The Lewis Leeper Blog


I-601A Waivers Can Help Those Who Are in the U.S. Illegally

This is a radical and welcome change in the law.  Previously, an individual had to wait outside the country for a decision on their waiver.  If it was denied, he or she was barred from returning for up to 10 years.  Now, with the I-601A waiver, you can file in the United States and wait for the decision stateside.  This new law effectively takes the uncertainty out of the process and has already helped thousands adjust their status.

In May of this year, I-601A waivers went into effect in the United States. This provisional waiver can help individuals who entered the U.S without inspection to excuse their illegal presence in the United States. Upon approval by the USCIS, this waiver will allow the applicants to become eligible for their appointments for immigrant visas.

How Do You Qualify?

An individual can qualify for this type of visa if they are 17 years old and are the beneficiary of a I-130 visa petition as an immediate relative of a current U.S. citizen.

An immediate relative is considered a spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen. If applying as a parent, the sponsoring progeny must be 21 years of age, but they may be older and still be considered a child under the Child Status Protection Act.

The law also states that the individual applying must demonstrate extreme hardship to a qualifying relative. A qualifying relative is defined as spouses or parents who are citizens of the United States. If the only qualifying relative is considered a LPR, the I-601A can only be applied for overseas or beyond U.S borders, it cannot be a consideration for an individual applying within the United States.

Individuals who belong to employment-based categories do not qualify for provisional waivers; however, the USCIS states that this may be possible in the near future.

What if an individual is already going through the process of removal because of illegal status?

If the individual’s review process has been considered administratively closed can the individual apply for a provisional waiver.

Only if an individual’s removal process has been deemed to have met all the criteria for Deferred Action and their status to be considered administratively closed may the individual apply for a provisional waiver.

If this type of application for a provisional waiver has been accepted by the USCIS, the individual must then seek dismissal of removal proceedings from the Executive Office of Immigration Review.

If you are considering filing for I-601A, it is important you seek legal counsel in order to ensure the process is handled correctly and according to new immigration laws. Speak with our Boston immigration attorneys for more information on eligibility for such waivers as well as how to apply.


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