Immigration Waivers


There are many grounds for an individual to be found "inadmissible" to the United States. Past immigration violations, criminal convictions, fraud, or drug use are common reasons why people are found inadmissible. If someone is found inadmissible they may not be admitted (legally permitted to obtain status) in the United States. Luckily, for the many grounds of inadmissibility that exist, there are many waivers available which will waive or pardon the ground of inadmissibility and allow the individual to obtain lawful status. 


Sometimes it may be possible to successfully argue that you actually don't need a waiver despite what Immigration might have decided. How to prepare a successful immigrant visa waiver application


It is currently unknown what the fate of waivers will be under the Trump administration. Will Trump's executive order be the end of the 601A waiver

For the millions of people who have entered the U.S. without legal documentation it is impossible to apply for legal status without first obtaining a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence. Up until recently this meant that if you originally entered the U.S. illegally you would have to leave the country first and return to your original homeland in order to obtain such a waiver and be considered eligible for lawful entry.


In 2013 the law changed this requirement for immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of US citizens (immediate relatives). All immediate relatives of a US citizen can now apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver without first leaving the US. This change in the law was made in order to shorten the time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining IR immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.


The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence because their only ground of inadmissibility is their illegal entry into the US, to apply for a waiver in the US and before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at a US embassy or consulate abroad. This simplified and streamlined waiver process is particularly helpful for those people who entered the country illegally and now seek a green card based on marriage or other immediate relative visa petition. 


This new 601A waiver has been expanded even further.  On July 14, 2015, DHS issued a proposed rule to further expand access to the provisional waiver program to these additional groups: (1)spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (2) adult children of US citizens and lawful permanent residents.


Once the rule was approved, these groups may also be able to apply for and receive their waiver before leaving the US.


The DHS also expanded the extreme hardship requirement. Under the 2013 rule, individuals had to demonstrate extreme hardship to the US citizen spouse or parent. The proposed rule, however, provides that individuals can show extreme hardship to US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents.

J-1 Visa holders are subject to a two-year home residency requirement. This means they must return to their home country and reside there for two years before they will be eligible for any additional immigration benefit in the US.


Learn more about the J-1 No Objection Waiver Here

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Documents to Prove Extreme Hardship


This is a non-exhaustive list of documents to gather in order to start making your case for a 601A extreme hardship waiver.


Use this is a STARTING POINT to collect documents in support of your claim of extreme hardship. Not all of the items will apply to you but try to gather as many as possible that do apply to your case then you can get into more specific evidence for your unique case.  601A Extreme Hardship Check List.


Trump's Executive Order and 601A Waiver:  Unknown what the effect will be at this time. 

documents for filing a 601A waiver
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