What is an I-601A Provisional Waiver?

The I-601A Provisional Waiver is for “Unlawful Presence”. It applies to the immediate relatives of United States citizens who are already in the United States and are in the consular processing of an immigrant visa.

What is Unlawful Presence?

While immigrant visa applicants are in the United States, depending on the stage of the process, they will be awaiting a consular interview which will take place in their country of origin. Prior to leaving the United States, they can apply for the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver in order to be allowed to return.

Who Qualifies?

This will apply to persons who are statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa and need only the waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence so that they may leave for their consular interview and return. This includes, among others, immediate relatives and employment based immigrants.

Foreign nationals who are ineligible to adjust their status in the United States must obtain an immigrant visa from our of the country or those who have over 180 days of unlawful presence in the United States to override the unlawful presence bars of section 212(a)(9)(B) prior to being able to return.

What Else Do I Need?

In addition to the form that must be completed and the accompanying fee, you will be required to provide approval notice of your immigrant visa petition or diversity visa entrant status from the Department of State. You will also need to include confirmation that your related fees have been paid in full. The Affidavit of Support Fee receipt or the fee receipt are actually not considered sufficient evidence and can create delays in your processing times. You can go to travel.state.gov to determine how to get your immigrant visa fee or to dvprogram.state.gov/ for your confirmation of being a DV Program selectee or derivative.

If applicable to your situation, you will need evidence of: your relationship to your qualifying relative, extreme hardship, admission or parole, evidence of United States citizenship or lawful permanent resident status, or in such cases, evidence that your case should require “favorable exercise of discretion”.

The fees you pay are non-refundable no matter what action the government takes with your application. This makes attention to the details and the deadlines very important. If you are unsure of the exact fees you may need to pay, the government provides a calculator to assist you.

Do I Want the Provisional Waiver or Am I Inadmissible?

For those persons who do not want to request or perhaps, do not qualify for the provisional unlawful presence waiver, the Form I-601 process is still available. The Form I-601 is for those who are determined to be inadmissible.

Some Grounds For Inadmissibility

Health is an important factor that can deem a non-citizen inadmissible. Having a communicable disease such as tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, and other acute diseases or sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis or gonorrhea can prevent admission into the United States.

Having a disease that is preventable by vaccines, such as mumps, measles, tetanus, and meningitis will prevent admission. Other diseases, such as influenza, have also made the list which can be found here.

There are certain mental and physical health issues that can prevent admissibility if they have any associated harmful behavior. These issues are categorized as being either current issues or past issues with a likelihood of recurrence.

Criminal Grounds

Criminal acts or similar behavior defined in vague terms can be grounds for inadmissibility or cause for removal from the United States. Such criminal acts include crimes of violence to another person such as murder, rape, kidnapping, or spousal abuse.

Public Charge Ground

If it is likely that the non-citizen will become dependent on the government for support based on factors which include, financial status, family status, health or age, or general disposition of resources, the non-citizen will be considered inadmissible due to becoming a “public charge”.

If a non-citizen meets criteria that indicates he or she may become a public charge, however, they have a sponsor who agrees by an affidavit to provide support, this ground may be waived.

I-601A Provisional Waiver Wrap-Up

an immigration attorney signing an i-601a provisional waiverAn I-601A Provisional Waiver is a nine page form through which an applicant will request a waiver for unlawful presence. In addition to the form, there will be a requirement for specific documentation and fees to be paid.

This process has been implemented to shorten the amount of time that families are separated, and is a multi-faceted process which must be carefully negotiated with confidence and intricate knowledge of not only the process but the exceptions that may apply. By contacting an experienced immigration attorney at Johnson and Masumi you can get professional guidance required to confirm your eligibility and successfully navigate the process for a provisional waiver.

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