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At Kasturi Law, LLC, our Naperville immigration and nationality law attorney and law firm founder, Shobhana Kasturi, believes her calling is to help fellow immigrants navigate the complex legal process of becoming citizens in the U.S.

This includes outlining necessary immigration waivers relevant to their journeys.

Form I-601 and Form I-601A are waivers used in the U.S. immigration process to request forgiveness for specific grounds of inadmissibility. These waivers are particularly relevant in family-based immigration cases where a foreign national seeks to obtain a visa or Green Card but is deemed inadmissible to the United States due to specific reasons.

Here, we discuss what the I-601 and I-601A waivers are for, the primary differences between them, and how we can help streamline the immigration process for those who need them.

I-601 and I-601A waivers

What is a Form I-601 Waiver?

Form I-601, officially known as the “Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility,” requests a waiver for various grounds of inadmissibility, including criminal convictions, immigration fraud, health-related issues, and unlawful presence.

Individuals applying for an immigrant visa, adjustment of status, or certain other immigration benefits may use the I-601 waiver. Individuals outside the United States often utilize it through consular processing.

The applicant submits Form I-601 to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), supporting documentation, and the required filing fee. USCIS reviews the waiver, and if approved, it allows the individual to overcome the specific grounds of inadmissibility and proceed with the immigration process.

What is a Form I-601A Waiver?

Form I-601A, officially known as the “Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver,” is a specific type of waiver designed to address the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility.

The I-601A waiver is intended for specific individuals who are unlawfully present in the United States and are eligible for an immigrant visa but would trigger a three to ten-year bar if they leave the country to attend their immigrant visa interview.

The applicant submits Form I-601A to USCIS, supporting documentation, and the required filing fee. If approved, the provisional waiver allows the individual to depart the United States to attend an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. consulate abroad without triggering the unlawful presence bar.

What are the Key Differences Between the I-601 and I-601A Waivers?

The main distinction between the two waivers is the stage at which they are applied. The I-601 waiver is typically submitted during consular processing or adjustment of status, while the I-601A waiver is submitted before the applicant departs the United States for an immigrant visa interview.

  • Both waivers address grounds of inadmissibility, but the I-601A waiver focuses explicitly on the grounds of unlawful presence.
  • Individuals outside the United States often use the I-601 waiver, while the I-601A waiver applies to individuals physically present in the United States.

Both waivers are complex, and individuals seeking to apply for them should carefully review the eligibility criteria and consult our experienced immigration attorney to navigate the process successfully. These waivers aim to provide a pathway for individuals to overcome specific grounds of inadmissibility and reunite with family members in the United States.

At Kasturi Law, LLC, our Naperville immigration attorney, is personally committed to being a trustworthy legal partner for each of our clients and will stand by your side throughout the immigration process, including the naturalization process.

We will be in your corner from start to finish, providing end-to-end legal solutions that allow you to build your life in the U.S. with the dignity, respect, and integrity you deserve.

Contact us today to learn how our 601a Waivers Lawyers In Naperville & Schaumburg can help you. 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.