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Not all individuals are eligible to enter the United States on a visa, or to become legal permanent residents of the United States. The United States government may deem an individual inadmissible on a number of grounds, including, but not limited to, previous criminal history, immigration violations, health grounds, and/or fraud. Fortunately, in many cases, the U.S. government may permit an individual to waive their particular ground of inadmissibility.
An I-601 waiver is reserved for individuals who wish to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility to their immigrant visa, adjustment of status, certain nonimmigrant statuses, and/or other immigration benefits. The waiver may be presented in or outside of the United States. The waiver may be used to forgive a number of factors of inadmissibility, including certain criminal grounds of inadmissibility, misrepresentations, immigration violations, and/or health disqualifiers, to name a few. In most cases, demonstration of extreme hardship to a qualifying relative (eg., U.S. citizen spouse, child, etc.) is necessary for the submission of the waiver. However, it is important to note that the various grounds of inadmissibility require differing qualifying relatives for eligibility. For example, an applicant who wishes to waive certain criminal grounds requires a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, son, or daughter for waiver eligibility, whereas, only a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent will allow for waiver eligibility in a case involving a fraud inadmissibility charge.
When an individual has been in the United States without authorization, they begin to incur a number of penalties. One of those penalties is a bar to reentry into the United States. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 212 (a)(9)(B), unlawful presence of over 6 months in the United States is a ground of inadmissibility. This ground of inadmissibility may be waived, however, with the submission of an I-601A provisional waiver.
Often, an individual is not eligible to become a legal permanent resident in the United States and must seek an immigrant visa from abroad. If this individual is subject to the inadmissibility bar because of unlawful presence in the United States, they may be eligible to seek an I-601A provisional waiver for this ground of inadmissibility. An applicant must demonstrate an extreme hardship to either a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent in order to qualify. The benefits of approval, however, are significant. Moreover, an applicant may await the processing of the waiver while inside the United States, avoiding lengthy separation from their loved ones
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
National Visa Center
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin
Executive Office of Immigration Review
Board of Immigration Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court
American Immigration Lawyers Association
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
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