*****OBAMA’S NEW LAW ON 601 WAIVERS – - SEE NEW IMMIGRATION LAW*****
If you are trying to get a permanent residence card, or green card, but are ineligible on some grounds you may be able to bypass your ineligibility using the I-601 waiver. The I-601 waiver is, broadly, for anyone who has been unable or ineligible to change their status to permanent resident or who is considered a non-immigrant permanent resident.
Some categories of visa that might also require the applicant to file the I-601 waiver are some refugees or asylees including women and children admitted under the Violence Against Women Act or the Temporary Protected Status Visa.
Recipients of the T or U visa may also need to file the I-601. Other refugees accepted in conjunction with the I-601 form are participants in the NACARA for Nicaraguan emigrants and the HRIFA for Haitian emigrants. These types of visa are eligible for the fee waiver for the I-601, so look into filing your fee waiver if planning to file the I-601. Battered spouses of U.S. residents may also be able to apply independently for permanent residence and can use the I-601 form to discuss the grounds of their ineligibility.
The I-601 form can also be used to challenge or waive ineligibility related to charges of health, criminal activity, membership in a foreign Communist or totalitarian political party, undocumented presence in the U.S., or smuggling in persons. You should note that HIV is no longer grounds for ineligibility for a permanent residence card, so you do not need to file the I-601 if you are entering the country and are HIV-positive.
The I-601 waiver can also waive ineligibility based on illegal presence in the U.S. If you have been in the U.S. but have left, and are currently undocumented or your documents require updating, you should file the I-601 form when applying for a permanent residence card. You must have departed from the U.S. after your unlawful stay to be able to use this waiver to bypass ineligibility. This includes applicants who are recently deported. You may also need to fill out the I-601 when applying for a fiancé visa or applying for a visa as the child of a fiancé.
The I-601 waiver is a form that needs to be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services if you are already present in the U.S. If you are not yet present in the U.S. but need to file the I-601, you should file your petition for eligibility at the U.S. embassy closest to you.
There is a fee to file the I-601 eligibility waiver. Some applicants may be eligible to have their fee waived, so see our information on fee waivers. Also, the I-601 form is updated and changed often, so pay close attention that you are filing the most current version of the form.
For more information and help with immigration services, contact Immigration attorney Phillip Kim.
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