Inadmissibility waivers, also known as waivers of ineligibility, are provisions within U.S. immigration law that allow certain individuals who would otherwise be considered inadmissible to the United States to seek permission to enter or adjust their status despite their ineligibility. Inadmissibility refers to various grounds that can bar someone from entering or residing in the U.S., such as certain criminal convictions, health-related issues, immigration violations, or past misrepresentations.
There are several types of inadmissibility waivers, each catering to specific grounds of ineligibility. Here's an overview of the most common types and the general process for each:
I-601 Waiver (Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility):
- Purpose: This waiver is available to immigrants who are inadmissible based on certain grounds, such as unlawful presence, fraud or misrepresentation, criminal offenses, or certain immigration violations.
- Process: To apply for an I-601 waiver, the applicant typically needs to submit a comprehensive waiver application along with supporting evidence. They must demonstrate that their qualifying relative(s) (such as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent) would suffer extreme hardship if the waiver is not granted. Extreme hardship is a high standard and requires compelling evidence to establish its impact on the qualifying relative(s).
I-601A Waiver (Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver):
- Purpose: This waiver is specifically for certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are ineligible for adjustment of status in the United States due to unlawful presence.
- Process: The applicant first files a Form I-601A with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and awaits a decision before departing the U.S. to attend an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. consulate abroad. The applicant must demonstrate that their U.S. citizen spouse or parent would experience extreme hardship if they are not allowed to return to the U.S. after the visa interview.
I-212 Waiver (Permission to Reapply for Admission after Deportation or Removal):
- Purpose: This waiver is for individuals who have been deported or removed from the United States and wish to seek readmission.
- Process: The applicant must file Form I-212 with USCIS or the U.S. consulate abroad and demonstrate that their reentry is justified despite their prior deportation or removal. This typically requires showing strong evidence of rehabilitation or a significant change in circumstances.
It's important to note that the waiver process can be complex and case-specific, and applicants are strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel or assistance from an experienced immigration attorney to navigate the application process successfully. Additionally, eligibility criteria and procedures for waivers may change over time, so it's essential to refer to the latest information provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or consult an immigration expert for the most up-to-date guidance. At The Trevino Law Firm, PLLC, our immigration lawyers can discuss your case with you. Contact us to schedule a consultation either by calling us at 210.227.3200 or using the online form.