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I-601, WAIVER OF INADMISSIBILITY

The I-601 Waiver allows qualified individuals who are ineligible to be admitted to the United States as an immigrant or to adjust status in the United States, and certain nonimmigrant visa applicants who are inadmissible, to seek a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility.

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 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.

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LEGAL FEE

Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our services for each client individually. We adapt 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 above steps/services.

Our typical fee for a standard I-601 waiver case is $10,000, not including government fees and third-party expenses. We are happy to customize a proposal for your case during a consultation. Please see below for more information.

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CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW

Step 1: 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 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: 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 6: 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:
• N-400 Citizenship Applications
• Family Member Petitions or Sponsorships
• and more!

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Consultation Checklist

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

Filing Fee

The I-601 filing fee can be found here. You may pay the 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. 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. 

Eligibility for Form 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. In order to qualify for this new waiver, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Currently be physically present in the United States
  2. Be at least 17 years of age
  3. Be an immediate family member to a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (Spouse, Parents)
  4. Have no criminal record (please contact us if you have any concerns)
  5. Have no history of deportation or being caught at the border

If you are married to or are the child of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident and meet the above criteria, please instead see I-601A Waiver.

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.

I-601 VS. 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 new 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.

Success Stories & Case Studies

At Tsang & Associates, we have successfully completed numerous I-601 and I-601A 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 and I-601A forms, click the link below to access our success stories.

Success Story

At Tsang & Associates, our experienced attorneys will assist you in filing Form I-601 or I-601A and proving that you entered into your marriage in good faith, without the intent to seek immigration benefits. 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, and English and we currently work with clients from all over the world.

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SAMPLE & TEMPLATES

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

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

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

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Forms: Here is a list of the forms that are needed by USCIS

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

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USCIS Fee Calculator: This is to help calculate how much the filing fee will be.

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USCIS Mailing Address: This address is where it is mailed to USCIS.

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USCIS Processing Timetable: This will help you figure out how long it will take to process.

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ASC Field Offices: Listed are the addresses of the field offices for the bio-metrics.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What does it mean to be an “immediate relative”? Can I file for this waiver if my sibling is the petitioner?

In order to qualify for these waivers, extreme hardship must be demonstrated for a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident immediate relative who is the beneficiary’s spouse or parent. A sibling’s relationship is not enough to qualify for extreme hardship.

Does the I-601A provisional waiver for apply to all grounds of inadmissibility?

No; the I-601A application solely applies to any inadmissibility rulings pertaining to unlawful presence, including applicants subjected to the 3-year or 10-year bar upon leaving the U.S.

Is an interview required in Waiver Cases?

Your interview will be scheduled with the consulate at the country of origin.. See our 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.

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-601A 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.

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

Waiver approval is completely dependent on a case-by-case basis, and there is no way to definitively tell how USCIS will decide. To improve your chances of approval, your application must demonstrate the level of extreme hardship to your qualifying relative. You can do this by providing extensive documentation and exhibits in order to assist us in culminating a strong, substantial case.

How long does it take for an I-601 waiver to be approved?

It generally takes 4 to 6 months to process an I-601A waiver application.

How much does it cost to file an I-601 Waiver?

Visit the USCIS website for the filing fee for I-601 Waiver.

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SCHEDULE A SESSION

Call or email us to set up your 1-hour consultation. Easily pay the $250 consultation fee over the phone or through our email link. If you would like to have a quick chat with our team before setting up the consultation, feel free to use the calendar on the right to book your 10 minute call.

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