Form I-601A: the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

The I-601A waiver was instituted by the Obama administration on March 4, 2013.The purpose of the I-601A waiver is to shorten the amount of time that visa waiver applicants must spend outside the US and away from their families awaiting decision on their I-601 waiver.

This immigrant visa waiver applies in cases where an applicant’s only ground for inadmissibility is unlawful presence, meaning that the applicant entered the US without a visa and remained in the country unlawfully for more than 180 days.

To qualify for an I-601A waiver:

1.Applicants must be 17 years of age or older,

2.Have an I-130 approved petition for an immediately available immigrant visa,

3.Show that refusal of admission would cause Extreme Hardship to a US citizen spouse or parent, and be currently present in the United States.

Normal hardship that all families would expect to suffer due to years of separation is insufficient to satisfy the Extreme Hardship standard.

The extreme hardships the government will consider often include emotional/mental, financial, physical, and medical problems suffered by a qualifying relative. Extreme hardship is a high standard but not the highest standard of hardship in immigration law.

The applicant seeking to lawfully immigrate to the U.S. using this waiver must demonstrate why their family member would suffer hardship upon a separation of three or ten years, and why that family member cannot follow the waiver applicant to his or her country of origin to wait for the waiver decision. The applicant must show that their relative would suffer an extreme hardship being without the applicant, or even being with the applicant, but living in another country.

The Immigration Attorneys at MJ Law are currently accepting clients for I-601A Immigrant Visa Waiver petitions for those who qualify.Our firm has office locations in San Jose, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Pasadena, California to best serve our clients.


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