I601A WAIVER FOR PROVISIONAL UNLAWFUL PRESENCE WAIVER
The I-601A Waiver allows certain immigrant visa applicants who are currently in the U.S. to apply to for an unlawful presence waiver before they leave the U.S. to attend their Consular Interview.
This waiver was created in March 4, 2013 and was designed to promote family unity and allow those whom have resided with their families in the U.S., and who would otherwise be ineligible for adjustment of status. On August 29, 2016 this waiver process was expanded to all individuals statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa including immediate relatives, family-sponsored or employment-based immigrants as well as Diversity Visa selectees; who only need a waiver of inadmissibility due to unlawful presence.
In order to qualify for an I-601A Waiver, you must demonstrate that the denial of the waiver or the refusal of admission to the U.S. would cause extreme hardship to your U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Spouse or Parent.
At Tsang & Associates, we have a history of successfully approved I-601A waivers and will help you compile all of the necessary documents information to demonstrate extreme-hardship.
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-601A 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.
CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW
Step 1: Strategy Session for the I-601A Waiver application
This is the most crucial step for your entire I-601A 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: Prepare and Submit the I-601A Waiver application
Our attorneys will craft your I-601A Waiver arguments and complete all forms, organize supporting documents, and assemble the crafted arguments into the proper application formats. After a thorough review, we will then submit the application to USCIS.
Step 3: Biometrics Appointment
You will need to attend a biometrics appointment most commonly known as fingerprinting appointment. USCIS will conduct a mandatory criminal background check and verify your identity. The process itself does not take long and our office will assist you during this process.
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 or after the interview, 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 moving 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 the client for the Interview
We will help guide the client in his/her preparation for the interview with the US Consulate or 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. You will need to attend the interview by yourself per the D.O.S regulations.
Step 7: Approval is Only the Beginning
Our services do not end when you receive your Immigration Visa 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!
Checklist of Required Evidence
- Your immigrant visa petition approval notice or Department of State (DOS) Electronic Diversity Visa Entrant Status Check printout (if applicable)
- A copy of your Department of Justice EOIR Administrative Closure Order (if applicable)
- A copy of your Form I-797, Notice of Action, showing we approved your Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (if applicable)
- Your DOS Immigrant Visa Processing Fee Receipt (for immediate relatives, family-sponsored, and employment-based immigrant visa applicants)
- Evidence of your relationship to your qualifying relative (if applicable)
- Evidence of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status of your qualifying relative (if applicable)
- Evidence of your admission or parole
- Evidence of extreme hardship
- Evidence your case warrants a favorable exercise of discretion
Eligibility for Form I-601A Waiver
- Be 17 years of age or older.
- Be physically present in the United States to file your application for an I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver and provide biometrics.
- Have a case pending with the U.S. Department of State, based on:
- An approved immigrant visa petition (family-based or employment-based), for which the Department of State immigrant visa processing visa has been paid; OR
- Selection by the Department of State to participate in the Diversity Visa Program under section 203(c) of the Immigration & Nationality Act or the fiscal year for which the alien registered;
- Will depart from the United States to obtain the immigrant visa.
- Meet the requirements for a waiver provided in section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Immigration & National Act. Namely, to be able to demonstrate that refusal of your admission to the United States will cause extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident spouse or parent.
- You are inadmissible ONLY for unlawful presence in the United States for more than 180 days but less than 1 year during a single stay (INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I)), or unlawful presence in the United States for 1 year or more during a single stay (INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II).
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.
- Evidence of commitment to community via letters, awards, memberships, social media presence, etc.
- School and/or work records and resume
- Medical history
- Financial information and documents
- Evidence of property ownership
- Evidence of relationship with petitioner via cards, letters, emails, visits, etc.
- Lots of pictures
- Evidence of child(ren)’s commitment to community via letters, awards, memberships, social media presence, etc.
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.
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.
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:
- Currently be physically present in the United States
- Be at least 17 years of age
- Be an immediate family member to a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (Spouse, Parents)
- Have no criminal record (please contact us if you have any concerns)
- 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.
Section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
Aliens unlawfully present
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.
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:
- Health, in regards to:
- Ongoing or specialized treatment requirements for a physical or mental condition
- Availability and quality of such treatment in your country and the anticipated duration of the treatment
- Chronic or acute nature of condition, long or short-term nature of condition
- Financial considerations, in regards to:
- Future employability
- Loss due to sale of home or business, or termination of a professional practice
- Decline in standard of living and ability to recoup short-term losses
- Cost of extraordinary needs, such as special education or training for children
- Cost of caring for family members, such as elderly and infirm parents
- Education, in regards to:
- Loss of opportunity for higher education
- Lower quality or limited scope of education options
- Disruption of current program
- Requirement to be educated in a foreign language or culture with ensuing loss of time in grade level
- Availability of special requirements, such as training programs or internships in specific fields
- Personal considerations, in regards to:
- Close relatives in the U.S. and/or your country
- Separation from spouse/children and the ages of involved parties
- Length of residence and community ties in the U.S.
- Special factors, in regards to:
- Cultural, linguistic, religious, and ethnic obstacles
- Valid fears of persecution, physical harm, or injury
- Social ostracism or stigma and access to social institutions or structures
SAMPLE & TEMPLATES
Attorney Brief: [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the I-601A petition.
Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the I-601A petition.
Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.
Sample Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.
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?
Is an interview required in Waiver Cases?
How can I prepare for my interview?
What if my petition or waiver is denied? Can I appeal?
How long is my permanent resident card valid for if approved?
What if I am currently in removal proceedings or have received a final order of removal?
How do I know if my waiver application will be approved when I file it?
How long does it take for an I-601 waiver to be approved?
How much does it cost to file an I-601 Waiver?
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.