Tag Archives: I-601 waiver

Common Reasons for Visa Refusal or Visa Denial

A visa refusal or denial brings disappointment, frustration, and confusion over what to do next to enter the U.S. lawfully.

The U.S. Embassies and Consulates ultimately decide whether to grant you a nonimmigrant visa (e.g. B-1/B-2 visitor, F-1 student, H-1B temporary worker) or immigrant visa (e.g. family-based or employment-based) for admission to the United States. Proving you qualify for a visa is rarely easy.

Before you apply for a visa, it’s important to know the common reasons for a refusal or denial. They stem from the Immigration & Nationality Act, including sections 221(g)(lack of information or documents to show visa eligibility), 214(b)(failure to overcome presumption of immigrant intent in nonimmigrant visa cases) and 212(a)(inadmissibility grounds).

Soft refusal

1. Section 221(g) – Incomplete Application or Supporting Documentation

A visa refusal under section 221(g) of the INA means you did not present all the necessary information or documents for the consular officer to determine your visa eligibility. This is a soft refusal because you get the opportunity to correct the problem before a final decision is made.

In a 221(g) notice, you will be instructed on what additional evidence is needed and how to submit it. Examples include financial documents, affidavits of support, employment letter, and criminal records. If you do not submit the requested documents within one year, you will need to reapply for the visa and pay a new application fee.

You may also be informed that the Consulate will conduct further administrative processing of your application (e.g. security checks or further investigation by another agency such as USCIS) before it instructs you on next steps or issues a decision.  This can be triggered by database hits, fraud prevention unit investigations, alerts lists, and administrative errors.

Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview, but the timing varies based on individual circumstances. For example, if the case is forwarded to USCIS or another agency for further review, this could take several months to complete.

When the documents submitted are not enough to overcome the 221(g) refusal or administrative processing reveals negative information that makes you inadmissible, your visa request will be denied.

Hard denial

2. Section 214(b) – Visa Qualifications and Immigrant Intent

Under section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a nonimmigrant is presumed to have immigrant intent, i.e. intent to remain permanently, rather than temporarily, in the United States. Nonimmigrant visa applicants (except for H-1B and L-1s) have the burden to overcome this presumption and prove they have no immigrant intent.

Section 214(b) denials apply only to nonimmigrant visa categories. For instance, B-1/B-2 visitor visa applicants must show they have strong ties to their home country, which they cannot abandon, and intend to visit the U.S. temporarily for business or pleasure. F-1 student visa applicants must further show they are qualified to pursue a full course of study, have the financial resources to pay tuition and living expenses, and intend to return to their country after completing their studies.

A 214(b) denial notice will state you have not demonstrated strong ties to your home country to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent and therefore do not meet the standards for a visa grant. The real, underlying reason, however, may be different.

Do you fit the profile of a person who tends to work in the U.S. without authorization or will likely overstay? Did you request a change of status from B-2 to F-1 during a previous trip to the U.S.? Have you ever entered the Diversity Visa lottery or had an I-130 immigrant petition filed on your behalf? Did you seem nervous during the visa interview? Did you give birth in the U.S. during a temporary visit? Do you make regular visits to the U.S. and stay for extended periods each time?

A consular officer’s doubts about your true intentions could lead to a 214(b) visa denial. It is often used as catch-all provision even when there is no valid reason to deny your visa application.

3. Section 212(a) – Inadmissibility Grounds

Section 212(a) of the INA lists the various grounds on which you are inadmissible to the U.S. (i.e. barred from entering the U.S. or from obtaining a visa).

Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the INA states that you are permanently inadmissible if you, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seek to procure (or have sought to procure or have procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the U.S. or other immigration benefit.

Section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the INA inflicts a permanent bar against you when it is determined that you made a false claim to U.S. citizenship to gain a benefit under U.S. immigration law, federal law or state law.

Section 212(a)(2) of the INA lists crime-related grounds that permanently bar you from entering the U.S. They include crimes involving moral turpitude (that do not qualify for the petty offense or youthful offender exception), controlled substance violations, multiple criminal convictions, and controlled substance trafficking (i.e. U.S. consular officer or U.S. government knows or has reason to believe you are a controlled substance trafficker).

Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) of the INA states the 3 year bar to re-entry applies if you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days, but less than one year, and then depart the U.S. The U.S. government adds up all the days you were unlawfully present in the U.S. in a single ongoing period or stay (i.e. continuous period of unlawful presence).

Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the INA states the 10 year bar to re-entry applies if you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for one year or more, and then depart the U.S. The U.S. government adds up all the days you were unlawfully present in the U.S., even if they were from different periods or stays (i.e. the aggregate period of unlawful presence).

Section 212(a)(9)(A)(i) of the INA states you have a five-year bar to reentry from the date of your removal if:

  • You were removed upon arrival in the U.S., i.e. ordered removed in an expedited removal proceeding by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) at a U.S. port of entry.
  • You were placed in removal proceedings upon arrival in the U.S. and then ordered removed by an immigration judge as an arriving alien.

Section 212(a)(9)(A)(ii) of the INA states you have a 10-year bar to reentry from the date of your removal if:

  • You were ordered removed, other than as an arriving alien, including by an immigration judge in removal proceedings.
  • You failed to timely depart the U.S. under an order of voluntary departure issued by an immigration judge, causing the voluntary departure to be converted to a removal order.
  • You departed the U.S. willingly, but before removal proceedings were concluded.
  • You left the U.S. while a removal order was outstanding.

Section 212(a)(9)(A)(ii) of the INA states you have a 20-year bar to reentry from the date of your removal if you were ordered removed from the U.S. more than once, whether as an arriving alien or not. It permanently bars you from reentry from the date of your removal if you were convicted of an aggravated felony.

Section 212(a)(9)(C) of the INA states you are permanently barred if you reentered or attempted to reenter the U.S. illegally after you accrued more than one year of unlawful presence in the U.S. and left, or after you were ordered removed from the U.S. The permanent bar, due to illegal entry or attempted illegal entry, applies only if you accrued the (1+ year) unlawful presence or were ordered removed on or after April 1, 1997, or entered or attempt to reenter the U.S. unlawfully on or after April 1, 1997.

Notification of Visa Refusal or Denial

When a consular officer refuses or denies your visa request, you will be informed orally and given a written notice with boxes checked off from a boilerplate list of statutory law.

In both immigrant and nonimmigrant visa cases, the officer must provide timely, written notice of:

  • The provision(s) of law on which the refusal is based
  • Any waiver of inadmissibility available (when  212(a) ineligibility grounds apply)

In immigrant visa cases, the written notice should include the factual basis for the refusal (unless such information is classified) ). The consular officer should refer to pertinent written or oral statements of the applicant, a conviction, medical report, false document, previous refusal, or the like, as the basis of the refusal.  The officer is also instructed to explain the law simply and clearly.

In Kerry v. Din, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its June 15, 2015 decision stating consular officers need not provide the factual basis for an immigrant visa denial when terrorism or national security concerns are involved. In that case, a foreign national spouse was denied her immigrant visa based on an unexplained allegation that her Afghani, U.S. citizen husband (the I-130 petitioner) supported terrorism. The court ruled that in these circumstances, a consular officer may simply cite to the statutory law without providing specific reasons for the visa denial.

In nonimmigrant visa cases, the written notice rarely informs you of the specific facts on which the consular office relied to made the decision. Usually, it will only cite to the statute (law) under which your visa was denied. Therefore, it helps to listen closely to the consular officer’s oral notice.

Consult an immigration attorney with expertise in visa refusals and denials

To prevent or overcome a visa denial, you should seek guidance from an immigration attorney who deals with consular processing. A skilled attorney can evaluate your case to verify your visa eligibility, help you respond to a request for more documents, challenge erroneous inadmissibility findings, and file for any necessary and available waivers.

For more information, read our related article, Potential Solutions for Visa Refusal or Visa Denial.

This article provides general information only. It is based on law, regulations and policy that are subject to change. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Each legal case is different and case examples do not constitute a prediction or guarantee of success or failure in any other case. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Photo by: Chris Rimmer

Expedited Removal: How Do You Avoid, Challenge or Overcome It?

At U.S. ports of entries (e.g airports, seaports and land border crossings), the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has broad discretionary power to issue you an expedited removal order (Form I-860) when it denies your admission on certain grounds.

Avoiding, challenging or overcoming an expedited removal order is necessary if you want to return to the U.S. as a nonimmigrant or immigrant within 5 years in all cases, and within your lifetime, in some cases.

Consequences of an Expedited Removal Order

CBP officers are instructed to exercise restraint and consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether you qualify for any waivers, withdrawal of application for admission, or deferred inspection, instead of issue an expedited removal order.

Nevertheless, expedited removal orders are commonly issued at U.S. ports of entries when the CBP finds you inadmissible under INA section 212(a)(6)(C)(i)(fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact to gain immigration benefits), section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(false claim to U.S. citizenship), and/or section 212(a)(7)(lack of proper visa or other travel documents).

An expedited removal order, in and of itself, carries a 5-year bar to reentering the U.S. This means you may not obtain an immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa, or otherwise enter the U.S. for a minimum of 5 years from the date of expedited removal.

In addition, if you are found inadmissible under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) (fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact to gain immigration benefit), you are barred from the U.S. for a lifetime.

An inadmissibility finding under section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(false claim to U.S. citizenship) also triggers a lifetime ban.

How to Avoid an Expedited Removal Order 

You have very limited due process rights in an expedited removal proceeding before the CBP, unlike in a regular removal proceeding before the Immigration Court. You have no right to counsel during primary inspection, secondary inspection, or at any other time you request admission to the U.S.

After traveling on a long flight, waiting for hours to be interviewed in secondary inspection, or enduring intense interrogation with the same questions asked repeatedly, you could be tempted to do whatever it takes to just get out and go home. You might think the simplest thing to do is admit to the officer’s allegations, accept the expedited removal order, and perhaps challenge it later after you are sent back to your country or last destination.

But your best strategy is to avoid an expedited removal order to the fullest extent possible. Stay calm and respectful, but don’t make harmful, untrue admissions to leading questions just to please the officer.

Be prepared to present supporting documents, such as a return airline ticket, bank account statement, and property ownership if you seek entry as a visitor.

If you provided false documents or presented false testimony to the CBP to gain entry into the U.S., you may timely recant the misrepresentation during the interrogation – at the first opportunity – to avoid a section 212(a)(6)(C) finding.

Silence, non-cooperation or refusal to answer the CBP officer’s questions will not get you admitted to the U.S. But you also do not want to babble, lie, or volunteer negative information that makes you inadmissible to the U.S.

You may ask to withdraw your application for admission, especially if there is no obvious fraud, you have favorable factors, and the CBP officer gives you this option. A withdrawal allows you to return to your country to obtain the proper entry document, without having an expedited removal order in your record and a 5-year bar.

Be mindful about what you bring on your trip. The CBP has authority to search you, your luggage, and your electronic devices (e.g. cell phone, laptop and tablet). For example, job applications in your bag and text messages or emails on your phone related to seeking employment in the U.S. will raise red flags concerning the true purpose of your trip if you seek entry as a visitor. Birth certificates, identity documents and other immigration-related paperwork that are not necessary for temporary travel may cause the CBP to doubt whether you will timely depart the U.S.

At the very least, you should work to develop a strong factual record to later challenge or overcome the expedited removal order, if one is issued. You will be handed a Form I-867A & B, Record of Sworn Statement in Proceedings under Section 235(b)(1) of the Act.

Do not sign your sworn statement or initial the pages unless you have full opportunity to read it or have it read to you. Ask for an interpreter if necessary. Ask for corrections to be made. By signing the Form I-867A & B and Form I-831 (Continuation Page), you affirm that you have read your statement, your answers are true and correct, and the statement is a complete, true and correct record of your interrogation.

How to Challenge or Overcome an Expedited Removal Order

When you are unable to avoid an expedited removal order, you have two main options to challenge or overcome it:

1. Request Permission to Reapply for Readmission and,When Necessary, a Waiver of Inadmissibility

To overcome an expedited removal order and be eligible for a visa or admission to the U.S. before the 5-year bar expires, you must file a request for Consent to Reapply or a Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal, and get it approved.

If the expedited removal order further states you are inadmissible under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) (fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact to gain immigration benefit), you must obtain an I-601 immigrant waiver under section 212(i), when seeking reentry as an immigrant, or a nonimmigrant waiver under section 212(d)(3), when seeking reentry as a nonimmigrant.

The lifetime ban under section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(false claim to U.S. citizenship) may be excused with a 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver, but there is no immigrant waiver for it. There are, however, several exceptions and defenses. For example, if you reasonably believed, at the time of making such a representation, that you were a citizen because each of your natural parent is or was a citizen and you permanently resided in the U.S. prior to turning age 16.

If you receive a Form I-212 grant as well as any required waivers, you may then reenter the U.S., despite your inadmissibility, as long as you have the proper travel documents (e.g. valid passport and appropriate visa).

2. Request Reconsideration and Rescission of the Expedited Removal Order

An Immigration Judge may not review an expedited removal order. The federal appellate courts have also found an expedited removal order is not subject to judicial review, except to determine (1) whether the person is a U.S. citizen; (2) whether the person is a permanent resident or a refugee; and (3) whether the person was ordered removed under the expedited removal statute.

You may submit a written request for review to the CBP Field Office that issued the expedited removal order. You must include supporting documentary evidence showing why the expedited removal order was improper. The federal regulations state that motions to reopen and motions to reconsider must be filed with the Service within 30 days of the decision. Failure to file on time may be excused in the Service’s discretion where you demonstrate the delay was reasonable and beyond your control.

The CBP has discretionary authority to vacate the expedited removal order in its entirety or withdraw certain charges in the removal order, based on your documentary evidence and legal argument.  These type of motions are very rarely filed because it is very difficult to get CBP to lift an already issued removal order. In rare cases – when such a motion is granted – it spares the applicant from needing a waiver of inadmissibility.

DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) Is Not a Good Option to Overcome an Expedited Removal Order

You may use the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) to submit inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties you experience during your  travel screening at airports or border crossings.

You  file a complaint or apply for redress through the DHS TRIP program, which routes your request to the appropriate office for review and adjudication. You will be assigned a record identifier or Redress Control Number.

The DHS TRIP program is for limited purposes, and challenging an expedited removal order is not one of them. Normally, the most you will get is a response stating you need to file a Form I-212 or Consent to Reapply request to be readmitted to the U.S. before the 5-year bar expires.

Consult an Experienced Immigration Attorney Soon After You are Issued an Expedited Removal Order

Generally, you have only 30 days from the date of the expedited removal order to request further review by the CBP. Otherwise, to be excused from the 5-year bar, you may file the request for Consent to Reapply or Form I-212 application at any time, in connection with your visa application. The same goes for I-601 immigrant waiver or 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver requests to overcome a fraud or willful misrepresentation finding under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i).

If you are issued an expedited removal order, you should timely consult an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your options. You will also likely need an attorney to help you pursue a rescission of the expedited removal order or obtain the necessary waivers.

To learn more, read our other articles:

Expedited Removal: When Does It Apply and What Are the Consequences?

Expedited Removal: How Does the Process Work at the U.S. Port of Entry and What Are the Main Concerns? 

This article provides general information only. It is based on law, regulations and policy that are subject to change. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Each legal case is different and case examples do not constitute a prediction or guarantee of success or failure in any other case. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Photo by: Dan4th Nicholas

3/10 Year Unlawful Presence Bar

In this video, attorney Dyan Williams discusses the 3/10 year unlawful presence bar, including when you accrue unlawful presence and when you do not.

[UPDATE: As of August 9, 2018, the U.S. government calculates unlawful presence of F-1 students as starting on the day after they fall out of status, and does not require notice of a status violation from an immigration judge or USCIS.]

 For more information, read these articles:

Contact Dyan for specific advice and guidance on filing for the Immigrant I-601 or I-601A waiver for unlawful presence.

This video provides general information and is for educational purposes only. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Immigration laws, regulations and policies are subject to change. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Immigrant I-601 or I-601A Waiver for Unlawful Presence

In this video, immigration attorney Dyan Williams discusses 2 key things to know and 2 key things to do when filing for the Immigrant I-601 or I-601A Waiver for Unlawful Presence.

 For more information, read these articles:

Contact Dyan for specific advice and guidance on filing for the Immigrant I-601 or I-601A waiver for unlawful presence.

This video provides general information and is for educational purposes only. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Immigration laws, regulations and policies are subject to change. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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I-601 waiver or I-601A waiver for unlawful presence?

question markBoth the I-601 waiver and I-601A waiver are used to overcome the 3 year/10 year unlawful presence bar. I-601 waiver and I-601A waiver applicants must have a qualifying relative who will suffer extreme hardship if they are not granted re-entry to the U.S. before the 3 or 10 years pass. But there are key differences between the I-601 waiver and I-601A waiver application.

 

3 Year/10 Year Unlawful Presence Bar

Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) of the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) states the 3 year bar to re-entry applies if you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days, but less than one year, and then depart the U.S. prior to commencement of removal proceedings. The U.S. government adds up all the days you were unlawfully present in the U.S. in a single ongoing period or stay (i.e. continuous period of unlawful presence).

The 3-year bar does not apply if you depart the U.S. after the Notice to Appear in removal proceedings is filed with the immigration court, following service of the NTA on you. But leaving the U.S. while you are in removal proceedings or being issued a removal order carries other immigration consequences.

Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the INA states the 10 year bar to re-entry applies if you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for one year or more, and then depart the U.S. The U.S. government adds up all the days you were unlawfully present in the U.S., even if they were from different periods or stays (i.e. the aggregate period of unlawful presence).

You begin to accrue unlawful presence only after April 1, 1997 and once you turn age 18.

The 3/10 year bar to re-entry is triggered only if you leave the U.S. This does not mean you should never leave the U.S. to legalize your immigration status, but you should know there are risks to your departure. (Illegally re-entering or attempting to illegally re-enter the U.S. further complicates your case and triggers a permanent bar under certain circumstances.)

A person who is inadmissible due to the 3 year/10 year bar may not receive an immigrant visa before the 3 year/10 year bar expires without first obtaining an I-601 waiver or I-601A waiver under section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the Immigration & Nationality Act. Only certain immigrants qualify for the waiver.

To determine whether to file an I-601 waiver or I-601A waiver to overcome the unlawful presence bar, you need to know the key differences:

1. The I-601 waiver application may be filed by immigrants who are the spouse or son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The I-601A waiver may be filed only by immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, under current regulations. [UPDATE: On July 29, 2016, DHS published a final rule expanding the I-601A waiver. As of August 29, 2016, the provisional waiver is available to all eligible applicants.]

An immediate relative is the spouse of a U.S. citizen; child (unmarried and under 21) of a U.S. citizen; or parent of a U.S. citizen (who is over age 21). While having a U.S. citizen child allows the person to file for an I-601A waiver, he still needs a qualifying relative to fully qualify for and receive the waiver, just like regular I-601 waiver applicants.

A qualifying relative is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent.  By statutory law, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident child is not a qualifying relative for obtaining the unlawful presence waiver. Furthermore, like regular I-601 waiver applicants, I-601A waiver applicants must prove the qualifying relative will suffer extreme hardships if they are not admitted to the U.S. before the 3 year/10 year bar expires.

2. I-601 applicants file for the regular waiver on the Form I-601. I-601A applicants file for the provisional waiver on the Form I-601A.

Applicants file for the regular I-601 waiver on a Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. There are similar but different I-601 instructions from those of the I-601A.

On March 4, 2013, USCIS introduced the Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver to allow certain immigrant visa applicants to obtain the unlawful presence waiver. There are similar but different I-601A instructions from those of the I-601.

3. The Form I-601 application is submitted after the person departs the U.S. The Form I-601A application is submitted before the person departs the U.S.

The I-601 application may be filed only when the person is outside the U.S. I-601 waiver applicants must first depart the U.S. and attend their visa interview at the U.S. Consulate before they may file for the regular waiver. They bear a higher risk of being separated from their family in the U.S. for 3 or 10 years, if they do not receive the waiver following departure from the U.S.  They must wait for the I-601 decision while they are outside of the U.S. and separated from their family.

The I-601A application may be filed only if the person is physically present in the U.S. I-601A waiver applicants file for the provisional waiver while they are still in the U.S, before they depart the U.S. and attend the visa interview at the U.S. Consulate.

Being granted the provisional waiver increases the likelihood that the U.S. Consulate will issue the immigrant visa at or shortly after the interview.  They may wait for the I-601A decision while they are still in the U.S. with their family. The provisional waiver provides several advantages, but has many limitations. For example, if the U.S. Consulate discovers the visa applicant has prior immigration violations or a criminal history, the approved provisional waiver will be revoked and the applicant has to file for the regular I-601 waiver (if available).

4. The I-601 waiver can be filed in conjunction with an immigrant visa or K visa. The I-601A can be filed only in conjunction with an immigrant visa. 

I-601 applicants may be seeking a  K-3 nonimmigrant or K-1 fiancé(e) visa based on an approved I-129F petition, not just an immigrant visa. In contrast, I-601A applicants must first have an approved I-130 (immigrant visa) petition filed on their behalf by a U.S. citizen petitioner. They also have to first pay the immigrant visa fee before they submit the provisional waiver request.

5. The I-601 waiver can be used to waive additional grounds of inadmissibility, such as criminal convictions and immigration fraud. The I-601A waiver waives only the 3/10 year unlawful presence bar.

The Form I-601 allows the applicant to file for multiple grounds of inadmissibility, such as crime-related grounds and fraud or willful misrepresentation to gain immigration benefits, not just unlawful presence.

Meanwhile, the Form I-601A application cannot be used to waive any grounds but unlawful presence in the U.S. If you are subject to other grounds of inadmissibility, such as a prior removal order, illegal re-entries to the U.S., false claims to U.S. citizenship, immigration fraud, or criminal convictions, you may not file the Form I-601A.

If USCIS determines, based on the record, there is reason to believe you are inadmissible on grounds other than unlawful presence, it will deny your Form I-601A.

In January 2014, USCIS clarified that it will not automatically deny the Form I-601A when the applicant has a criminal history. USCIS will review the entire record to determine whether the criminal offense falls within the “youthful offender” or “petty offense” exception, or is not a crime involving moral turpitude. If any exception applies, USCIS will continue to process the I-601A waiver request and approve it, assuming the requirements are met and a favorable exercise of discretion is appropriate.

Consult an Immigration Attorney

Because there are keys differences between the I-601 waiver and I-601A waiver, you should consult an immigration attorney to help you decide which waiver to file. A reliable attorney can also help you determine whether you need to actually depart the U.S. to apply for an immigrant visa, or whether you may apply for adjustment to permanent resident in the U.S. without leaving the country. (This is important to know because the 3 year/10 year is triggered only if you leave the U.S.)

If you are not eligible to adjust status, and you want to gain permanent residence in the U.S., you will need to depart the U.S. to apply for an immigrant visa. If you are inadmissible due only to the 3 year/10 year unlawful presence bar, the I-601A provisional waiver is the more appropriate waiver. But under current regulations, only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens may file for the I-601A waiver. And if you are inadmissible on multiple grounds, the I-601A waiver will not work.

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This article provides general information only. It is based on law, regulations and policy that are subject to change. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Each legal case is different and case examples do not constitute a prediction or guarantee of success or failure in any other case. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Photo by: Stefan Baudy