You are currently viewing I-601 Waiver

The purpose of this article is to explain what an I-601 waiver process is and how it can benefit a foreigner qualified as inadmissible. Lluis Law immigration lawyers are experts in cases of immigration waivers.

This immigration benefit helps certain undocumented immigrants obtain legal permanent residence in the United States. This procedure is usually used when a US citizen or permanent resident applies for an immigrant visa for a family member using Form I-130.

What is the I-601 Waiver process

It is a legal resource that allows undocumented immediate family members of an American citizen or permanent resident to complete the process to obtain the Green Card. The process of forgiveness or waiver is done through the form I-601.

For the processing and approval of the permanent residence card, the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) previously considers the applicant’s admissibility. If the immigrant is not admissible, then he needs to complete this immigration process.

An inadmissible immigrant cannot in any way become a permanent resident through any type of immigration process. Either through the consular processing or through adjustment of their status. Unless you request an immigration pardon with the help of a good immigration lawyer.

I-601 Waiver allows people who are ineligible to be admitted to the United States as immigrants, to process an immigrant visa for the United States or adjustment of status. It also serves to obtain certain nonimmigrant status and some other immigration benefits.

Through I-601 Waiver process immigrants can request a provisional exemption or permission for illegal presence, before leaving the US. To process your immigrant visa, foreigners must show up at an embassy or consulate in order to meet the interview requirement.

How is immigration I-601 and I-601A Waiver different?

I-601A Waiver allows to avoid the effects of law enforcement of punishment from 3 to 10 years. Through it, the immediate relatives without papers of a citizen can process the Green Card or Permanent Residence.

Both I-601 and I-601A Waiver have the same purpose, only the latter is more limited in scope. I-601A Waiver only forgives the applicant’s illegal presence in the US.

Usually, people who plan to process their permanent residence outside the United States use it through the consular process. They are people who have lived in the country undocumented for more than a year and need to request immigration forgiveness before they leave.

The good thing about this forgiveness is that the immigrant knows before leaving the US if his waiver was approved or not. If not, the immigration lawyer will explain what other legal options are available. The waiting time for I-601A Waiver is from 6 to 8 months. The cost of the procedure is $ 715.00.

I-601 Waiver instead is broader and grants forgiveness for more inadmissibility for certain crimes (fraud, forgery, prostitution, etc.) and diseases. This type of Waiver is not applied preventively and the delay for results is generally from 12 to 16 months. Its cost is $ 930.

For both types of waiver applications, it is required to present evidence that the expulsion or deportation of the applicant will cause “extreme difficulty” to one of his family members.

Letter of forgiveness for the I-601 Waiver

letter of forgiveness for immigration

It is part of the documents that are delivered along with Form I-601A. In the letter asking for forgiveness of immigration from the United States, the reasons for asking for forgiveness are justified.

That is, a substantive and credible exposition is made about why expel / deport or deny immigration forgiveness will cause extreme harm to the family member in the US.

The chances of the I-601 immigration pardon Waiver being denied are quite high, according to the statistics handled by USCIS. In that sense, the advice of a lawyer is crucial to obtain a satisfactory result.

How do I fill out the letter for my husband’s extreme suffering?

“Extreme difficulty” must be exposed and demonstrated to immigration authorities. It is not enough to present a simple letter of forgiveness to immigration, commonly called a letter of suffering for immigration.

The immigration pardon letter is not any improvised document, as it must be convincing enough. To prevent this type of forgiveness for returning to the United States from being denied, it is necessary to seek professional help.

The letter of extreme suffering is usually written by a doctor or a psychologist. It is also advisable to get help of an expert immigration lawyer to coordinate all the work.

The lawyer advises you on how to write and present a letter of pardon for immigration in correct English. Expert lawyers in immigration forgiveness cases have dozens of examples of extreme suffering letters for immigration.

In the letter of extreme suffering, the lawyer advises the client on how to assemble the medical / psychological data with the legal justification of the request. So when immigration officials read the letter, they are convinced and approve the petition.

Of course, the petitioner must have a credible story about the damage that he and his family will suffer with forced separation.

Who can request I-601 Waiver?

Foreigners who are spouses, parents or unmarried children under 21 years of permanent residents or citizens of the United States, can request this immigration pardon.

These are foreigners who have been living illegally in the US for more than 180 days to whom the punishment of 3 and 10 years applies or not. This penalty is known as inadmissibility by INA 212 (a) (9) (B) (v).

Immigration waiver for tourist visa

When the government cancels a tourist visa or the holder of a nonimmigrant visa exceeds the legal time in the US, you can request an immigration pardon. The cases of canceled tourist visas are also processed through the provisional pardon I-601A.

tourist visa for I-601 waiver

This type of waiver is requested and processed by the consulate at the time of the interview, it cannot be mailed to the US as in other cases. Before requesting immigration forgiveness, you must consider several associated factors and verify if you are eligible to process it.

It is necessary to know that there are certain sanctions, punishments or offenses that the Department of State does not admit in order to proceed with these immigration pardons. For example, drug offenses, terrorism and human trafficking.

Requirements for immigration waiver

  1. Fill out form I-601A for immigration waiver and send it to USCIS. It is also advisable to fill out Form G-1145, to receive notification of acceptance of the request and follow up on the case.
  2. Obtain forgiveness in American territory.
  3. Leave the country.
  4. Schedule an interview with a consular officer at the embassy or consulate.
  5. Wait for the formal notification of prohibition to return to the US.
  6. Attend the interview with the consular officer.

If the answer is yes, the applicant must attend another meeting with the consular agent. The other requirements demanded by USCIS, such as financial impact and family ties in the US, must also be met.

It is very important to show that if the immigrant is not granted forgiveness, the applicant ‘s relative will suffer “extreme harm”. The damages can be emotional or health, humanitarian, economic, educational and other personal causes. This whole process can take about six months.

Those who qualify for provisional forgiveness must travel outside the US. Once outside the country, they can apply for the Permanent Residence Card and then ask for a pardon to re-enter the USA. If so, please contact an expert immigration lawyer.

Where can you submit the application?

Depending on the type of procedure you wish to do there is a different submission address for Form I-601, Application for Exemption from Inadmissibility. Remember to complete each and every section of the form, otherwise USCIS will reject the form.

To request a pardon for reasons of inadmissibility, people who are outside the US must send form I-601 to:


PO Box 21600

Phoenix, Az 85036.

If you are using the ordinary mail service. But if you wish to use express mail or the courier service, the form must be sent to:


ATTN: 601/212 Foreign Filers

1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S. Suite 100

Phoenix, AZ 85034.

Do not forget the placement of the applicant’s personal data and the signature. For more information on how to fill out form I-601 depending on the case, please check USCIS official site or contact us directly.

How much does an immigration waiver I-601 cost in 2022 ?

The cost of submitting the I-601 immigration form is $ 930. It can be paid through a money order or a personal check / cashier’s check. Checks must be made payable to “US Department of Homeland Security.”

You can also pay with a credit card, if you apply in a USCIS Safe Location. For this it is necessary to use Form G-1450 for payment by credit card.

There are certain cases in which the applicant may be exempt from paying this fee such as these:

  • Self petition in case of VAWA (domestic violence).
  • Visa T applicant (trafficking in persons).
  • TPS applicant (temporary protection).
  • Spouses or abused children of US citizens / permanent residents.

If you wish to request a payment exemption from the filing fee of Form I-601, we recommend you get in touch with a good immigration lawyer first. There are cases of requests for exemption from payment that can harm the immigrant, since they can be qualified as public charge due to the rule.

How long does the I-601 immigration pardon take?

The entire time for processing a request for forgiveness due to inadmissibility may take about five months to be processed by the California Service Center.

  • In a request for provisional exemption for illegal presence where the applicant is within the US, the form must be sent to the USCIS Service Center in Nebraska or Potomac.

Why is the help of an immigration lawyer necessary?

It is not possible to determine the chances of success of this migration process. This is a request for forgiveness where there is greater discretion by the immigration officer to approve or deny it.

There are a number of factors that will be taken into account for approval or not. For example, if the applicant was involved in a serious crime, if it is a case of recidivism, etc. Sometimes even the fact that the petitioner and the beneficiary come from the same country where they have family members or both speak the same language can hurt the approval.

That is why the help of a lawyer specialized in I-601 Waiver is crucial, if you want to increase the chances of success. The lawyer will help the applicant file a petition for forgiveness correctly and with better arguments and evidence.

What follows after the approved I-601 Waiver process?

After the petition for immigration forgiveness is approved by USCIS, other procedures come to make the legal entry of the immigrant into the United States possible. The applicant receives an information packet sent by the US embassy / consulate.

This usually happens 2 or 3 days after approval. The package that is sent through DHL, contains precise instructions on what to do from now on. One of them is to attend a new interview at the consulate / embassy.

In case of not receiving the package within 30 days, it is advisable to contact the consulate. The interview with the immigration officer is scheduled online. Sometimes the applicant must submit the updated documents again, depending on the date of the last interview.

Among them, the documents required are the visa medical exam and probably a new biometric test. As well as form DS-260 and form I-864, Affidavit of Sponsorship updated.

If you or a family member needs to obtain an immigration pardon or process any other immigration matter, Lluis Law immigration lawyers are at your disposal and will help you. We have been representing immigrants for over 40 years in California.