The filing process for the I-601 or I-601A can be very complicated. The I-601 form is a waiver document for certain foreign citizens that cannot gain admission to the United States because they have deemed “inadmissible.” This application process is very detailed and where you file the actual form will depend where you currently reside. Working with an immigration attorney is very advisable if you are required to complete this document, because if you are declined, you cannot enter the United States.
What Are Foreign Citizens Deemed Inadmissible?
The I-601 waiver is prepared for citizens that have fallen into one of the following categories:
• Anyone with a communicable disease (except HIV) can be denied access to the United States. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has a specific list of diseases that they must abide by and any additional diseases that are added by Presidential Executive Order.
• Anyone who is addicted to or abuses illegal substances.
• Any criminal conviction that required the foreign citizen to spend more than one year in jail or any foreign national that has been sent to jail more than once, regardless of time spent in jail.
• Anyone who has been convicted of drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution or money laundering.
• Anyone who would need to be placed on public assistance from the time of their entry into the country. This also applies to anyone who would require immediate and long term medical care when they entered the country.
• Anyone charged with Unlawful Presence. This entails many things, but is most commonly associated with people who are already living in the United States but are here illegally.
• Anyone linked with terrorism.
• Anyone that has deserted from the military service of another country.
Some of these actions cannot be waived under any circumstances, such as a person who is a convicted murderer, drug trafficker or terrorist cannot receive a waiver.
Applying For A I-601 or I-601A Waiver
Applying for a waiver consists of more than just filling out the 19 page request form; it also entails presenting a case to the USCIS as to why your waiver should be granted. This can be very difficult, especially for people who may be unfamiliar with the laws and regulations concerning visas.
It is very important to understand that these waivers are granted on a discretionary basis. The USCIS officer that is reviewing the application has the ability to decline the application, even if the forms are filled out properly. This is why you must present a complete picture on why it is necessary for you to enter and stay in the United States and have documentation to prove your claims.
The most common reason for an I-601A form to be completed is because a person has been found to have an illegal presence in the U.S. The applicant must show that being denied a visa or green card would cause undue hardship to their U.S. citizen spouse or U.S. citizen children. The applicant must show that not only would these family members suffer emotionally,, but that they would suffer financially as well. The applicant must also show why it would be impossible for the other family members to return to the applicant’s country of origin and live with them there.
There are additional conditions and criteria that must be met to be approved for an I-601 or I-601 A. These conditions are very specific and are subject to change. It is very important to speak to an attorney about the additional conditions that may apply to your immigration status.
Where To Apply For An I-601 or I-601A Waiver
People that are located outside of the United States must apply for the I-601 waiver at their local consulate. The application, along with all supporting documentation, must be accompanied by the processing fee.
For those who are applying for an I-601A, you must take your application, supporting documentation, and filing fee to a local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service office.
How An Immigration Attorney Can Help
Working with an Immigration attorney can significantly increase your chances for being approved for an I-601A waiver. Your attorney can review all the facts of your case and:
• Determine if you meet all of the eligibility requirements necessary to apply for a waiver.
• Prepare the proper paperwork to request the waiver.
• Help you meet all deadlines and ensure that the paperwork and documentation are filed with the right offices .
• Help you build a case why your U.S. citizen family members would suffer great hardships if you were not allowed to stay in the United States.
• Demonstrate, through the use of documentation and other forms of evidence, why it is necessary for you to be granted a visa or a green card to remain in the U.S.
Your attorney can work aggressively on your behalf to help you with this immigration issue. Many people will be pleased with the outcome of their waiver application when they allow an Immigration attorney to help with the process.
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