment of Status applicant under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief
- Be an Adjustment of Status applicant based on T nonimmigrant status
What Types Of Questions Are On the I-601 Form?
The questions on the I-601 Form can appear confusing. There are several different parts to the applications. Highlighted below are some of the key parts and corresponding instructions and questions:
- Part 1: Information About You – This part of the form asked for your personal details including basic information related to your citizenship and your contact information. details.
- Part 2: United States Entry Information – It is essential to document your past United States stays to include the dates of your stays, the city and state you stayed in and your border of entry.
- Part 3: Biographic Information (for USCIS Applicants only) – Basic identifying information, such as your race will be asked here.
- Part 4: Reasons for Inadmissibility – In this section you will state your reasons of inadmissibility.
- Part 5: Information About Your Qualifying Relatives – You will be asked for biographic information about certain qualifying relatives in the United States who qualifies under the Immigration and Nationality act for your specific inadmissibility grounds, such as a parent, spouse or child.
- Part 6: Information About Your Other Relatives with Ties to the United States – In this section it is important to list other relatives and connections in the United States who are United States citizens.
- Part 7: Applicant’s Statement, Contact Information, Declaration, Certification, and Signature – Part 7 must be signed by you if you filled out your I-601 form.
- Part 8: Interpreter’s Contact Information, Certification, and Signature – If you used an interpreter, Part 8 must be signed and filed out by them.
- Part 9: Contact Information, Declaration, and Signature of the Person Preparing this Application, if Other Than the Applicant – If an attorney, paralegal or another third party completed your I-601 form on your behalf, Part 9 must be filed by them.
- Part 10. Additional Information – If you need extra space to provide any additional information within this application, you must use the space provided in Part 10.
There are several forms of documentation that must be included with your waiver. This documentation includes copies of your passport and its pages, certified copies of birth certificates, copies of marriage certificates, photographs of you and qualifying relatives at social occasions, a signed notarized affidavit that confirms the contents of the affidavit that your qualifying relative submitted and in many cases, the same documents mentioned above from your qualifying relatives. In addition, your application for the waiver must include the documentation that can support your claim.
When you are seeking an I-601 Waiver on the Grounds of Inadmissibility, you need an attorney who is extremely knowledgeable of immigration law. The experts at Ivanor Law have decades of immigration law experience that we will put to work for you and your unique immigration case.