I 601A Provisional Waiver: Step by Step Guide
Author: Provisional Waiver Attorney Alena Shautsova
A provisional I 601A waiver waives the unlawful presence bar for those who have certain LPR or USC relatives in the US. An unlawful presence bar applies to all who accumulated unlawful presence in the US, left the US, and now are applying for Immigration benefits from outside the US. The positive side of this waiver is that unlike many waivers that can be filed only once the person departed the country, I601A can be filed for while the person is still in the US; and second, recently US relaxed the standard for granting the waiver, and now, the person can win the waiver either by providing that the relative will not be able to move with him/her outside the US (will suffer extreme hardship in case of a move) or that the relative will have extreme hardship in case the immigrant is removed out of the US.
Here are the steps for the waiver:
First Step: An approved Immigrant Petition
A person who is planning on filing for the waiver has to have an approved immigrant petition. It can be I 130, I 140, or even a selection in the DV lottery.
The petition has to the sent for processing to the National Visa Center, and a person has to pay the Immigrant Visa and Affidavit of Support Fees (when necessary)
Submitting I 601A to USCIS with a filing fee and supporting documents. Once the waiver is accepted by USCIS, the clock in the NVC is stopped.
Once the waiver is approved, USCIS informs NVC about the approval, the applicant has to submit DS 260 immigrant visa form and supporting documents for the visa. Then he/she has to wait for the visa interview; schedule the medical exam overseas and plan for the departure.
An applicant will have to travel overseas for their visa interview. A consulate will use an immigrant visa that will be stamped in the passport. Upon arrival to the US, the applicant will have the actual “green card” mailed to the address they left on file with USCIS.
These are the most common steps for those who have never been in court and do not have other inadmissibility issues.