What Are the Requirements for I-601 Waiver Approval in Arizona?
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) notes that determinations of extreme hardship, which are requirements for Form I-601 applications, can be based on several factors. It also notes that denial of admission can result in a variety of consequences that include familial separation, economic detriment, difficulties in readjusting to life in a new country, the quality and availability of educational opportunities elsewhere, inferior quality of medical services and facilities, and the ability to pursue a chosen employment abroad.
Required Initial Evidence for Form I-601
USCIS identifies several forms of evidence an applicant will have to provide when submitting a Form I-601. You should not submit the checklist on the USCIS website with your Form I-601 because the checklist does not replace the statutory, regulatory, and form instruction requirements.
Applicants should review all the requirements before completing and submitting Form I-601. You should not send original documents unless you are specifically requested to do so in form instructions or applicable regulations.
When you submit any documents in a foreign language, you must include a full English language translation along with a certification from a translator that verifies that a translation is complete and accurate and that a translator is competent to translate from the foreign language to English. Types of evidence that will be required (when applicable) include evidence that:
- Establishing why an applicant could qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility, depends on the ground(s) of inadmissibility that applies to the applicant and should include evidence to show why USCIS should grant the applicant a waiver of inadmissibility as a matter of discretion.
- Supporting the applicant’s claim of extreme hardship.
- Establishing a family relationship and evidence showing the denial of admission would result in extreme hardship to a qualifying relative when the applicant is applying for a waiver that requires a showing of extreme hardship to either a spouse, parent, son, or daughter of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.
- Extreme hardship to qualifying relatives or the immigrant when they are a Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) self-petitioner seeking a waiver for immigration fraud or misrepresentation.
- Supporting a waiver for inadmissibility due to a communicable disease of public health significance.
- Supporting the applicant’s request for a vaccination exemption.
- Supporting a waiver of inadmissibility due to physical or mental disorder and associated harmful behavior.
- Supporting a waiver of criminal grounds of inadmissibility found in Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 212(a)(2).
- Supporting waiver for immigration fraud or misrepresentation.
- Supporting a waiver for inadmissibility because of an applicant’s membership in a totalitarian party.
- Supporting a waiver for inadmissibility due to alien smuggling.
- Supporting a waiver of inadmissibility due to being the subject of a civil penalty under INA § 212(a)(6)(F).
- Supporting a waiver of the three-or 10-year unlawful presence bar under INA § 212(a)(9)(B)(v).
- That a waiver is warranted if the applicant is a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applicant.
- An applicant warrants a waiver of inadmissibility based on factors that would be considered if they were seeking consent to reapply if they are seeking adjustment of status under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) § 202 or Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA) § 902, and inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(9)(A) or (C).
- Showing a connection between the battery or extreme cruelty that is the basis for a VAWA claim and the self-petitioner’s removal, departure from the United States, reentry or reentries into the United States, or attempted reentry into the United States if they are an approved VAWA self-petitioner or child of an approved VAWA self-petitioner and inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(9)(C)(i).
- Supporting waiver if the applicant is also an applicant for adjustment of status as a Special Immigrant Juvenile.
Proving Extreme Hardship
In virtual all Form I-601 cases, an applicant is going to have to prove that their qualifying relative, meaning a United States citizen or lawful permanent spouse or parent, would suffer extreme hardship should they not be united with the applicant. Hardship to a foreign national will only be considered to the extent that it is a source of hardship to the United States citizen or lawful permanent spouse or parent.
USCIS officers often consider such factors in determining satisfactory extreme hardship cases as:
- Financial harm — An applicant can claim that their application affects their future employability, they could face a possible home or business loss, face significant declines in their standard of living, lose the ability to recoup short-term losses, and face costs of extraordinary needs.
- The health of qualifying relatives — A United States citizen or lawful permanent spouse or parent may require ongoing or specialized treatment for certain physical or mental conditions, there may be limited availability and diminished quality of similar treatment in their home country, and also whether the condition is chronic or acute and long or short-term.
- Personal considerations — An applicant could lose close relatives in the United States or their home country, face separation from a spouse and children, call attention to the ages of all involved parties, and also note their length of residence and community ties within the United States.
- Special considerations — Some applicants may be facing certain cultural, language, religious, or ethnic obstacles, have valid fears about persecution, physical harm, or injury in their home country, and lack access to social institutions or structures.
- Educational losses — An applicant could be dealing with a possible loss of the ability to pursue higher education, suffer from lower quality or limited scope of educational options, have to deal with a major disruption in their current program, and also lose access to special kinds of requirements such as training programs or internships in specific fields.
Any other information explaining why personal circumstances could qualify as extreme hardship on a qualifying United States citizen or lawful permanent resident relative should also be noted. It is important to understand that extreme hardship is not exactly a definable term but usually depends upon certain facts and circumstances that specifically relate to a given case.
Form I-601 Eligibility
A person can file for a Form I-601 waiver if they are:
- Applying for either an immigrant visa, green card, K visa, or V visa, are outside of the United States, already had a visa interview with a consular officer, and an officer found them inadmissible during the interview.
- Applying for an adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence, although USCIS excludes specific adjustment categories if an applicant is facing inadmissibility because of fraud or misrepresentation or falsely claimed to be a United States citizen, or an applicant faces inadmissibility because of previous criminal activity.
- Applying for an immigrant visa based on such qualifications or statuses as NACARA, VAWA, T nonimmigrant status, Special Immigrant Juvenile based on an approved Form I-360, or TPS.
A person can file for a Form I-601A waiver if they are any of the following:
- A relative of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
- A Diversity Visa lottery winner
- An immigrant visa applicant
An applicant also must satisfy certain qualifications when filing for a waiver of inadmissibility, such as:
- Being physically present within the United States and being able to provide biometrics in the United States
- Being at least 17 years of age
- Stating that an applicant will leave the United States in order to legally obtain an immigrant visa
- Stating that the applicant’s family, most notably a spouse or parent who is either a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident, would suffer extreme hardship if the applicant is not united with them in the United States
- The applicant is either inadmissible for unlawful presence between 180 to 365 days during a single stay or inadmissible because of unlawful presence for more than or equal to one year in a single stay
- The applicant has a case with the United States Department of State for an approved immigrant visa petition or a Diversity Visa Program
People will not qualify for an I-601A waiver if they:
- Are you younger than 17 years of age
- Have grounds of inadmissibility for any reason other than unlawful presence
- Already have an application to adjust their status
- Are currently going through removal proceedings
- Fail to include details of hardships their spouse or parent would face upon their removal
- Fail to have a pending case with the United States Department of State for an approved visa petition or selection for a Diversity Visa
- Already have a previous order of removal before or during a pending I-601A
You will need to send your unlawful presence waiver form to an appropriate facility, and you should consult with an Arizona immigration attorney to ensure you are sending your application to the right address. There is a $630 filing fee for Form I-601A as well as an $85 biometrics fee.
Extreme hardship waiver approval rates often depend on the specific circumstances of each applicant’s inadmissibility. When inadmissibility is based on overstaying a visa and nothing more, the chances of approval will be much higher, but other factors such as a criminal record, immigration fraud, or other visa violations can hurt the chances of approval.
USCIS currently estimates that it will take 27 months for the Nebraska Service Center to process a Form I-601A and 35.5 months for the Potomac Service Center to do the same. It will take 12 months for the Nebraska Service Center to process Form I-601.
Know that I-601 processing times can vary, so you will want to speak with your immigration lawyer about where you should file your waiver application and what the expected processing time might be for your case.
When a 601A waiver earns approval, an applicant can then apply for a United States permanent resident card or green card. You may have to do this through consular processing, which means that you will have to return to your home country and apply for a green card from the home country’s United States Embassy or consulate.
A person submits their approved Form I-601A waiver with their green card application. By showing an extreme hardship waiver approval, the person will be showing that they have been waived from any 3- or 10-year ban.
Should your 601A provisional waiver result in a denial, you will receive a denial notice at the address from your Form I-601 application. You can appeal a decision within 30 days by filing a Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal, or Motion.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Arizona Immigration Attorney
Did you need assistance trying to complete Form I-601 in Arizona? Diamondback Legal can offer complete legal guidance to ensure that you are able to satisfy all of the USCIS demands for these forms and we will know how to walk you through every step of the process.
Our firm works hard to help immigrants from various countries get the results they need and deserve. Call us at (602) 755-3199 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation that will allow us to better examine the details of your case and gain a full understanding of exactly what you are up against.