i 601a: Everything You Need to Know
I-601A is immigration form that allows certain relatives of US citizens or permanent residents to request a waiver of the multi-year bars for unlawful presence.3 min read
I-601A is an immigration form that allows certain relatives of United States citizens or permanent residents to request a waiver of the multi-year bars for unlawful presence before they leave the US instead of after. The form is also referred to as a “provisional waiver application.”
Previously, to file the provisional waiver application, those with excess unlawful presence in the US had to go through a much more convoluted process where they basically had to wait to be deemed inadmissible after a consulate interview and then apply with the I-601A. Under new rules, eligible persons can wait for the results of the application while in the United States rather than having to leave and wait for a decision outside the country often away from family and often for more than a year.
Persons Eligible To Apply
If you are an immigrant who meets the following criteria, you can probably apply for an I-601A waiver:
- You are in the United States
- You are at least 17 years old.
- You have an in-process of obtaining an immigrant visa based on a form I-130 petition by a family relative, a form I-140 petition by an employer or an I-360 petition on a qualifying basis.
- Your immigrant visa application case is in progress.
- You are inadmissible to the US because you have had more than 180 days total of unlawful presence after your 18th birthday in a single stay.
- You can provide evidence showing that if waiver and green card is denied your spouse or parent who is a US Citizen or lawful resident will suffer extreme hardship.
- You are willing to leave the US to obtain an immigrant visa.
- You were not yet given an interview date by the Department of State before January 2013.
Immigration law is complex and often depends on your unique situation. This is not an exhaustive list or explanation. It is merely meant as a quick check to help determine if more research into i601a eligibility is warranted.
Persons Not Eligible to Apply
If any of the following apply to you, you may not be eligible to apply for an I-601A waiver:
- You are under 17 years old.
- You are inadmissible for a reason other than an overstay like health problems or a criminal conviction (if this is your case, consult an immigration attorney first).
- You have had prior deportation proceedings or were deported and have not had your removal proceedings terminated.
- You are under final removal or deportation orders from Immigration Court.
- You are permanently barred.
- Your I-485 application is pending.
- You cannot establish hardship to your qualifying parent or spouse if the waiver is not approved.
Again, these are just some common reasons you may not be eligible and laws are subject to change so you should always conduct additional research and consult with authorities like immigration lawyers before proceeding.
Frequent Asked Questions About I-601A
- What is the filing fee for the I-601A Unlawful Presence Waiver?
$930 but subject to change so check online for the most up to date information
- Will I be granted a visa at the US Consulate if my provisional waiver was approved?
Maybe. These are separate processes and approval of one does not guarantee approval of the other.
- Can I file again if my application was denied?
Yes. You are not prohibited from filing again in the future but you also have to pay the filing fee again which may be higher than when you applied the first time.
- Will a denial of my provisional waiver cause me to be deported?
Possibly. A denial does not automatically mean you will be deported. Many people are not deported after a denial in part because the US Department of Homeland Security simply does not have the financial or manpower resources to deport everyone not authorized to remain in the United States.
Enforcement efforts have been focused on deporting people convicted of crimes, especially felonies, with links to terrorist organizations, or who have been in the US since early 2014. If you do not fall into one of these categories, the likelihood of you being deported decreases significantly but it is still possible.
- Can I apply for a provisional visa if I have already been scheduled for a consulate interview for my immigrant visa?
Possibly. You can probably apply if your interview was scheduled before a certain date and your visa application was based on a i-130 petition filed by a different relative.
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