Persons who have entered the U.S. illegally and are deported to their home country in order to be granted a legal immigration visa often face obstacles that may impede their ability to legally return to the U.S. for a 3 to 10 year period. This prohibition of legally residing in the U.S. also depends on the period of time the individual illegally lived in the U.S.
Additionally, a designation of unlawful presence in the U.S. could further prevent the illegal alien from obtaining a permanent resident card (Green Card) status if they wish to apply in the future. To overcome these challenges, the I-601A Waiver is an ideal solution for an individual’s unlawful presence consequences. Succeeding in obtaining an I-601A Waiver will help the illegal alien avoid the 3 year or 10 year bar and avoid denial of a potential Green Card status in the future.
- What Is An I-601A Waiver?
- The Importance of An Immigration Attorney
- The 3 Year and 10 Year Bar
- I-601A Waiver Eligibility and Requirements
- Benefits Of The I-601A Waiver
- I-601A Waiver Requirements
- Defining Extreme Hardship
- Providing Evidence Of Extreme Hardship
- Preparing The I-601A Waiver Application
What Is An I-601A Waiver?
The I-601A Waiver (Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver) is a waiver that lessens the time period of an undocumented alien’s separation from their family in their attempt to obtain a green card. The waiver was introduced as a relatively new type of immigration waiver in March of 2013. The I-601A Waiver application form is similar to the I-601 Hardship Waiver application, however undocumented aliens can apply for the I-601A Waiver before exiting the U.S., as opposed to the I-601 Hardship Waiver which requires applicants to apply once they have fully exited the country. The I-601A Waiver proves more advantageous than I-601 Hardship Waiver due to the illegal alien having the right to begin their immigration process in only a temporary separation from their family.
The Importance of An Immigration Attorney
If you are in need of obtaining an I-601A Waiver, you should make sure you are applying with the the assistance of a licensed immigration attorney. They are able to provide you with the most up-to-date information about immigration law and will give you the best chance of being successfully granted an I-601A Waiver by constructing a case based on factual data. Because of the waiver’s status as a new development in immigration law, it is important that you place your case in the hands of an experienced immigration attorney who holds a professional understanding of the application process.
The 3 Year and 10 Year Bar
These bars of residence are the consequences of an undocumented alien unlawfully living in the U.S. Those who have entered the U.S. unlawfully can only obtain a green card by applying for a visa in their home country. The circumstances of the illegal alien and the period of time they spent in the U.S. illegally determines their bar on legal re-entry to the U.S. of either a 3 year or 10 year period.
3 Year Bar
If the undocumented alien has been living in the U.S. illegally for a period of 1 year, they may be subjected to a 3 year waiting period before being eligible to apply for readmission into the U.S. This constitutes a 3 year bar.
10 Year Bar
If the undocumented alien has been living in the U.S. illegally for a period of time greater than 1 year, they may be subjected to a 10 year waiting period before being eligible to apply for readmission to the U.S. Many undocumented aliens are at risk of being separated from their families for either a 3 year or 10 year period. This often prevents them from traveling back to their country of origin to apply for a green card visa.
I-601A Waiver Eligibility and Requirements
Certain requirements must be met before an undocumented alien is eligible to apply for an I-601A Waiver. The list of criteria includes:
- Being 17 years of age or older
- Not have previously interviewed for an immigrant visa
- Not showing the ability to provide proof of approved documents such as Form I-30 or the Petition for Alien Relative
Meeting the eligibility requirements for an I-601A Waiver is not a guaranteed approval. It is important to take up your case with the guidance of a licensed immigration attorney and not rely on your individual knowledge and skills.
Benefits Of The I-601A Waiver
The primary benefit of obtaining an I-601A Waiver is that there is no long and difficult period of an undocumented alien being separated from his or her family while continuing with the process of earning permanent U.S. citizenship. The I-601A Waiver is a solution to this problem because it allows eligible persons apply while still living in the U.S.
I-601A Waiver Requirements
Application eligibility for the I-601A Waiver requires:
- The individual has a qualifying relative who would endure extreme hardship if the individual is not granted a waiver
- The individual can show that they deserve discretionary approval of the waiver
- The individual does not have any other inadmissibility concerns that would immediately bar him/her from immigrant visa eligibility
There are also requirements on being classified as a qualifying relative. Siblings, children, or other family members cannot count as qualifying relatives. Only parents and spouses who are U.S. citizens are approved as qualifying relatives.
Defining Extreme Hardship
Extreme hardship a legal term that refers to any hardship that is more severe than a normal hardship that a qualifying relative might endure from an extended separation from the undocumented alien. Evidence of significant health concerns, family connections within and outside the U.S., or the distressing impact a child may suffer due to an extended separation from the illegal alien must be provided. These are necessary beyond simple proof of financial and emotional hardship that would be suffered.
Providing Evidence Of Extreme Hardship
When applying for an I-601A Waiver, evidence must be demonstrated that a qualifying relative would suffer from extreme hardship. A good case will include evidence that provides the negative consequences of an undocumented alien being forced to leave the U.S.
There are several important documents that if submitted will be sufficient evidence for proof of potential suffering of extreme hardship. Some of these types of evidence include: a letter from a physician and a list of medical bills, financial debts (monthly bills, mortgages) or a qualifying relative’s personal statements.
Preparing The I-601A Waiver Application
It is important that you understand the the application process and what steps must be taken to ensure its approval. Having the assistance of a licensed immigration attorney will help make the application process go much more smoothly. To learn more about the I-601A Waiver or to get assistance in determining your eligibility for this specific waiver, contact Johnson & Masumi, PC. We are eager to guide you every step of the way through the legal process of obtaining an I-601A Waiver.