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How is the 601A Waiver different than the 601 Waiver?
Before March 2013 the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen was not eligible to adjust status in the United States and was required to travel to his/her country of origin in order to obtain an immigrant visa. Individuals who had accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while in the United States were required to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility (I-601) to overcome the unlawful presence bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Only after a waiver was granted could the individual return to the USA. Under the newly instituted Provisional Waiver program the process allows for an immediate relative to file for the waiver from inside the USA. The person is not required to leave the USA and wait until the waiver is granted before returning. The Provisional Waiver process is only available to persons inside the USA whose only violation is that they have incurred unlawful presence. This being said. I have been successful in obtaining waivers for persons with additional grounds of inadmissibility. This does not guarantee success in your specific case but it does indicate experience and quality in presenting the basis for a waiver to the USCIS and for the granting of a visa by the U.S. consulate abroad.
Purpose of the I-601A Provisional Waiver of Inadmissibility:
Certain Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residence may
request a provisional unlawful presence waiver under the Immigration and Nationality
Act Section 212 (a)(9)(B) and 8 CFR 212.7(e), before departing the United States to
appear at a U.S. Embassy or consulate for an immigrant visa interview.
The First Step is an Approved Alien Relative Petition received from the USCIS. The
APPROVED Alien Relative Petition is evidence that you have a relative who is a United
States Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident and you are eligible to file for an Immigrant
Visa through your relative.
The Second Step is to File the Application for an Immigrant Visa and a Financial
Affidavit with the National Visa Center.
When the government receives and reviews your immigrant visa application it will be
determined that you are inadmissible to the USA because of your unlawful presence.
You will be notified that you need to file an I-601A Waiver of Inadmissibility. (The Waiver
can and should be filed BEFORE you receive this notification from the NVC).
The Third Step is to File the I-601A Waiver Application
The requirements for receiving an I-601A waiver are the same as the requirements for
the original I-601 Waiver. The Immigrant must show that a USC or LPR Immediate
Relative will suffer extreme hardship if the immigrant is not granted the waiver and
admitted into the USA. The government does have discretion in determining whether
extreme hardship exists.
The NVC is notified when the immigrants provisional waiver is approved. The NVC
sends your complete file to the US consulate in your home country. You are scheduled
for an interview at the consulate and noticed of the interview date. clients from the
Mulder Law Office have needed to be outside the USA and in their home country for 1
to 2 weeks. Clients return as Legal Permanent Residence of the USA.
How long does the entire process take?
The Alien Relative Application Petition process will take approximately 3 to 5 months.
Once the Petition is approved the process may take as little as 6 months. The time frame depends mostly on the client’s ability to provide documents and information.