A Guide to Immigration Waivers

Some of the non-residents who live in, or wish to come to the United States, are not permitted to do so because of what is known as “grounds of inadmissibility.”

Some others who are already in the United States and are permanent residents or green card holders can be stopped at the U.S. borders and be placed in deportation or removal proceedings because they have committed crimes while in the U.S. that may make them “inadmissible.”   

For some of these cases, waivers are available, which can overcome these grounds of inadmissibility once approved.


Naturally, you may have questions such as what is a 601 waiver? What next after I-601 waiver is approved? How long does a 601 or 212 H waiver take?


Below you will find the answer to these questions and more

Why are immigration waivers available?


Generally speaking, the waiver is not given to the person who has been deemed inadmissible, but to their parents, spouse, or children who will experience some form of extreme hardship if the individual is not allowed to return or be admitted as a green cardholder.


In other words, although this person has done something to make their return to the U.S., or obtaining residency, undesirable, there are other reasons, such as Extreme hardship to their immediate qualifying relative, that outweighs the desire to keep them out of the U.S.


Want to know if you Qualify
for an immigration waiver?


+1 818 382-3333+1 818 382-3333


What types of reasons are required for a waiver to be granted?


By and large, a waiver request is granted for one or more of the following reasons:


  • Promote family unity and provide humanitarian results;
  • Provide relief to refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking and certain criminal acts, and other humanitarian and public interest applicants who seek protection or permanent residency in the United States;
  • Advance the national interest by allowing aliens to be admitted to the United States if such admission could benefit the welfare of the country;
  • Ensure public health and safety concerns are met by requiring that applicants satisfy all medical requirements before admission or, if admitted, seek any necessary treatment; and
  • Weigh public safety and national security concerns against the social and humanitarian benefits of granting admission to an alien.

    What happens after a waiver is approved? Your case will be sent to a U.S. consulate for an immigrant visa interview


Great Waiver Packages Result In Approvals

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for an immigration waiver?


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What are the types of immigration waivers available?

  • Waiver After a Previous Removal:
    This waiver allows those who were deported to re-enter, in certain circumstances
  • Waiver of Unlawful Presence – 601 or 601A Waiver:
    Those who have arrived illegally or remained here beyond their initial visas can be subject to what is generally known as 3 year / 10-year bar. For example, if someone arrived illegally and now is married to a U.S. citizen, this individual will not generally be able to obtain his or her green card in the U.S. and must leave the U.S. for n interview at the U.S. consulate. However, once they leave, they will be subject to either a 3 year or a 10-year bar from returning, unless a waiver has been approved in their case.
  • Waiver for Certain Crimes:
    If an individual has committed a crime this can render them inadmissible, which means if they already have a green card and then depart the U.S. they can come face to face with losing their green card upon their return; Alternatively, if someone does not have a green card but is otherwise eligible, they could be considered inadmissible and disqualified from being granted a green card due to having committed a crime in the past.  This type of waiver is available to those who can show extreme hardship to a qualifying relative, or hardship to themselves providing the crime occurred more than 15 years ago.
  • Waiver of Crimes of Moral Turpitude:
    Certain crimes, such as theft, are considered crimes of moral turpitude, or crimes that show the lower-then-desired morality of the person. Waivers are available for certain crimes of moral turpitude, based on the hardship to the qualifying relative.
  • Waiver of Possession of drugs.
    Waivers are available under certain circumstances to those who were convicted of marijuana possession.
  • Intentional Misrepresentation of a Material Fact
    Those who have previously misrepresented certain facts to the U.S. immigration or Consular authorities, care deemed inadmissible but may apply for a waiver based on extreme hardship to qualifying relatives.
  • Other Waiver for Nonimmigrants:
    Those who wish to come to the U.S. as a non-immigrant may apply for a discretionary waiver



601A Provisional Waivers 

Unlawful Presence I-601A Waiver Some background: Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) §. Section 212(a)(9)(B) imposes a ban on immigrants who accumulate an "unlawful presence" in the United States, leave the country, and attempt to re-enter the country legally.

Generally, an immigrant who enters the United States without inspection or overstays his/her authorization is considered unlawfully present. Individuals with an accumulation of more than 180 days but less than a year of unlawful presence are prohibited from re-entering or returning to the United States for three years, and persons with an accumulation of more than one year of unlawful presence are prohibited for ten. years

What is a waiver, sometimes this is referred to mistakenly as a pardon or perdon depending on the language? And who is eligible?

In the traditional process, an immigrant visa applicant arrives at a US consulate for an interview, and if the consular officer determines that the person is inadmissible due to unlawful presence but has the right to apply for a waiver, the consular officer stops the case and tells the person that at that time, they are not eligible for an immigrant visa but a waiver may be possible.  The person has the opportunity to request an exemption.


Unfortunately, under the prior law, a person had to wait outside the United States, separated from their family, while the waiver was processed for several months or even years. This created great uncertainty for families who had to leave the country without knowing if or when they would be allowed to return.


In August 2016, the federal government issued a rule that expands eligibility for a provisional waiver to anyone who meets the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

In other words, anyone who enters the employment-based immigration system or diversity visa lottery (DV), family-based immigration system and any other immigrant classification (I-360 mixed class) can receive a provisional waiver as long as they can show "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" to the spouse or parent of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR).


The 2016 rule also expands eligibility to certain individuals who have a final order of removal, removal, or deportation. In summary, the I-601A is an immigration petition form and process that allows relatives of certain US citizens or permanent residents to apply for a waiver of inadmissability to multiple years of illegal residence before they subsequently leave the United States.


To apply for I-601A, you must:
•be physically present in the United States;
• you have an approved petition
• Cannot enter the United States because you were here illegally for more than 180 days after your 18th birthday;
• You have a qualifying relative who would suffer extreme hardship if the waiver were not granted. Qualifying relative must be a:

US citizen or legal permanent resident;
The qualifying relative must be a spouse or parent (NOT your child, although hardship to the child may be the basis for a qualifying relative);
The qualifying relative does not have to be the person who filed the I-130 Family Immigrant Petition on your behalf (in other words, if your spouse is filing on your behalf, the qualifying relative can be a parent);

You may have more than one qualifying relative; USCIS aggregates these hardships to determine "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship."

Individuals Ineligible to Apply You may not be eligible to apply for I-601A if any of the following apply to you:

• you are under 17 years of age;
• You cannot be accepted for any other reason than staying longer;
• You have previously been subject to removal or have been removed and your removal has not been completed or you have been subject to a final order of removal or removal in immigration court;
• You had an immigrant visa interview at a US consulate scheduled by a consular officer before January 3, 2013 (even if the actual interview was scheduled after January 3, 2013), you are not eligible to apply for a temporary waiver. This also applies to candidates who did not appear for the interview, canceled the interview or rescheduled the interview.
• You are permanently blocked. "Permanent obstruction" applies to people in two situations: you have been in the United States illegally for more than a year since 1996 and then returned to the United States or attempted to return to the United States illegally, or you were ordered removed from the United States and then returned to the United States or attempted to re-enter the United States illegally.

Want to know if you Qualify
for an immigration waiver?


+1 818 382-3333+1 818 382-3333


Immigration Waiver FAQ:

How long does it take for a 601 Waiver to be approved?

In our experience, it varies, but between 6 months to 1 year is the normal time. 


What is next after my I-601A waiver is approved?

Your case will no have to undergo Consular processing at a U.S. Consulate overseas. 


How can I apply for a 601 waiver?

Although the form required for this type of request seems easy to fill out, it is your burden of proof to show you deserve such a discretionary relief, and in our experience, this is hard to do without professional help and guidance. 


What happens if a 601 Waiver or a 212 H waiver, or any other immigration waiver is denied?

You can appeal the decision, or re-file it with more evidence. Keep in mind that with each filing you may, and likely will, experience more resistance. It is best to put the best and strongest case the first time out.






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© Law Offices of Shawn S. Sedaghat The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any reason, person or entity whatsoever. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.