You file the I-601A before you leave the U.S. If it is denied, you will do the I-601 outside the U.S. You should have a decision soon, 5 months is longer than normal.
The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.
Waiver is waiver and it is difficult. Hire an immigration attorney to represent you. Once would need to know more than what you have provided in order to answer you question.
NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS www.myattorneyusa.com; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: (866) 456-8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.
Simply stated (very simply) the difference between the two forms is your location at time of processing. Also, the I-601 waives more grounds if inadmissibility. I -601A is only for unlawful presence. Which ever one you need, I can't answer because need more information. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
Irene Vaisman, Esq. 11 Broadway, Suite 615 New York, NY 10004 (646) 253-0516 This is not legal advice and a client attorney relationship is not created. For a free consultation call (646) 253-0516.
I-601A only waives unlawful presence.
You need to retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case. You can find one through http://www.ailalawyer.com.
J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.
The big difference between the two is that the I-601A Waiver the Applicant can remain in the U.S., while the case is pending and upon an approval, will be required to depart the U.S. to attend his interview at the consulate. Please note, that this waiver is very limiting and only pardon's unlawful presence. Should USCIS find another factor of inadmissibility (multiple entries, criminal record), they may have reason to believe to deny the waiver. With regards to I-601, the Applicant will have to remain outside the U.S., while the case is pending. Regardless of filing an I-601 or I-601A, the processing times vary between 90 to 180 days or longer (note, that each case is different and processing times may vary).
Regardless of the waiver, you should contact a competent immigration attorney to review the specifics of the matter. Unfortunately, a lot of I-601A waiver cases are being filed by notaries, who are just taking advantage of poor innocent people. Don't become a victim, contact an immigration attorney today.