White Background With Gold Text Logo of U.S. Immigration Law Counsel | Consular Processing Expert

I-601 Waiver

I-601 waivers can be filed by noncitizens who are inadmissible to the United States and are seeking to apply for…

I-601 waivers can be filed by noncitizens who are inadmissible to the United States and are seeking to apply for an immigrant visa, adjustment of status, certain nonimmigrant statuses, or certain other immigration benefits. The I-601 waiver can help the noncitizen to waive the USCIS inadmissibility ruling of immigration violations. These violations can include unlawful entry or presence in the U.S., staying beyond the time frame of a visa, or having committed certain crimes that can lead to an inadmissibility ruling.

The I-601 waiver must demonstrate that the removal of the noncitizen would cause an “extreme hardship” to their spouse, family, or relatives. This hardship must be substantially beyond that which would ordinarily be expected to result from the denial of the noncitizen’s admission. Examples of extreme hardship include the poor health of an applicant’s family member, the loss of educational opportunities for applicant’s children, the applicant’s financial situation, loss of family ties in the U.S., and other hardships. The spouse or unmarried children (under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen may also apply for an I-601A waiver to overcome the same set of circumstances. 

Applying for the waiver

A noncitizen must file Form I-601 if they are applying from outside the United States, or Form I-601A, if they are applying from within the U.S. The noncitizen must also provide evidence to support their claim concerning the extreme hardship their spouse, parent, child, or other relatives will suffer if they were forced to return to their home country. The evidence must clearly demonstrate the impact that a denial of admission would have on the qualifying relative. Such evidence can include financial documents, medical records, proof of business ownership, educational documents, affidavits from family and friends, or other relevant documents that would help to prove the level of hardship that would be experienced in the event of a denial.  The USCIS will accept a fee waiver request from a VAWA self-petitioner, an applicant for a T visa, a battered spouse or child of a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, an applicant for Temporary Protected Status, or other noncitizens in vulnerable situations.

How an attorney can help you

I-601 waivers can be complex in nature, and an applicant must be able to explain the various hardships that their relative(s) will face in their absence, and why these hardships are above the generally expected level of suffering. As such, it is best to seek the help of an immigration lawyer who can prepare the brief and full submission on your behalf.  A good immigration attorney can prepare you in advance and help you to understand the types of evidence to provide with your application. The attorney can increase your chance of success, even while it is your responsibility to provide sufficient evidence to prove extreme hardship and merit an approval of your I-601 Waiver. An attorney can also help you to determine which waiver is needed based on your specific circumstances. While there are no guarantees that the waiver will be approved, applying for one will allow the noncitizen a chance to continue their immigration process.

Contact US-ILC

Don’t know your immigration Options? we can help