Credit: Lillian Mongeau, EdSource Today Credit: Lillian Mongeau, EdSource Today

The I-601A waiver, or “Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver,” allows immigrants with an approved I-130 petition to remain in the United States while adjusting their immigration status.Traditionally, immigrants who are eligible to become legal U.S. residents (e.g. because they are married to a U.S. citizen), but who have been in the United States without authorization for more than 180 days, are normally required to leave the United States for a period of three or ten years if they wish to adjust their immigration status.The I-601A waiver allows those immigrants to instead remain in the United States while they adjust status if they can show that leaving would result in extreme hardship on the immigrant’s U.S. citizen spouse or parent.

An I-601A Waiver may be denied by the USCIS for a number of reasons.A petition may be denied if it is incomplete, if there are errors or inconsistencies, if the USCIS believes the applicant would be inadmissible to the U.S. for reasons other than unlawful presence, or if the USCIS does not believe the U.S. citizen spouse/parent would suffer extreme hardship as a result of the immigrant being forced to leave the United States for three or ten years.

This last reason, insufficient evidence of extreme hardship, is one of the most common.Because the law says that I-601A waivers are discretionary, the decisions can be very subjective.The individual USCIS officer evaluating the application has a large degree of leeway in deciding whether a family’s situation would result in extreme hardship.For this reason, it is important that the applicant submit a thorough, well-organized, and persuasive application.

MJ Law has experience successfully handling these waiver petitions and is proud to have played a role in keeping numerous families together.Please contact our office for a consultation to see if the I-601A waiver can help your family’s immigration situation.

  • Gabriel Jack helped us apply for an O-1 Visa, when we needed to change visa status and we got it! The documentation required for an O-1 visa is extensive but we managed to complete everything together with Gabriel in about 4 weeks. Gabriel is very professional and knows what is important and he is also easy to talk to and helpful. We are very pleased and will use Gabriel again should there be a need.
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  • Gabriel did a good job. He was easy to deal with, returned calls and did what he said he would – nice change from some lawyers I’ve dealt with. My E3 was approved with no trouble at all…and he’s a really nice person, which is a good bonus. Thanks Gabe!!
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  • We had previously shopped around for an immigration lawyer, but we went with Gabriel. He was very knowledgeable, friendly, and thorough. He was able to help us to prepare a very detailed interview packet, and we got our E2 visa at the end of the interview.
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