I-601A PROVISIONAL WAIVERS

On March 30, 2012 U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced their new provisional I-601 waiver program. This new process will provide some relief to foreigners who have unlawful presence and who cannot adjust their status in the U.S. If the foreigner is the immediate relative (spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21) of a U.S. citizen, and the immediate relative applies for an immigrant visa and it’s approved, then the foreigner an use this new process. The applicant can now apply for their unlawful presence waiver while in the U.S. If approved, they then will depart and spend much less time at the consulate abroad getting their immigrant visa.


This new process goes into effect on March 4, 2013. On January 3, 2013 USCIS issued their final rule in the Federal Register and an effective date. If you are interested in retaining us to represent you, please call us at (419) 867-9966 to schedule a case assessment.


The prepared applicant will begin working with their lawyer now rather than waiting. Gathering the correct documentation takes time and patience. Getting started now and getting prepared will lessen some of the anxiousness that naturally accompanies doing something new.


Applicants who want to file a provisional unlawful presence waiver may do so if they:

  • Are physically present in the United States
  • Are at least 17 years of age (children under 17 do not accrue unlawful presence)
  • Are not in removal proceedings
  • Are not subject to a final order of removal
  • Are not subject to any other grounds of inadmissibility (e.g., criminal convictions, public health concerns, terrorism, national security concerns)
  • Can demonstrate that the refusal of admission would result in [extreme hardship] to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent
  • Warrant favorable discretion
  • Are at a certain point in the visa application process (has an approved I-130 petition filed on his behalf by a U.S. citizen immediate relative and has paid the Department of State immigrant visa processing fee)
Applicants only get one shot at applying for a waiver under this new process. If a waiver application is denied, the applicant cannot reapply or appeal the decision. Applicants who are denied may be referred to ICE for removal proceedings. Therefore, it is even more important than ever to discuss your case with an experienced immigration waiver attorney before trying to do this alone. Extreme hardship waivers are complicated. Many are denied for technical reasons and not for lack of extreme hardship. These waivers are discretionary too. This means that the foreign national must be presented well in the application and the supporting documentation.

This may be the most important application your family will ever file. It is critical to get it done right the first time to keep your loved one from potentially being deported.