What is an I-601A Provisional Waiver?
The I-601A provisional waiver is intended to address a common problem that occurs when green card applicants travel to their home country consulate for their interviews. Some applicants arrive to their interview only to find out they cannot return to the U.S. because of past time spent in the U.S. unlawfully. Unfortunately, they have to then go through the long process of requesting a waiver while stuck in their country of origin—a process that can take months or even years.
An I-601A provisional waiver (or "stateside waiver") of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility can help prevent this situation and keep families together. By applying for a provisional waiver, you can get either a waiver or denial of your unlawful time in the U.S. from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before ever departing the U.S. for the visa interview. If USCIS grants your provisional waiver, you can safely travel outside the U.S. to your interview with confidence, knowing that the consular officer is likely to allow you to return to the U.S. with an immigrant visa. But even if USCIS denies your provisional waiver, at least you will find out while still in the U.S., not trapped in your country of origin for years. Depending on the circumstances, it is possible you may even be able to reapply for the waiver.
Am I Eligible to Apply for the Provisional Waiver?
To be eligible for an I-601A provisional waiver, you must:
-Be eligible for an immigrant visa on any basis (family, employment, the diversity visa lottery, or a special immigration classification);
-Be at least 17 years of age;
-Be physically present in the United States at the time of applying;
-Be otherwise admissible to the United States. (In other words, you aren’t seeking a waiver of criminal, fraud, or other grounds of inadmissibility.)
-Be able to demonstrate that, if not granted the waiver, your qualifying relative (U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent) will suffer extreme hardship as a result.
The I-601A provisional waiver can be very useful for those eligible to apply. If your application is denied, you may be eligible to reapply. If you think you may be qualified to apply for this waiver, Martinez Immigration can help you through the application process. If your application is denied or you end up not being eligible for some reason, we can counsel you on other immigration options that may allow you to lawfully remain or regain entry into the U.S.