I-601 – I-601 Waiver – Form I-601 – Extreme Hardship – Hardship Waiver


Form I-601 - Extreme Hardship - Hardship Waiver

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I-601 Details

Most visa refusals or other application denials are simple denials that do not carry any adverse affects beyond that particular application being denied.  However, in some cases, a denial come with other serious repercussions that come with bars to enter the United States.  Some of these bars are temporary and could last 5, 10, 15, or 20 years and others carry lifetime bars.

Form I-601 gives you a path to apply for a permanent waiver of that bar if you would like to enter the US with an immigrant visa or apply for adjustment of status in the United States.

Applications for a hardship waiver are made on Form I-601.  Many people file a green card application and do not discover they need an I-601 waiver until after their case is denied.  This is not the end of the world because in order to be eligible to file an I-601, you must first apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status and be denied.  However, it is better going into the case to know that a I-601 needs to be filed anyway so things can be prepared in advance and there are no big surprises.

I-601 filings are made with USCIS and generally take 4 – 8 months to get a response.  If you have been previously removed, you may also need to file an I-212.  The I-601 is a five step process.

Step 1.  Apply for permanent residency.  This can be an employment based or a family based green card filing.

Step 2.  Appear in person for the adjustment of status interview or consular processing interview.

Step 3.  Your application is denied.

Step 4.  File an I-601 and any other applicable waiver applications with USCIS and get those approved.

Step 5.  Once approved, schedule a new interview with the appropriate agency to adjudicate your green card application.

For Whom Is an I-601 Waiver Appropriate?

Form I-601 provides an opportunity to apply for an extreme hardship waiver or other US waiver if you have been deemed inadmissible pursuant to one or more of the following sections of law

I-601 Requirements

The I-601 offers multiple paths to immigrant visa waivers for each section of inadmissibility listed here.  While some paths have different requirements, the general rule is that the I-601 offers an immigrant visa waiver where the foreign national is the spouse or child of a US citizen or lawful permanent resident and can establish that this relative will suffer extreme hardship if he or she is refused admission to the US.

USCIS Memo Relating to I-601
November 30, 2012Filing of Form I-601 at International USCIS Offices.This policy memorandum provides guidance and procedures regarding the circumstances when it is permissible for international USCIS managers to allow the filing of a Form I-601 and any associated Form I-212.
June 6, 2012Requests to Expedite Form I-601 Filed Outside the United StatesThis policy memorandum provides guidelines on how USCIS processes requests to expedite the adjudication of Forms I-601 filed by individuals outside the United States.

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