Immigration Blog

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I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility in Immigration Law

Apr 4, 2023 | Green card, I-601, immigration, USCIS, Waivers


What is an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility?

Inadmissibility and immigration waiver issues are very complicated.

If you are inadmissible to the United States, then you may need a waiver to waive the inadmissibility ground to become a green card holder.

The most common waiver is the I-601 waiver.

The I-601 waiver is a process that allows certain people who are inadmissible to the United States to apply for a waiver of their inadmissibility, and if granted, become green card holders.

In this article, I will discuss who is eligible for the waiver, what inadmissibility grounds the waiver can waive, where you file the waiver, and what evidence you should submit with the waiver.

Lets dive into the details!

Who is eligible for an I-601 waiver?

To be eligible for a waiver, you must have a qualifying relative, such as a spouse, parent, or child who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. However, keep in mind, that children are NOT considered qualifying relatives if you need a document fraud or misrepresentation waiver under INA section 212(i) to waive inadmissibility under INA section 212 (a)(6)(C)(i). Children ARE qualifying relatives if you need waiver for a criminal conviction, such as for a crime involving a moral turpitude under INA section 212(h). Additionally, to succeed on an I-601 waiver, you must also show that denial of admission would result in extreme hardship to your qualifying relative. Of course, immigration law does not define what is “extreme” hardship, so you have to build your case to show your relative’s “extreme” hardships.

What things does an I-601 waiver waive?

There are many different grounds of inadmissibility, and the I-601 waiver can be used to waive many of them. Some of the most common grounds of inadmissibility that are waived through the I-601 waiver include:

1. Physical or mental disorders
2. Certain drug offenses
3. Crimes of moral turpitude
4. Security-related grounds
5. Public charge
6. Document fraud or misrepresentation
7.  Unlawful presence

Where do I apply for an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility?

If you are eligible for an I-601 waiver, you must file Form I-601 with USCIS. Depending on your circumstance, you may need the waiver with adjustment of status, or as a standalone waiver.

You can also file the waiver in immigration court if you are in removal proceedings.  The judge will decide whether to grant your waiver.

You can also pursue the waiver if you are currently abroad and have been found inadmissible to the United States by a consular officer.  You will need to file the waiver in the United States with USCIS.

What should I submit with the I-601 waiver?

To succeed on a waiver, you must also provide evidence to support your claim of extreme hardship to your qualifying relative(s). This evidence may include:

  • medical records
  • letters or affidavits from your family and friends
  • evidence of financial hardship
  • evidence of emotional hardship
  • evidence of educational hardship
  • other documents that show the impact that your denial of admission would have on your qualifying relative.

This is not a full list and each case is unique, so you have to see what evidence will be helpful in your case.  The I-601 waiver process can be complex and time-consuming, but if done well, very rewarding, as it would eliminate certain barriers to lawful residency.

It is important to work with an experienced immigration attorney to help you navigate the process and increase your chances of success. Reach out to me if you need a waiver and are not sure about how to proceed! I love doing waivers and have successfully helped many of clients obtain the waivers and their green cards!

Ruchi Thaker