How is the 601A Waiver different than the 601 Waiver?
Before March 2013 the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen was not eligible to adjust status in the United States and was required to travel to his/her country of origin in order to obtain an immigrant visa. Individuals who had accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while in the United States were required to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility (I-601) to overcome the unlawful presence bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Only after a waiver was granted could the individual return to the USA.
Under the newly instituted Provisional Waiver program the process allows for an immediate relative to file for the waiver from inside the USA. The person is not required to leave the USA and wait until the waiver is granted before returning.
The Provisional Waiver process is only available to persons inside the USA whose
Only violation is that they have incurred unlawful presence.
Purpose of the I-601A Provisional Waiver of Inadmissibility:
Certain immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens may use this form to request a provisional unlawful presence waiver under the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212 (a)(9)(B) and 8 CFR 212.7(e), before departing the United States to appear at a U.S. Embassy or consulate for an immigrant visa interview.
The First Step is an Approved Alien Relative Petition
The first step is for an immediate relative of the immigrant to file an I-130; Alien Relative Petition on his/her behalf. The immediate relative of a USC is eligible for an immediate immigrant visa. The approved I-130 indicates that the government has determined you to be the immediate relative of a United States citizen (USC). You are therefore entitled to an immediate immigrant visa – the government does not at this time determine that you will need a waiver of inadmissibility.
The Second Step is to File the Application for an Immigrant Visa
The second step is to file the I-864 and Immigrant Visa Application with the NVC. You must have already paid the Department of State immigrant visa processing fee.
When the government receives and reviews your immigrant visa application it will be determined that you are inadmissible to the USA because of your unlawful presence. You will be notified that you need to file an I-601A Waiver of Inadmissibility.
The Third Step is to File the I-601A Waiver Application
The requirements for receiving an I-601A waiver are the same as the requirements for the original I-601 Waiver. The Immigrant must show that a USC will suffer extreme hardship if the immigrant is not granted the waiver and admitted into the USA. The government does have discretion in determining whether extreme hardship exists.
· The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.
Waivers are complicated and the process it detailed. It is strongly recommended that you work with an experienced immigration attorney.