US Immigration FAQ Answered by Professionals

There are many reasons why a person may be found “inadmissible” to the U.S. Some have to do with criminal convictions, some have to do with unlawful presence in the USA, and some have to do with misrepresentation or fraud to the U.S. immigration service, to name a few. Some grounds of inadmissibility may be “waived” or forgiven if the inadmissible person applies for an inadmissibility waiver.

Obtaining a Waiver of Inadmissibility for a Person Who is Physically Present in the United States – US Immigration Answers

The most common category of waiver application filed in immigration cases is the I-601A Application, or the “Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver”. A person who is physically present in the US but has entered the states illegally is supposed to file this application. It only waives unlawful presence, not any other ground of inadmissibility. Therefore, before this application is filed your case should be reviewed by an experienced immigration lawyer to make sure that there are no other grounds of inadmissibility present that would not be waived by the I-601A application. The good thing about this application is that it is filed in the USA and either approved or denied while the person who filed it is still in the U.S. This means that if the I-601A application is denied the person will not leave the U.S. because he would not be allowed back in again. This is a great advantage over the old system in which a visa applicant had to go to his or her home country and then file the application for a waiver of inadmissibility, hoping it would be approved. The I-601A application must be filed by a “qualifying relative” of the applicant. This means either a spouse or parent of the applicant who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Further, it must be proven that the qualifying relative would experience “extreme hardship” if the applicant were not allowed to get a visa in the United States of America. Extreme hardship is an open-ended concept. It can be anything that would cause the qualifying relative to experience greater hardship than that which would be experienced by the average spouse or parent if an alien were not allowed to remain in the United States of America. This can include health situations, family situations, etc. The important factor to remember is that it cannot be simply the loss of companionship or financial hardship because every person whose family member is deported would experience these things.

Obtaining a Waiver of Inadmissibility for a Person Who is Outside of the United States  – US Immigration FAQ

If the person who has accrued unlawful presence in the USA is outside the United States, in some cases, he may file an I-601 Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility. Like the I-601A application described above, this application is also based on extreme hardship that would be experienced by a “qualifying relative” (parent or spouse of a U.S. legal or citizen permanent resident) if the person were not allowed to enter the United States. There is yet another type of waiver application, the I-212 Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility, which can be filed by a person who is inadmissible to the US because of criminal convictions or prior removal from the United States. While the I-601A and the I-601 applications are based on “extreme hardship” to a qualifying US legal permanent resident  or US citizen relative, the I-212 waiver application is based on several factors, including the need for the person to be present in the United States of America. 

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