1. What is Inadmissibility?

Inadmissibility refers to the condition where an individual is barred from entering or remaining in the United States due to specific reasons outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). These reasons could range from health-related issues to criminal activities and unauthorized presence in the U.S.

2. Grounds for Inadmissibility

Common grounds for inadmissibility include health concerns (like communicable diseases), criminal convictions (especially those involving moral turpitude), security threats (espionage or sabotage), money laundering, illegal presence in the U.S., and involvement in activities like human trafficking or drug trafficking.

3. What’s I-601 Waiver?

Form I-601, known as the Waiver of Inadmissibility, is a petition filed by individuals who are deemed inadmissible to the U.S. It allows them to request forgiveness for the grounds of inadmissibility and gain permission to enter or remain in the country despite these issues.

4. What’s I-601(A) Waiver?

Form I-601A, or the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, is specifically for individuals who are unlawfully present in the U.S. for over 180 days but less than a year, triggering a bar upon leaving. It allows certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to request a provisional waiver before departing for their immigrant visa interviews abroad.

5. I-601 Waiver vs. I-601(A) Waiver

While both waivers serve to overcome inadmissibility, the I-601 waiver addresses various grounds, including criminal and health-related issues. In contrast, the I-601A waiver is specifically for unlawful presence and involves a provisional process before the individual leaves the U.S. for their immigrant visa interview.

6. Who Can Apply for I-601 Waiver?

Individuals who are inadmissible to the U.S. due to specific grounds outlined in the INA can apply for the I-601 waiver. This includes those with criminal convictions, health-related concerns, or other factors that render them inadmissible. This is possible if you fall into any of the following situations, among others:

1)You are applying for an immigrant visa (green card) or the K or V visas outside the United States, you were interviewed by a consular officer, and the consular officer found you to be inadmissible.
2)You are in the U.S. and are applying for a green card unless you are among those for whom a waiver is not available.
3)You are in the U.S. and are applying for a green card under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief.
4) You are applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
5) You are in the U.S. and are applying for a self-petitioning Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) applicant or the child of a VAWA self-petitioner.
6) You are in the U.S. and applying for a green card based on T nonimmigrant status.
7) You are in the U.S. and are applying for a green card as a Special Immigrant Juvenile based on an approved special petition.

7. Who Can Apply for the I-601(A) Waiver?

You are eligible to apply for a Form I-601A waiver if you fall under any of these categories:

1)A relative of a U.S. citizen and/or permanent resident
2)Diversity Visa lottery winner
3)Immigrant visa applicant
Qualifications for Filing the Waiver of Inadmissibility:

To be eligible for the I-601A waiver, you must meet the following criteria:

1)Physically present in the United States and able to provide biometrics in the U.S.
2)At least 17 years old
3)State your intention to leave the U.S. to legally obtain your immigrant visa
4)Assert that your family, especially your U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) spouse or parent, will endure extreme hardship if you are separated from them in the United States

Additionally, you should be:

1)Inadmissible for unlawful presence between 180 to 365 days in a single stay; or
2)Inadmissible for unlawful presence for more than or equal to one year during a single stay
3)Have an active case with the U.S. Department of State for an approved immigrant visa petition or a Diversity Visa Program selection

8. Who Does Not Qualify for a Form I-601A Waiver?

You are ineligible for the I-601A waiver if you:

1)Are younger than 17
2)Have grounds of inadmissibility other than unlawful presence
3)Already have an application to adjust your status
4)Are undergoing removal proceedings
5)Fail to provide details about the hardships your spouse or parent would face upon your removal
6)Lack a pending case with the U.S. Department of State due to an approved visa petition or 7)Diversity Visa selection
8)Have a prior order of removal before or during a pending I-601A application

9. Extreme Hardship Criteria for Unlawful Presence Waiver:

To qualify for the I-601A waiver, you must demonstrate that your U.S. citizen or LPR spouse or parent would suffer extreme hardship if you were removed from the United States. Extreme hardship encompasses:

1)Specialized treatment: Mental or physical health requiring specific and lengthy treatment
2)Personal reasons: Considerations related to your family, homeland, and the age of family members
3)Educational needs: Requirements for specialized training or loss of educational opportunities
4)Financial loss: Significant financial hardship, including the cost of care, loss of property, or reduced living standards
5)Cultural considerations: Fear of persecution or harm based on cultural factors in your home country