If you’ve accrued certain statutory periods of unlawful presence in the United States, you can be subject to a three- or ten-year bar from returning to the U.S. In some cases, this bar can even prevent you from obtaining a green card.
In some cases, you can overcome your unlawful presence denial by filing a Form I-601A. This is a specialized form that allows close relatives of US citizens and lawful permanent residents to request a waiver of the three- or ten-year time bars before leaving the United States for an immigrant visa interview abroad.
Individuals who are inadmissible due to unlawful presence can apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver before they leave the United States to appear for an immigrant visa interview abroad.
However, this is not a substitute for the traditional unlawful presence waiver (on Form I-601). The applicant may also be inadmissible for other reasons, such as commission of certain crimes or fraud, violations of U.S. immigration laws, communicable diseases, etc.
If you have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence in the United States, you can be deported and denied a US visa for up to ten years. This bar can be overcome with a provisional unlawful presence waiver (under I-601a).
USCIS has approved this application for qualifying relatives of U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are seeking a green card. This waiver will allow the immediate family member to return home from the U.S. to wait for the embassy’s decision on the immigrant visa and avoid the long separation that would otherwise be experienced if they left the country.
Unlike the requisite paperwork required for adjustment to green card status, you can’t be in the US for too long without a passport. Fortunately, the US has a robust immigration policy that protects its citizenry from unauthorized aliens on foreign soil. Those able to prove their mettle should not be denied a shot at the American Dream, no matter where they were born. In the past, the best way to achieve this goal was through consular processing in the United States or via an expedited visa in your native country. As a result, many applicants have found themselves stuck here, there or somewhere in between. The aforementioned aforementioned aforementioned aforementioned mentioned above are among them, as well as countless others who have been stymied by the bureaucracy.
Waiver of Inadmissibility
Those who are denied entry to the United States due to inadmissibility may be able to apply for a waiver under I-601a. These waivers are available to certain foreign nationals who have accumulated unlawful presence or have been subject to the three-year or 10-year bar, or who have a qualifying relative (spouse, child or parent) in the United States.
Unlawful presence is the most common ground of inadmissibility for which waivers are granted. However, others may face more challenges if they are deemed inadmissible based on immigration fraud, misrepresentation, or other violations.
A person with a criminal history, misrepresentation, or other immigration violation is likely to need an experienced immigration lawyer to obtain a valid waiver. It is also important to note that the strength of the waiver depends on demonstrating the hardships the would-be immigrant will face if the visa is denied.
The process of obtaining an I-601a waiver is complicated. An immigration attorney can provide invaluable legal and technical advice, as well as support in completing the necessary forms, gathering evidence and ensuring your filings meet all requirements.
Consultation with an Attorney
When applying for an I-601a waiver, it is important to choose a lawyer who is qualified and experienced in immigration law. This will help ensure that your case is properly handled and you receive the best possible outcome.
Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation so you can determine if they are right for you. During this meeting, you and the attorney go over your case.
The attorney explains the legal implications in general terms, and then you can decide whether to hire them.
Your attorney will also provide you with a client retainer agreement and a statement of rights and responsibilities. These documents must be signed and returned before work is started on your case.
Before you meet with an attorney, make copies of everything that you plan to discuss. This will save time and money for both you and your attorney.