The I-601 is the Waiver for Grounds of Inadmissibility and is filed while outside the United States. This is different from the I-601A which is filed while in the United States. If you have filed for Grounds of Inadmissibility, learn what happens after the I-601 Waiver is approved.
Getting the I-601 waiver approved is the hardest part of a multi-step process. After clearing the hurdle of the I-601 waiver application, you will receive a new packet of information from the United States Embassy from the country of origin. This packet should arrive fairly quickly upon approval; should it not arrive within a few weeks of approval you should contact the consulate to confirm where and when it was sent.
It will include a new set of steps for the process to continue your request. There still exists the possibility of being denied, despite having been granted the approval of the waiver. This approval simply allows you to continue to the next step.
Post-Immigration Waiver Approval Process
Included in the waiver approval packet will be information about how to set an appointment at the consulate for an interview; unlike previous interviews, this will be scheduled online per the packet instructions. After following those instructions, there will be a need to collect very specific documentation that will be presented at the pending interview.
Consider how much time has passed since the last interview. It is advisable to check any dates for expiration or new information; you may need to resubmit documents that need to be updated. Having a full set of up to date documents for your interview will help eliminate any delays.
Any direct or indirect changes to your financial status may require a new Affidavit of Support.
Check to see if a new medical exam will be necessary if it has been over a year since the last interview. If you have experienced any physical or mental health status changes, these will require proper documentation to present at the interview.
If anything has changed with your marital status, your address, or other issues pertinent to your residence within the United States, proper documentation will need to be provided.
In addition to the documents they have instructed for you to bring, you will also need to bring a current passport. You can locate, on the Department of State web page, the specific requirements for the passport photo relative to the size of the photo, the number of copies to provide, what can or can not be worn in the photo, the placement of the head and face within the frame, and how current the photo must be. Every detail in the process is important to observe to prevent any delays or denials.
The consulate will retain your passport until such time that a visa has been approved.
The Return of the Passport
Your passport will be returned to you, again within a relatively short period of time, with the approved visa and a sealed package called the “Immigrant Visa Packet”. This is not to be opened until such time you enter the United States, which must be within four months upon receipt. Upon entry, you will be escorted to a private room where the sealed packet will be opened in the presence of an immigration officer who will then stamp the passport. The newly stamped passport will be valid for one year.
The stamped passport will now serve as a temporary form of a green card; the permanent one will actually arrive sometime after entry into the United States. The green card will be connected to an assigned social security number.
What This Means
The typical wait time is approximately between 4 and 6 months. It is important to note, that neither while you are awaiting the initial approval of the waiver or have received the approval, there is no guarantee of receiving a visa. It also does not: give legal immigration status, prevent you from being removed from the United States, allow you to apply for work authorization, and other frequent requests as listed by USCIS.
Completing the I-601 Waiver Process
At this point, whether on your own or with guidance, you have occupied a lot of your time, your money, and resources in this process. You have divulged copious amounts of personal information about yourself and your relatives and likely have very important people in your life that are dependent on the success of your status. This may be the most critical point to ensure that all the details have been accurately attended to and that there are no misrepresentations or omissions that will impede your progress. By contacting an experienced immigration attorney at the law offices of Johnson & Masumi, you can understand exactly what happens after the I-601 Waiver is approved and be confident that the process is properly handled.