This presentation is only intended for educational purposes and not intended as legal advice.
Quick Overview of I-601 Waiver

1.What is the purpose of a I-601 waiver?

 

The I-601 waiver is filed when you have been found inadmissible. Inadmissible is when an alien ( beneficiary) who is ineligible to be admitted to the United States as an immigrant or to adjust status in the United States. It also applies to certain nonimmigrant applicants who are inadmissible.

 

2. Who may file this form?

 

(majority fall into the first two categories)

 

1. An applicant who is outside the United States who has had a visa interview with a consular officer and was found inadmissible;

2. Any applicant for adjustment of status;

3. K-1 or K-2 nonimmigrant visa applicant

4. K-3, K-4, or V nonimmigrant visa applicant;

5. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applicant;

6. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) applicant

7. Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA) applicant;

8. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioner; or

9. T nonimmigrant visa status holder

 

3. What are the grounds of inadmissibility covered by I-601 waiver?

 

(Majority fall into the first 3 grounds)

 

A. The 3-year or 10-year bar (INA section 212(a)(9)(B));

B. Certain criminal grounds (INA section 212(a)(2));

C. Immigration fraud or misrepresentation (INA section 212(a)(6)(C)) except if you are inadmissible based on a false claim to be a U.S. citizen on or after September 30, 1996;

D. Health-related grounds (INA section 212(a)(1));

E. Immigrant Membership in Totalitarian Party (INA section 212(a)(3)(D));

F. Smugglers (INA section 212(a)(6)(E)) and Being Subject of Civil Penalty (INA section  12(a)(6)(F));

G. Certain grounds of inadmissibility, if filed by an applicant for TPS;

H. INA section 212(a)(9)(A) (Aliens Previously Removed) and (9)(C) (Unlawfully Present After Previous Immigration Violations), if filed by a NACARA or HRIFA adjustment applicant;

I. INA section 212(a)(9)(C) (Unlawfully Present After Previous Immigration Violations) for a VAWA self petitioner;

J. T nonimmigrant visa status holders applying for adjustment of status may receive a waiver of  INA section 212(a)(1) (Public Health) and INA section 212 (a)(4) (Public Charge), and any other ground of inadmissibility, with the following exclusions. Grounds that cannot be waived are INA section 212(a)(3) (Security Related Grounds), INA section 212(a)(10)(C) (International Child Abductors), or INA section 212(a) (10)(E) (Former Citizens who Renounced Citizenship to Avoid Taxation).

 

 

4. Applicants Seeking a Waiver of Inadmissibility Based on the 3-Year or 10-Year Bar Under  INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(v)

 

If you are inadmissible because you have been unlawfully present in the United States in excess of either 180 days (3-year bar) or 1 year (10-year bar), you may seek a waiver by filing this form.

 

The waiver may be granted if your qualifying U.S. citizen or legal  permanent resident relative (spouse, parent), or the K visa petitioner would experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission.

 

5. Applicants Seeking a Waiver of Certain Criminal Grounds of Inadmissibility

 

Criminal Grounds

If you are found to be inadmissible based on criminal grounds, you may seek a waiver of inadmissibility for the following:

A. A crime involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense);

B. A controlled substance violation according to the laws and regulations of any country related to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana;

C. Two or more convictions, other than purely political ones, for which the aggregate sentences to confinement were 5 years or more;

D. Prostitution;

E. Unlawful commercialized vice whether or not related to prostitution; and

F. Certain aliens involved in serious criminal activity who have asserted immunity from prosecution.

 

With the I- 601 application, you will have to establish that:

A. You are inadmissible only because of your participation in  prostitution, including having procured others for prostitution or having received the proceeds of prostitution, but that you have been rehabilitated and your admission to the United States will not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States;

OR

 

B. At least 15 years have passed since the activity or event that makes you inadmissible, that you have been rehabilitated, and that your admission to the United States or the issuance of the immigrant visa will not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States;

 

OR

 

C. Your qualifying U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident relative (spouse, son, daughter, parent), or K visa petitioner would experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission;

 

OR

 

D. You are an approved VAWA self-petitioner.

 

6. Applicants Seeking a Waiver of Immigration Fraud or Misrepresentation

 

If you are inadmissible because you have sought to procure an immigration benefit by fraud or misrepresenting a material fact (INA section 212(a)(6)(C)(i)), you may seek a waiver.

 

The waiver may be approved if you can establish that:

 

A. Your qualifying U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident relative (spouse, parent) or the K visa petitioner would experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission; or

 

B. You are a VAWA self-petitioner, and that you or your U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or qualified parent or child may experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission

 

7. Applicants Seeking a Waiver of Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility Under INA Section 212(a)(1)

1. With Applicants with Communicable Diseases

Communicable diseases of public health significance are defined in 42 CFR 34.2(b) and include but are not limited to:

A. Class A Tuberculosis condition, as per U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations;

B. Chancroid;

C. Gonorrhea;

D. Granuloma inguinale;

E. Lymphogranuloma venerum;

F. Syphilis, infectious stage;

G. Leprosy, infectious;

H. Any other communicable disease as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and as defined at 42 CFR 34.2(b).

 

The waiver may be approved if:

 

A. You are the spouse, parent, the unmarried son or daughter, or the minor unmarried lawfully adopted child of a U.S. citizen, or of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or of an alien who has been issued an immigrant visa, or if you are the fiancé(e)’s of a U.S. citizen or the fiancé(e)’s child; or

 

B. You are a VAWA self-petitioner.

 

2. Applicants With Physical or Mental Disorder and Associated Harmful Behavior

If you have a physical or mental disorder and behavior associated with the disorder that poses, may pose, or has posed a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of you or others, you must file I-601, and a waiver may be granted under INA section 212(g)(3). You must also submit I-601form if you have a history of such a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder that has posed a threat to your property, safety, or welfare or the property, safety, or welfare of others, and if the behavior is likely to recur or to lead to other harmful behavior.

In addition to the I-601 form, you must submit a complete medical history and a report that addresses the following:

A. Your physical or mental disorder, and the behavior associated with the disorder that poses, has posed, or may pose in the future a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of you or other individuals. The report

should also provide details of any hospitalization, institutional care, or any other treatment you may have received in relation to this physical or mental disorder;

B. Findings regarding your current physical condition, including, if applicable, reports of chest X-rays and a serologic test, if you are 15 years of age or older, and other pertinent diagnostic tests; and

C. Findings regarding the current mental or physical condition, including a detailed prognosis that should specify, based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the possibility that the harmful behavior is likely to recur or that other harmful behavior associated with the disorder is likely to occur; and

D. A recommendation concerning treatment that is reasonably available in the United States and that can reasonably be expected to significantly reduce the likelihood that the physical or mental disorder will result in harmful behavior in the future.

 

3. Applicants Seeking to Waive the Vaccination Requirement

If you seek an exemption from the vaccination requirement because being vaccinated is against your religious beliefs or moral convictions, you must file this form. You must establish with evidence that:

A. You are opposed to vaccinations in any form;

B. The objection is based on religious beliefs or moral convictions; and establish with evidence that:

C. The belief or conviction is sincere.

 

 

8. Applicants Seeking a Waiver for Immigrant Membership in a Totalitarian Party Under INA Section 212(a)(3)(D)(i)

 

If you are inadmissible for having been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate thereof) whether domestic or foreign, you may apply for a waiver pursuant to INA section 212(a)(3)(D)(iv), if you are the parent, spouse, son, daughter, brother, or sister of a U.S. citizen or a spouse, son, or daughter of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or if you are the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen. The waiver may be granted for humanitarian purposes to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest, if you are not a threat to the security of the United States.

 

9. Applicants Seeking a Waiver for Smuggling under INA section 212(a)(6)(E) and Being Subject of Civil Penalty Under INA Section 212(a)(6)(F)

 

If you are inadmissible for having engaged in alien smuggling (INA section 212(a)(6)(E)(i)), you may apply for a waiver under INA section 212(d)(11) that may be granted for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest, if you have encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided only an individual who at the time of such action was your spouse, parent, son, or daughter (and no other individual) to enter the United States in violation of the law, and;

 

1. If you are an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence who temporarily proceeded abroad voluntarily and not under an order of deportation or removal and who is otherwise admissible to the United States as a returning resident under INA section 211(b); or

 

2. If you are seeking admission or adjustment of status as an immediate relative under INA section 201(b)(2)(A), as an immigrant under INA section 203(a) or as the fiancé(e) (or his or her child(ren) of a U.S. citizen.

 

If you are inadmissible because you have been the subject of a final order for violation of INA section 274C, you may apply for a waiver under INA section 212(d)(12). A waiver may be granted for humanitarian purposes or to assure family unity, if no previous civil money penalty was imposed against you under INA section 274C, and the offense was committed solely to assist, aid, or support your spouse or child (and not another individual); and

 1. If you are an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence who temporarily proceeded abroad voluntarily and not under an order of removal and who is otherwise admissible to the United States as a returning resident under INA section 211(b); or

 

2. If you are seeking admission or adjustment of status as an immediate relative, as an immigrant under INA section 203(a)(preference allocation for family-sponsored immigrants) or as the fiancé(e) (or his or her child(ren)) of a U.S. citizen.

 

10.  TPS Applicants Seeking a Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility Under INA Section 244

 

If you are a TPS applicant applying for a waiver of any grounds of inadmissibility listed in INA section 212, your waiver may be granted for humanitarian purposes to assure family unity or when it is otherwise in the public interest.

 No waiver of inadmissibility is available to TPS applicants for the following grounds of inadmissibility

 

1. INA Section 212(a)(2)(A), (B) or (C) (except for a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana); or

2. INA Section 212(a)(3)(A), (B), (C), or (E).

         

 

11.NACARA and HRIFA Applicants Seeking a Waiver From Inadmissibility Based on Prior Removal Under INA Section  12(a)(9)(A) or Unlawful Presence After Previous Immigration Violations Under INA Section 212(a)(9)(C)

 If you are a NACARA or HRIFA applicant for adjustment of status under section 202 of NACARA or section 902 of HRIFA, who is inadmissible under INA section 212(a)(9)(A) or INA section 212(a)(9)(C), you may apply for a waiver of these grounds of inadmissibility while present in the United States. You may seek this waiver by filing Form I-601, rather than Form I-212 that is used to obtain “Consent to Reapply” under INA section 212(a)(9)(A)(iii) or (C)(ii).

 When adjudicating your waiver application, USCIS will consider the same factors that would be considered if you were seeking “Consent to reapply.” Factors that may be considered include but are not limited to:

1. The length of time you have lived in the United States, whether lawfully or unlawfully;

2. Whether you have any criminal records;

3. Your immigration history in the United States;

4. Your family ties to U.S. citizens or to aliens living lawfully in the United States;

5. Whether the denial of your application will impose hardship on you or on these relatives, and the degree of that hardship;

6. Whether granting your waiver application is likely to result in your ability to immigrate lawfully;

7. Your employment history in the United States and the continued need for your services;

8. Whether you are a person of good moral character;

9. Any other factor that you believe USCIS should consider in deciding your case.

 In addition to this form, you should submit a brief statement indicating why USCIS should grant your waiver application and any documentary evidence that may be available to support your factual claims. Although hardship to a relative who is a U.S. citizen or an alien who is living lawfully in the United States is not specifically required by statute, this factor can play a significant role in establishing why USCIS should grant your application.

 

12. Approved I-360 VAWA Self-Petitioner and His or Her Child(ren)  seeking a Waiver of Inadmissibility Under Section 212(a)(9)(C)(iii)

 The INA provides special forms of relief for an approved VAWA self-petitioner and his or her child(ren) who are applying for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa but who are inadmissible under certain provisions of INA section 212(a)(6)(A)(i), section 212(a)(9)(B)(i), or section 212(a)(9)(C)(i).

You should only file this Form I-601 to seek a waiver of inadmissibility pursuant to INA section 212(a)(9)(C)(i); you do not need to file this form if you are inadmissible under INA sections 212(a)(6)(A)(i) or 212(a)(9)(B)(i), as explained in the “NOTES” that follow.

 If you are inadmissible under INA section 212(a)(9)(C)(i):

USCIS has discretion to waive this ground of inadmissibility under INA section 212(a)(9)(C)(iii) for an approved VAWA self-petitioner and his or her child(ren), if the VAWA selfpetitioner can establish a “connection” between the battery or extreme cruelty that is the basis for the VAWA claim, the unlawful presence and departure, or the removal, or his or her subsequent unlawful entry or attempted reentry into the United States.

If you seek such a waiver, complete Form I-601 and attach evidence that shows the connection between the battery or extreme cruelty and your removal or departure from the United States, or your reentry or reentries into the United States, or attempted reentry into the United States.

 NOTE: You do not need to file Form I-601 if you are an approved VAWA self-petitioner (and his or her child(ren)) seeking adjustment of status, and if you are inadmissible under INA section 212(a)(6)(A)(i) (presence in the United States without admission or parole, or arrival in the United States, other than at an open port of entry).

 According to USCIS policy, you are eligible for adjustment of status under INA section 245(a) regardless of your unlawful entry. Because INA section 212(a)(6)(A)(i) inadmissibility ends when you depart the United States, you also do not have to submit any special documentation with an immigrant visa application.

 NOTE: You do not need to file Form I-601 if you are an approved VAWA self-petitioner (and his or her child(ren)) and inadmissible under INA section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(3-year or 10-year bar to admission).

 

You may be exempt from this inadmissibility if you, the approved VAWA self-petitioner, or his or her child(ren) can establish a “substantial connection” between the battery or extreme cruelty that is the basis for your VAWA claim and the violation of your prior nonimmigrant admission. You must submit evidence of the “substantial connection” with your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, or your immigrant visa application.

 

13. Applicants for Adjustment of Status Based on T Nonimmigrant Status

 If you are a T nonimmigrant status holder admitted to the United States and applying for adjustment of status, you may obtain a waiver of almost any ground listed in INA section 212(a). If you are inadmissible based on public health grounds (INA section 212(a)(1)) or public charge (INA section 212(a)(4)), the waiver may be approved if granting the waiver is in the national interest.

If you are inadmissible based on any other ground of inadmissibility, the waiver may be approved if the activities making you inadmissible were caused by or were incident to your trafficking victimization, and granting the waiver is in the national interest.

 No waiver of inadmissibility is available to adjustment of status applicants based on T nonimmigrant status, for the following grounds of inadmissibility:

1. INA section 212(a)(3) (Security Related Grounds);

2. INA section 212(a)(10)(C) (International Child Abductors);

3. INA section 212(a)(10)(E) (Former Citizens who Renounced Citizenship to Avoid Taxation).

 NOTE: You do not need to file Form I-601 if you are inadmissible because you have been unlawfully present in the United States and then departed under INA section 212(a)(9)(B).You may be exempt from the 3-year or 10-year bar if you can establish that your victimization was at least one central reason for your unlawful presence in the United States.

You should submit evidence with your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to demonstrate that the victimization you suffered was a central reason for the unlawful presence in the United States.