The I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility allows individuals who are ineligible to be admitted to the United States to seek a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility if they have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent.

This waiver provides relief for the following grounds of inadmissibility: health-related, certain criminal grounds, immigration fraud and misrepresentation, immigrant membership in totalitarian party, alien smuggler, being subject to civil penalty, and the 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence in the United States. And for some categories you may need a qualifying relative to be
eligible to file.

Each I-601 Waiver is unique as everyone’s story and circumstances vary. At Tsang & Associates, we have a history of successfully obtaining all types of waivers and will help you compile all of the necessary forms and supporting documents to demonstrate you qualify for this benefit.



Step 1: Apply at U.S. Consulate

If a consular officer deems you ineligible for an immigrant visa or nonimmigrant K or V visa due to inadmissibility, you may apply for a waiver of inadmissibility, the I-601 waiver.

Step 2: Review Your Eligibility For The I-601 Waiver Application

This is the most crucial step for your entire I-601 Waiver Application. We will review all of the supporting documents to create a strategy, a customized checklist, and a timeline to serve as the guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.

Step 3: Gather And Compile All Documents Necessary For The Waiver Application And Filing The I-601 With The Appropriate USCIS Office

Our office will prepare a comprehensive waiver application package and compile supporting documents. We are meticulous in our work and will thoroughly review all evidence to enhance your chances of getting approved. As an experienced immigration firm with a high success rate, we will build your case to its highest potential.

Step 4: Responding To Additional USCIS Requests / Administrative Processing / Status Checks / Fraud Alerts

If additional documents/evidence are needed upon the submission of the case, our office will ensure that all necessary documents are submitted to the USCIS office in a timely manner. We will assist the client to the best of our ability until the case gets approved or the client no longer wants to continue forward with the case.

Step 5: Await Approval By USCIS

USCIS will review and adjudicate your waiver packet and upon approval, they will notify both you and USCIS or the U.S. Consulate/ Embassy. Subsequently, you will be scheduled to appear for an interview.

Step 6: Prepare Client For The Interview

We will help guide the client in his/her preparation for the interview with the US Embassy/ Consulate or with USCIS by simulating the interview and ensuring the client is well-versed in the application material. Our services include a comprehensive strategy for answering inquiries posed, practice questions, thorough feedback, and other tools to help clients succeed during the interview. If your interview is at the US Embassy, you will attend it by yourself per Embassy regulations. If your interview is with USCIS you can attend the interview by yourself or inquire about our attorney appearance service at an additional cost.

Step 7: Approval Is Only the Beginning

Our services do not end when you receive the I-601 Waiver approval, as this step is just the beginning. We educate the client on the steps moving forward including:

View all our citizenship services.


Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our I-601 Waiver services for each client individually. We adopt price standards that are capable of fluctuating for each client depending on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of the below steps/services. Below are the required I-601 filing fees and a sample legal fee for a waiver of inadmissibility.


I-601 Form Filing Fee: $930

The most up-to-date I-601 filing fee can always be found on the USCIS’s website or you can use the USCIS Fee Calculator to calculate how much the government filing fees are.


I-601 Legal Fee: $10,000

Our base fee for a standard I-601 case is $10,000 and does not include any government fees or third-party expenses. We are happy to customize a proposal for you during your I-601 consultation.


Filing Fee Payment Details: You may pay the filing fee with a money order, personal check, or cashier’s check.  When filing at a USCIS Lockbox facility, you may also pay by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and we will help you send it to the correct USCIS Mailing Address. Please note that service centers are not able to process credit card payments.

When you send a payment, you agree to pay for a government service. Filing and biometric service fees are final and non-refundable, regardless of any action we take on your application, petition, or request, or if you withdraw your request.


As with any USCIS petition or application, form I-601 processing times vary depending on the nature of the case. The number of applications and petitions that have been received by USCIS will affect processing times, as will the accuracy of the information and the amount of evidence you provide with your petition.

In our experience, the typical processing time for the I-601 waiver of inadmissibility is 22.5 months. You can use the USCIS Processing Timetable to figure out how long the I-601 processing time will take.

~22.5 Months


Eligibility for Form I-601 Waiver (Who Qualifies For An I-601 Waiver?)

The I-601 is the traditional waiver filed to permit a foreign national who has been denied admission to the United States to gain admission as a lawful permanent resident under certain circumstances. The following is a list of grounds causing inadmissibility that can be waived through the I-601:

  • The 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence
  • Certain criminal grounds
  • Immigration fraud or misrepresentation (except on a false claim to be a U.S. citizen)
  • Health-related grounds

This is not an all-inclusive list. Please see the USCIS website for more information.
This form has also been recently extended to include immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents in addition to U.S. citizens starting August 29, 2016. If you are married to or are the child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, please instead see I-601A Waiver for eligibility and requirements.

Consultation Checklist

In order to provide you with the best and most accurate consultation, we recommend that you bring as many of the following pieces of information/documents to ensure a productive meeting.

  1. Evidence of commitment to community via letters, awards, memberships, social media presence, etc.
  2. School and/or work records and resume
  3. Medical history
  4. Financial information and documents
  5. Evidence of property ownership
  6. Evidence of relationship with petitioner via cards, letters, emails, visits, etc.
  7. Lots of pictures
  8. Evidence of child(ren)’s commitment to community via letters, awards, memberships, social media presence, etc.

Extreme Hardship

The purpose of a waiver application is to demonstrate that the U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) immediate relative of a foreign national will suffer extreme hardship due to either the removal of the immediate relative or the forced relocation to said relative’s native country. Within the law, however, there is no specific definition of the notion of “extreme hardship.” Ultimately, the key term in the provision is “extreme,” and thus only in cases of actual or prospective injury to the U.S. Citizen or LPR will the waiver be approved. Factors that constitute extreme hardship include:


  1. Health, in regards to:
    1. Ongoing or specialized treatment requirements for a physical or mental condition
    2. Availability and quality of such treatment in your country and the anticipated duration of the treatment
    3. Chronic or acute nature of condition, long or short-term nature of condition
  2. Financial considerations, in regards to:
    1. Future employability
    2. Loss due to sale of home or business, or termination of a professional practice
    3. Decline in standard of living and ability to recoup short-term losses
    4. Cost of extraordinary needs, such as special education or training for children
    5. Cost of caring for family members, such as elderly and infirm parents
  3. Education, in regards to:
    1. Loss of opportunity for higher education
    2. Lower quality or limited scope of education options
    3. Disruption of current program
    4. Requirement to be educated in a foreign language or culture with ensuing loss of time in grade level
    5. Availability of special requirements, such as training programs or internships in specific fields
  4. Personal considerations, in regards to:
    1. Close relatives in the U.S. and/or your country
    2. Separation from spouse/children and the ages of involved parties
    3. Length of residence and community ties in the U.S.
  5. Special factors, in regards to:
    1. Cultural, linguistic, religious, and ethnic obstacles
    2. Valid fears of persecution, physical harm, or injury
    3. Social ostracism or stigma and access to social institutions or structures

Relevant Law

Section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Immigration and Nationality Act

Aliens unlawfully present

(v) Waiver

The Attorney General has sole discretion to waive clause (i) in the case of an immigrant who is the spouse or son or daughter of a United States citizen or of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, if it is established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the refusal of admission to such immigrant alien would result in extreme hardship to the citizen or lawfully resident spouse or parent of such alien. No court shall have jurisdiction to review a decision or action by the Attorney General regarding a waiver under this clause.

Success Stories & Case Studies

At Tsang & Associates, we have successfully completed numerous I-601 applications, as our success statistics and client reviews show. If you would like to read about peoples’ experiences working with Tsang & Associates in filing their I-601, you can view our I-601 success stories here. Our clients have chosen us due to our friendly customer-service, proven rates of success, and knowledgeable staff. We are committed to putting your best interest at the forefront of everything we do, and to make the process as smooth as possible. Our staff is fluent in Mandarin, Spanish, Korean, and English and we currently work with clients from all over the world.



Attorney Brief:  [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the I-601 petition.


I-601 Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the I-601 petition.


Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.


Sample I-601 Waiver Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.

I-601 FAQs

  • What is the difference between the I-601 and I-601a?

    The I-601 application is the traditional waiver filed to gain admission to the U.S. Under this process, the beneficiary files the form while residing outside of the U.S. and remains outside of the country for an extended period of time as their application is reviewed.

    Similarly, the I-601A waiver petitions to provisionally waive inadmissibility specifically for unlawful presence. This waiver allows individuals who only need to waive their unlawful presence to remain in the United States during the application process, as well as before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. This process is expected to shorten the time during which U.S. Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents are separated from their immediate foreign national relatives as they go through the process of obtaining immigrant visas on their path to becoming Lawful Permanent Residents.

    Key Differences Between I-601 & I-601A

    I-601 I-601A
    File the form while residing outside the US File the form while residing in the US
    Petitioning individuals must leave the US during the application process Allows petitioning individuals to remain in the US during the application process
    Can be used to attempt to waive multiple grounds of inadmissibility Can only attempt to waive inadmissibility based on unlawful presence
    Filed AFTER a finding of inadmissibility at the consulate Filed while in the US waiting for a consular interview
    Can be filed along with other applications if needed Cannot be filed with any other applications

  • Is an interview required in I-601 waiver cases?

    Yes, an interview is required for I-601 waiver cases. Your interview will be scheduled with the consulate in the country of origin. See our I-601 Success Stories to learn more about this.

  • How can I prepare for my interview?

    We will help you compile a list of things that you can bring to the interview. We also help our clients learn about the interview process and what questions will be asked. We will give you potential questions and help you come up with answers to the questions. Then we will ask you the questions and help you prepare for it.

  • How do I know if my I-601 waiver application will be approved when I file it?

    Waiver approval is entirely discretionary and is based on law. USCIS will decide based on thorough and complete support of all documentation as well as by comparison of all positives and negatives presented in the case.

  • What if my petition or waiver is denied? Can I appeal?

    An appeal of a petition denial can only be reviewed by an immigration judge in a removal/deportation hearing (immigration court). While it is not possible to otherwise appeal an I-601 denial or submit a Motion to Reopen, you also have the possibility of refiling a waiver after a denial.

  • How long is my permanent resident card valid for if approved?

    If approved, your permanent resident card will be valid for ten years

  • What if I am currently in removal proceedings or have received a final order of removal?

    Participation in the provisional waiver process can only be entered if your removal proceedings have been “administratively closed” and have not been rescheduled at the time the waiver application is filed. Anyone subject to final orders of removal are ineligible to participate in provisional waiver applications.

  • What happens after the I-601 waiver is approved?

    After the I-601 waiver is approved, you will be scheduled for an
    interview with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. Our services include
    preparing you for the interview through practice questions and
    other feedback. After the interview, you will then be able to apply
    for N-400 Citizenship.

  • What is the I-601 approval rate?

    The USCIS approval rate for the I-601 waiver is 79.6%.