If an individual is considered inadmissible to the United States and is seeking an immigrant visa, adjustment of status, or certain other immigrant statuses or benefits, they must first file an Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601). This waiver essentially forgives the ground of inadmissibility that is keeping you from the visa or status you are seeking.
About the Waiver
An individual may be considered inadmissible to the U.S. due to health, criminal reasons, national security reasons, the likelihood of becoming a public charge, lack of labor certification, fraud or misrepresentation, prior removals, and/or unlawful presence.
The idea behind most of the waiver applications is that if the immigrant in question were removed from the U.S. or denied entry, their U.S. citizen or permanent resident immediate family member(s) would suffer extreme hardship. Evidence is submitted with the waiver application to prove that this hardship would take place.
The eligibility requirements to apply for a waiver depend on the grounds of inadmissibility that apply to you. You should first make sure that you meet the criteria before you apply for a waiver.
Grounds of Inadmissibility that Cannot Be Waived
There are certain grounds of inadmissibility that cannot be waived. This means that even applying for a waiver is not an option if certain situations apply to you. These are some of the grounds of inadmissibility that cannot be waived:
- You have a history of drug addiction or abuse
- You have participated in drug trafficking
- You have participated in human trafficking
- You are likely to become a public charge
- You had an illegal presence in the U.S. for at least one year
- You were removed from the U.S. and illegally re-entered or attempted to reenter the country
- You falsely claimed citizenship in the U.S. or voted unlawfully
There are a number of specific grounds of inadmissibility that cannot be waived. It is important to consult an immigration attorney to determine if your grounds of inadmissibility can be waived and if the waiver application process is an option for you.
Will You Need to Travel to Apply?
Foreign nationals who are not eligible to adjust their status in the United States are required to travel abroad to obtain an immigrant visa and typically need to wait to apply for the waiver of inadmissibility until after they have appeared for their immigrant visa interview abroad.
However, if you are eligible to adjust your status and still need a waiver of inadmissibility, you may not need to leave the country to do so. For information about applying for a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence before traveling abroad for your immigrant visa interview, read about the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (I-601A).
How We Can Help
At Youngblood & Associates, we can help determine which is the appropriate waiver for you and assist you in the process of applying. Our team has experience navigating the complex immigration process and uses our knowledge and creativity to look at your case from all angles and determine the best strategy for you to seek and achieve legal status.
Not sure what you need?
Call our office today at 931-274-7811 to schedule your FREE first consultation or complete a service inquiry form to get your process started today.