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The I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver: Why is a game changer?

At Kasturi Law, LLC, our Naperville and Schaumburg 601A waiver lawyer and law firm founder, Shobhana Kasturi, is a proud first-generation immigrant who practices immigration law to give a voice to those who need it most.

From our primary office in the Chicago metropolitan area, our immigration law firm assists individuals and families in DuPageCook, and Will Counties, throughout Illinois, and neighboring states to understand the federal process of obtaining a 601A waiver to help ease their immigration journeys.

With more than 27 years of experience practicing law, our law firm only focuses on immigration because we know how important it was for us and our families and to our clients. This is about your life, livelihood, and happiness; we want to help you achieve it all.

If you or someone you love seek a 601A waiver, contact our skilled immigration attorney in Schaumburg for help today. We provide in-office, phone, and Zoom consultations to help you understand your legal rights and options so you can make informed decisions about your immigration journey.

601a Waivers Law

Prior to March 4th, 2013, if you were an undocumented immigrant of an immediate relative of a US Citizen and you wanted to adjust status via a family visa, you had to leave the United States for lengthy periods of time until a waiver for unlawful presence was approved. Then you could enter on an immigrant visa. This caused separation of some families for years at times. Effective March 4th, 2013, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that they will begin accepting another inadmissibility waiver 601 A Waivers. This new form is called the 601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver.

The Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver was implemented so that undocumented immigrants would not be separated from their families in the US for lengthy periods of time. For example, Mathur is an undocumented immigrant who has been in the US for 10 years but married to a US citizen. Prior to the implementation of the 601A wavier, Mathur would have to leave the country for years prior to being able to apply for entry as an immigrant. Under the new 601A provisional waiver, Mathur can apply for the waiver in the US. He can wait for it to be approved while he stays in the US. And once approved, he can leave the US for a few days or weeks for consular processing. After a few days or weeks once the consular processing is completed, he could reenter on an immigrant visa.

What is an I-601A Waiver?

The I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver is a form used in the United States immigration process. This waiver is designed explicitly for certain undocumented immigrants who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and are eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence (green card). However, they would be subject to the three to ten-year bar if they leave the country to attend their immigrant visa interview.

The three to ten-year bar is triggered when individuals accrue a certain period of unlawful presence in the United States and depart. The I-601A waiver allows eligible applicants to request a provisional waiver before leaving the U.S. for their immigrant visa interview.

If approved, it will help minimize the time the individual is separated from his or her family while undergoing the immigration process.

What is the Purpose of the I-601A Waiver?

The I-601A waiver allows eligible applicants to request forgiveness for this unlawful presence before leaving the U.S. to attend their immigrant visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad.

The fundamental purposes of the I-601A waiver include:

  • Preventing Family Separation

The waiver is designed to minimize the time that eligible individuals would be separated from their U.S. citizen family members during the immigration process.

  • Facilitating the Immigration Process

By obtaining the waiver before departure, individuals can address the issue of unlawful presence and demonstrate their eligibility for an immigrant visa, thereby streamlining the immigration process.

  • Avoiding the Three or Ten-Year Bar

Successful approval of the I-601A waiver allows applicants to avoid triggering the three to ten-year bar associated with unlawful presence, making it possible for them to return to the U.S. more quickly.

How Do I Know If I Have Accrued Unlawful Presence?

Individuals who are present in the United States without proper authorization generally accrue unlawful presence. The calculation of unlawful presence depends on specific factors and circumstances.

Here are some general guidelines to help you determine if you may have accrued unlawful presence:

  • Entry Without Inspection (EWI)

If you entered the U.S. without inspection, which means without going through a designated port of entry and being inspected by immigration authorities, you likely started accruing unlawful presence from the date of your entry.

  • Overstaying a Visa

If you entered the U.S. with a visa and stayed beyond the authorized period specified on your Form I-94 arrival/departure record, you may accrue unlawful presence from the day after your authorized stay expires.

  • Violating Status Conditions

If you entered the U.S. on a specific visa type, including student or work visas, and violated the conditions of that status, you could accrue unlawful presence.

Some individuals may be exempt from accruing unlawful presence during specific periods, like during a pending asylum application, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), or certain types of pending family-based or employment-based applications.

To determine your specific situation and whether you have accrued unlawful presence, contact our skilled I-601A attorneys in Naperville today. We can help you understand your eligibility to apply for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver so you can shorten the time you are away from your family.

What are the I-601A Eligibility Requirements?

The waiver only applies when an applicant has been in the US unlawfully. It does not waive other grounds, like immigration fraud & criminal convictions.

The Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver is available to applicants who meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must leave the United States temporarily to apply for a visa at an American consulate.
  • The applicant must demonstrate via documentation that they are an immediate relative, a parent, child, or spouse of a United States citizen.
  • The applicant also has to demonstrate that if they were forced to return to their home country, United States citizens would face extreme hardship.
  • The applicant is physically in the United States when applying for the waiver.
  • The applicant is at least 17 years of age.
  • The applicant was not assigned an interview date before January 3, 2013. There are some exceptions to this rule.

At Kasturi Law, our Schaumburg I-601A waiver attorney can help you pursue a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver by:

  • Assisting with assessing whether you qualify for a 601A waiver and whether it is warranted.
  • Discussing the documentation and strategy required to have a 601A waiver approved.
  • Submitting a 601A waiver.
  • Responding to any Requests for Evidence related to the 601A waiver.

Contact our dedicated 601A waiver lawyer in Naperville today to get started.

What Documents are Required for the I-601A Waiver Application?

The documents required for an I-601A waiver may vary depending on individual circumstances.

However, the most common documentation requirements include, but may not be limited to:

  • Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

The primary application form for the waiver is Form I-601A, which must be completed and signed.

  • Evidence of Relationship to U.S. Citizen

Proof of the familial relationship to the U.S. citizen petitioner, including a marriage certificate (if applicable), birth certificate, or other relevant documents establishing the qualifying relationship.

  • Copy of Form I-130 Approval Notice

If Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, has been approved, include a copy of the approval notice as evidence of the approved petition.

  • Proof of Extreme Hardship

Detailed documentation demonstrating the extreme hardship that the qualifying U.S. citizen relative would suffer if the applicant is not granted the waiver, including medical records, psychological evaluations, financial documents, and affidavits.

  • Affidavit of Support (Form I-864)

If applicable, include a completed and signed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, from the U.S. citizen petitioner to demonstrate financial support for the intending immigrant.

  • Biographical Documents

Copies of biographical documents, including passports, birth certificates, and other identification documents for both the applicant and the U.S. citizen petitioner.

  • Proof of Current Immigration Status

Documentation demonstrating the applicant’s current immigration status, if applicable. This may include copies of visas, Form I-94, or other relevant immigration documents.

If you are unsure where to start with your I-601A waiver, our skilled immigration law attorney in Schaumburg can help guide you through the legal journey efficiently and effectively so you no longer have to fear the process. Contact our Naperville 601A waiver lawyer today for help.

How Long Do I Have to Leave the U.S. After Obtaining a 601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver?

Under the new 601A provisional waiver, individuals can apply for the waiver in the U.S. and wait for it to be approved while they stay in the U.S. Once approved, they can leave the U.S. for a few days or weeks for consular processing. After attending the immigrant visa interview and being granted a visa, individuals can return to the U.S. as lawful permanent residents.

Our immigration attorneys also focus following areas:

Contact Our 601A Waiver Attorney in Illinois For Help Today

At Kasturi Law, LLC, our Illinois immigration and nationality attorney focuses only on providing legal solutions for immigrants who need our help to flourish in a country built on migrant success stories. Call our immigration law firm at 630-392-8101 in Naperville today to schedule an in-person, phone, or Zoom consultation to learn more about our 601A waiver services.

We believe in you, your immigration journey, and your success.

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601A Waiver Questions

One can establish extreme hardship by demonstrating the dire financial and emotional impact on your US relative. One can show how it impacts family unity and family well-being. One can also show that should the entire family have to relocate, it would have a very negative impact on the entire family. These are just some examples on how to demonstrate hardship.

Unfortunately, those outside the US are not eligible for the waiver. Those who have an interview scheduled are not eligible either.

If one’s case has been “administratively closed” and is not reset on the court calendar prior to the application being submitted, one may be eligible to apply.

If the 601A waiver is approved and one is in removal proceedings, then the proceedings have to be terminated or dismissed. This request for termination or dismissal has to be approved before one leaves the US for the immigrant visa interview.

Unfortunately, those under final orders of removal are not eligible to apply.

In most case, the answer is no. However, there are some exceptions.

Yes, the fees must be paid. There is no waiver for the fees.

There is no appeal. One can consider refiling the waiver.

There is no premium processing available but one may ask for an expedited decision.

For a review of your case and to further discuss the matter, feel free to contact my office at (630) 392-8101 or at info@kasturilaw.com.

We service clients throughout the Chicagoland metro area including but not limited to DuPage, Kane, Cook, Lake, Will, Grundy, Kendall, DeKalb, Lasalle, Mchenry counties. Feel free to call today at (630) 392-8101 or email info@kasturilaw.com to discuss your case and set up an appointment.


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