Couple looking over an I-601A Provisional Waiver with attorney.

What is an I-601A Provisional Waiver?

  • Nov 15 2019

The I-601A provisional waiver allows certain immigrant visa applicants with relatives who are U.S. citizens or lawful residents to apply for a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212(a)(9)(B). In an attempt to promote family unity, the U.S. made I-601A provisional waivers available to qualifying individuals. The applicant for the waiver is permitted to apply for the waiver without having to leave the U.S. They can file the application while they are in the U.S. to attend their consular interview. This helps families stay together and prevent the applicant from being trapped outside the U.S.

Understanding an I-601A Provisional Waiver

The I-601 provisional waiver allows qualifying relatives of U.S. citizens or permanent residents the ability to request a waiver of a multi-year bar for unlawful presence. They are allowed to apply for the waiver without needing to leave the U.S. They are also allowed to wait for their application results while in the U.S. as opposed to having to leave the country to await the decision and be separated from their family for what could potentially be a year or more.

The waiver is intended to deal solely with one ground of inadmissibility under U.S. immigration law. Inadmissibility refers to a block from getting a visa or a green card. The ground addressed by the waiver refers to an applicant who has, once he or she has reached 18 years of age, accrued unlawful presence in the U.S. totaling 180 days or more. The ground prevents the individual from returning to the U.S. for three years. If the applicant was unlawfully present in the U.S. for a year or more and then left the U.S., he or she is barred from returning to the country for ten years.

In order to be eligible to apply for an I-601A provisional waiver, the applicant must be currently in the U.S. and at least 17 years of age. The applicant must also be in the process of getting an immigrant visa based on a petition by a family relative or an employer or another qualifying basis. The applicant must be inadmissible to the U.S. because he or she has accrued 180 days or more of unlawful presence in the U.S. after his or her 18th birthday. The applicant must also be able to show evidence that denial of the waiver would cause a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or lawful resident to suffer extreme hardship. Additionally, the applicant must be willing to leave the U.S. in order to get an immigrant visa. The filing fee for the waiver application is $930, but this could change.

Trusted Immigration Counsel

The I-601A provisional waiver is a great opportunity for those eligible to apply. If your application is denied, you may reapply. If you think you may be qualified to apply for this waiver, Talamantes Immigration Law Firm can help you through the application process. If your application is denied or you end up not being eligible for one reason or another, we can counsel you on other immigration options that may allow you to lawfully remain or regain entry into the U.S. Contact Talamantes Immigration Law Firm today. 

Posted in: Immigration Law