Did you enter the U.S. illegally and need a waiver?

Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

Immigrants are considered inadmissible if they lack legal status and have been in the U.S. for more than one year. Anyone who is inadmissible cannot adjust immigration status, obtain a visa, enter the country, and may be deported if they cross the border. However, there are exceptions to this rule.

A foreign national who is denied admission into the U.S. may file a 601 waiver. It is set aside for cases in which the deportation or barred re-entry of that individual would cause "extreme hardship" to a "qualifying relative." Determining one's qualification for a waiver requires an understanding of how the USCIS defines these terms.

A qualifying relative for cases involving unlawful presence would include a citizen or legal resident spouse or parent, according to U.S. immigration law.

The common effects of deportation - such as job loss, the uprooting of family, and even separation of parents from small children - are considered "typical" hardships, even if those outcomes cause plenty of grief for the immigrant's family members. A hardship would be considered "extreme" only if it was unusual or beyond that which one normally would expect from a deportation or barred re-entry.

Extreme Hardship Waiver

Eligibility is not clearly defined by statute, but the USCIS categorizes four levels of arguments that might qualify an individual for a 601 waiver, Level 1 being the strongest and Level 4 being the weakest. Generally, USCIS officials are looking for at least one Level 1 argument or several lower-level arguments in order to grant a waiver. The following are examples of each level:

  • Level 1: Relative has a major medical issue and cannot safely travel abroad, making it necessary for the alien to remain in the U.S. to care for the relative; alien's country is in a state of active war
  • Level 2: Relative has a serious medical condition that makes moving abroad very difficult, and needs the alien's help; alien's country is on the verge of a major political upheaval
  • Level 3: Relative has a significant condition making it difficult to move out of the country; alien's home country has an extremely poor economy
  • Level 4: Relative would not be able to pay debts by moving abroad; relative's parent's are aging

Waiver for Criminal Grounds or Immigration Fraud (I-601)

On March 4, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting Form I-601A, a waiver application program formally referred to as a “Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility for Certain Immediate Relatives” with stateside processing. Most I-601A waiver applicants will be those who snuck into the U.S across the Canada or Mexico border, i.e., who entered the U.S. without inspection, and who then continued to live and work here without legal permission to do so and so accrued “unlawful presence.” The I-601A waiver will allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are present in the United States to seek a waiver for unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility before going outside the United States to obtain immigrants visas (and, therefore, permanent residency status) at a U.S. consulate abroad.

You can improve your chances of success by enlisting the help of an experienced immigration attorney. With extensive experience preparing I-601A waivers for unlawful presence and other grounds of inadmissibility, I can help by:

  • Determining whether you meet all of the basic requirements for the I-601A waiver for unlawful presence so you don’t waste your time, money and energy
  • Screening your I-601A waiver case for red flags, hidden issues, complications and other problems that you, without knowledge of immigration, experience, or legal training, would be unlikely to spot
  • Showing, persuasively, that your I-601 waiver for unlawful presence is a sympathetic case, deserving of favorable discretion
  • Demonstrating, through extensive documentation, that your US citizen spouse or parent would truly suffer “extreme hardship” if USCIS were to deny your I-601A waiver for unlawful presence
  • Providing advice, strategy, and guidance from the beginning of the process to the end.

Call Bennett Grossman for a FREE Consultation

The more you understand the immigration process and the importance of the proceedings, the more you can be involved in the solution. Bennett Grossman wants you to gain insight from the experience, no matter the outcome.

When you are searching for an attorney in the South Florida area, choose one who will help you in more ways than one.