Qualifying for a visa or green card—or simply protecting your status and home in the U.S.—can be a serious challenge. From unmet requirements to unlawful presence to criminal accusations, many different factors may render you inadmissible or even deportable.
Fortunately, you may be able to overcome these issues by applying for a waiver of inadmissibility or removability. If you obtain a waiver, USCIS essentially forgives one or more factors that would have rendered you inadmissible, ineligible, or deportable.
A waiver may excuse any of the following factors:
- Fraud or misrepresentation
- A communicable disease
- Unmet vaccination requirements
- A criminal history
- Civil penalties
- Membership in a Totalitarian party
- Alien smuggling
- 3- or 10-year unlawful presence bar
Waivers are valid indefinitely, so you will have an unlimited amount of time after obtaining the waiver to apply for a visa or adjust your status. However, submitting a successful waiver application (Form I-601) is not easy, as you must convince USCIS to overlook a certain factor that would normally allow them to deny your application.
Our attorney at The Law Office of Yifei He, PLLC can help you submit an application with the highest possible likelihood of success. In the meantime, here is a basic checklist of what you may need to prepare and include.
1. Form I-601
Your form must be complete and accurate. You will likely need to include the receipt number, case number, and/or interview information of your original application. In general, what you include on your form will depend on the type of status or benefit you seek, why you are inadmissible, and why your situation warrants a waiver of that inadmissibility.
2. Filing Fee
You must pay the filing fee when filing Form I-601.
However, you may be eligible for a fee waiver if you are:
- Self-petitioning inadmissibility under the Violence Against Women Act
- Applying for a T visa
- Applying for Temporary Protected Status
- Petitioning after suffering from abuse by your spouse or parent (who is either a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen)
You might also be eligible for the fee waiver if you are exempt from the public charge grounds of inadmissibility.
To obtain the fee waiver, you will need to submit a formal request.
If any of your documents are in a language other than English, you will need to include full English translations. The translations must be completed by someone qualified to do so, and they will need to include a certification that demonstrates their qualifications and verifies that the translation is accurate and complete.
All waiver applications must include substantial evidence that supports their claims. Because everyone’s situation is unique, each application may include different documentation, details, and explanations. Your evidence will largely depend on which inadmissibility factor applies to you.
For example,you may need to include evidence showing that your spouse, parent, or child would experience extreme hardship if you were deported or denied entry. If your waiver request involves a relationship with a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, you will need to include proof of that relationship. In the form instructions, USCIS specifically outlines what evidence you may need to include to convince an adjudicating officer to overlook your inadmissibility.
For more information, check out our video on immigration waivers.
Bring Your Case to Our Attorney Today
This checklist is a starting point for your application, but keep in mind that it does not replace official form instructions coupled with guidance from a qualified attorney. At The Law Office of Yifei He, PLLC, our lawyer has years of experience helping clients overcome a wide range of legal barriers. We can help you present the strongest possible case to USCIS, thereby maximizing your likelihood of success. With our attorney by your side, you can navigate this process with efficiency and confidence.