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  • Writer's picturePetra Melendez

The I-601 & I-601-A waiver process for a lawful permanent resident applicant (Green Card) PT.1

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

If the U.S. immigration authorities find you to be inadmissible, you can be refused entry in the U.S. as a lawful permanent residence. However, in many immigration cases, if we can prove and establish something called "extreme suffering" to a qualifying relative who is a US citizen or permanent resident applicant may obtain permanent residence or "green card" upon approval of its waiver. Qualifying relatives could be the applicant's spouse or parent or in certain cases children of the applicant.

According to the USCIS website Individuals who are inadmissible are not permitted by law to enter or remain in the United States. You may ask what are the categories of inadmissibility? The general categories of inadmissibility include: a) Health, b) Criminal activity, c) National security, d) Public charge, e) Lack of labor certification, f) Fraud and misrepresentation, g) Prior removals, h) Unlawful presence in the United States, and several other miscellaneous categories.

In this article we will discuss waiver for inadmissibility due to prior removals and/or unlawful presence in the United States.

A waiver is to ask the U.S. government for forgiveness of the ground of inadmissibility and grant the green card based on the "extreme suffering" to a qualifying relative who is a US citizen or permanent resident.

One option is the form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. The advantage to this waiver is you can submit the application from within the U.S. and avoid the risk of being barred from return before leaving for home country consulate interview. However, it is conditional on 2 things.

  1. You are already living in the United States

  2. Unlawful presence must be the only ground of inadmissibility.

Note that an individual who may be subject to multiple grounds of inadmissibility will not be eligible for the provisional waiver but may still seek a waiver through the Form I-601 waiver, which is the second option.

After filing for waiver If you are granted a pardon, then you are allowed to enter the United States without the need to spend 10 years abroad.

To obtain a pardon, you must demonstrate to the US immigration officials that denial of pardon will result in “extreme Hardship” to your spouse or parent or children who is a US citizen or permanent resident.

Let us consider two different scenarios,

  1. The qualifying relative who is a US citizen or permanent resident remains in the United States and is separated from you for 10 years.

  2. The qualifying relative who is a US citizen or permanent resident lives with you, outside of the United States, in your country for 10 years.

If we convince immigration officials that both scenarios will result in extreme suffering of the qualifying relative who is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, then you will be granted forgiveness, and you will not have to spend 10 years outside of the United States

For higher chances of your waiver approval, you must convey information efficiently and effectively, so that the immigration officials understand your situation and are convinced of the qualifying relative hardships. Failure to convey your message in a concise, clear, and courteous manner could enormously affect the outcome of your waiver case.

I strongly suggest hiring a professional to handle your waiver case.

In Part 2, I will demonstrate what exactly “extreme suffering” is, and how we can demonstrate it.

Disclaimer: This blog does not constitute legal advice of any kind, and any use of the information above is at readers’ risk. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

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