I-601A Waivers and How They Help With an Unlawful Presence in the U.S.

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

You usually only hear of the I-601A Waiver when an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen applies for a provisional unlawful presence waiver. These waivers have been put in place since March 4, 2013, and expanded in August 2016 when it also made all individuals eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility. These waivers could be granted to those who have been given a 3 or 10-year bar to re-enter into the U.S. This is why it is always important to understand how long your stay period is and not stay longer than you are supposed to under the law.

What You Can Do

We suggest that, instead of departing the U.S. for consular processing if you have overstayed, you should instead apply for permanent residence. An example of this is somebody who overstays the period on a visa but enters into a marriage with a U.S. citizen. You would usually see the integration of a I-601A Waiver used in these cases.

Facts Everybody Should Know

You should know that this waiver process doesn't change the immigrant visa process, and that you are still required to depart the U.S. so that you can attend a meeting at the U.S. consulate abroad. If your unlawful presence waiver is approved, then you will not be able to use it until you depart the U.S. and appear for your interview, or that you are determined to be admissible by a DOS consular officer in some way. You absolutely have to attend your interview after you have been approved, because if not, your immigrant visa application will be cancelled and you will have no way to return.

There are some eligibility requirements that go hand in hand with this process. For instance, you must be physically present in the U.S, to file your application, be at least 17 years of age, and be in the process of obtaining your immigrant visa. You must also be able to show that your refusal of admission to the U.S. will cause extreme hardship on your spouse or parents who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

If you do not meet the requirements, then unfortunately you will be barred from the provisional unlawful presence waiver. Not only do you have to meet the requirements put in place for you, but you are also not permitted to be in removal proceedings at the time.

What is Extreme Hardship and When is it Considered?

Extreme hardship will be considered in some situations based on your circumstances. Here are the various levels of such:

Level 1: Your relative has a medical issue that doesn't allow them to travel abroad in a safe manner, or your state of country has an ongoing active war.

Level 2: The country that you came from is on the verge of political upheaval and it is difficult to travel due to a medical condition.

Level 3: The country has extremely poor economy, which means that you won't be able to live there.

Level 4: The relative would not be able to pay their debts if they moved abroad, and their parents are aging.

As you can see, many scenarios could apply to these cases. Do you believe that you are eligible for the I-601A Waiver for Unlawful Presence? We can help in your time of need when you are facing strict measures. Do you need help with your case and you aren't sure where to turn for your many immigration needs? Call us today at the Sky Law Firm for more information.