The United States immigration system can be complicated and challenging for individuals seeking to enter the country or adjust their status. For those who have been deemed inadmissible due to previous violations or unlawful presence in the country, the I601 and I601a waivers provide a path to overcome those inadmissibility grounds. However, it is important to understand the differences between the two waivers to determine which one may be appropriate for an individual's circumstances. In today's blog we are going to explain the differences between the waivers of the I601 and the I601a.
The I601 waiver, also known as the Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, is designed for individuals who have been deemed inadmissible to the United States due to specific grounds, such as immigration fraud, criminal convictions, or health issues. To be eligible for the I601 waiver, the applicant must demonstrate extreme hardship to a qualifying relative, such as a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, if the applicant is not granted admission into the United States. The applicant must also show that the hardship is more than the usual hardship that would be expected if they were denied entry.
In contrast, the I601a waiver, also known as the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, is designed for individuals who have accrued unlawful presence in the United States and are seeking an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident. Unlawful presence refers to the period of time an individual stays in the United States without legal authorization. If an individual accrues more than 180 days of unlawful presence and then leaves the United States, they may face a three-year bar from re-entering the country. If they accrue more than one year of unlawful presence, they may face a ten-year bar.
To be eligible for the I601a waiver, the applicant must demonstrate that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent would experience extreme hardship if the applicant were not allowed to return to the United States. Unlike the I601 waiver, the applicant does not need to demonstrate extreme hardship to themselves, only to their qualifying relative.
Another significant difference between the I601 and I601a waivers is the timing of the application process. With the I601 waiver, the applicant must first leave the United States and apply for the waiver at a U.S. consulate in their home country. This means that the applicant must wait outside of the United States for the waiver decision, which can take several months or longer. This can be particularly difficult for individuals who have been living in the United States for an extended period and have established family and community ties.
On the other hand, with the I601a waiver, the applicant can remain in the United States while the waiver application is pending. This means that the applicant can continue to work, attend school, and maintain their family and community ties while waiting for a decision. However, it is important to note that the applicant must first be physically present in the United States and have a pending immigrant visa application before they can apply for the I601a waiver.
The application process for both waivers can be complex and require extensive documentation and evidence to support the hardship claim. The waiver applicant must submit detailed information about their financial, medical, and emotional hardship, as well as evidence of their qualifying relative's ties to the United States. The waiver applicant may also need to provide documentation of their own rehabilitation or good moral character, particularly if they are seeking a waiver due to criminal convictions or immigration fraud.
If you need help with your application for an immigration pardon or waiver, do not hesitate to contact us. At Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. we work immigration cases and we can help you with yours. Remember that here, your problem is our problem.
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