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How Does the I-601 Waiver Work? A South Florida Immigration Attorney Explains

Mar 15, 2022 | Blogs

If the United States (U.S.) government has denied your visa or green card application, you may think that’s the end of the road. However, your assumption is incorrect. The I-601 waiver could be your solution to gaining admission to the U.S.

However, the path to receiving this waiver has complicated restrictions. Before applying for an I-601 waiver, you’ll want to know if you might qualify for it. You’ll also want to consider whether you need an immigration lawyer to help you put your best foot forward.

At The Santos Law Offices in Miami, Florida, Dalyla Santos is an immigration lawyer helping visa applicants and other immigrants become U.S. residents and citizens. Call our office at (305) 417-4111 for a free consultation. We welcome people of all backgrounds who speak any foreign language, and we are fluent in Spanish.

The Grounds of Inadmissibility

If you’re a non-citizen alien, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has many grounds for deeming you inadmissible, which means not eligible for a visa or admission to the U.S. However, the I-601 waiver represents an immigration benefit that can overturn the government’s decision.

The I-601, or “Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility,” is a form that “ineligible” immigrant applicants can use when applying for a visa, a status adjustment, or an immigration benefit. This form can help you waive your previous inadmissibility so that you can finally gain entry to the U.S.

In considering your grounds for inadmissibility, you and your attorney must make the case that these grounds no longer apply to you. Examples of waivable grounds include:

  • Criminal History. If you’ve previously committed a crime, you must prove you’ve made amends for that crime by doing jail time or community service.
  • Health-Related Concerns. You can submit proof of vaccination against certain diseases that threaten public health to alleviate any health-related concerns.
  • National Security Concerns. If you were once involved with a terrorist group, you must prove that you no longer associate with them.

Eligibility for the I-601 Waiver

You can qualify for the I-601 waiver only under a strict set of conditions:

  • You have a relative who is a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident.
  • The relative must be within your immediate family, such as a parent, spouse, fiancé, or child.
  • This relative faces extreme hardship if you cannot enter the U.S.

The following situations are examples that reflect extreme hardship in the eyes of the USCIS:

  • Your relative depends on you as a caregiver if they suffer from a chronic health condition.
  • Your spouse relies on you for financial support.
  • Your children have educational needs you can help provide.

Why Hire an I-601 Waiver Lawyer?

We strongly advise you to hire an I-601 waiver lawyer for an I-601 waiver application to be successful. The I-601 waiver application is notoriously complex. It is also time-consuming, as it requires you to compile substantial proof of your grounds for admissibility.

If your lawyer confirms your I-601 eligibility, they will first ask you why USCIS denied you admission to the country. Then, your lawyer will go through all the potential exceptions to these grounds of inadmissibility. Your lawyer’s goal is to identify a valid reason for your waiver of inadmissibility and convince USCIS that it should admit you.

In filing Form I-601, you must also be mindful of any updates to the law. Your lawyer will stay on top of the laws surrounding the I-601 waiver, including the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. Therefore, your lawyer will be well-positioned to know about small changes that might matter for your application.

Lastly, you should know that the U.S. government turns down many applications due to minor errors or omissions. Your lawyer can correct or avoid these errors and tell you where to add more detail. Their legal know-how can also help shorten the duration of the I-601’s processing, which can take up to a year.

What Proof Is Needed for the I-601 Waiver?

The more evidence you gather for your waiver, the higher the chances USCIS will approve your application. Your immigration lawyer will play an instrumental role in collecting and organizing this proof.

The necessary documentation includes but is not limited to:

  • Marriage certificates
  • Health records
  • Financial records
  • Birth certificates

You may also need to submit proof of your moral character. Such evidence may comprise:

  • Character testimonies
  • Personal achievements
  • Community service
  • Educational efforts

The I-601 application further requires you to draft a written statement explaining why you should reside in the U.S. In other words, you must make the case that your relative would suffer extreme hardship without your presence. Your lawyer can help you craft your statement to make a persuasive impression on immigration officers.

In all, an immigration lawyer will set you up for I-601 success. By hiring an I-601 waiver lawyer, you’ll feel confident you did everything in your power to submit a solid I-601 application. Overall, your lawyer’s guidance can make or break your application.

Get a Free Consultation With a Skilled Miami Immigration Lawyer

The stakes are too high for you to forgo professional help with your I-601 application. Here at The Santos Law Offices, PA, our founding attorney Dalyla Santos has experience handling immigration and visa cases for our friends and neighbors in South Florida, and we can help you too. Hablamos español. Please contact our team at The Santos Law Offices, PA, for a free consultation by calling (305) 417-4111 in Miami, Florida or fill out our contact form here. Our team’s goal is to reunite immigrant families and promote immigrant health, safety, and well-being.

Copyright© 2022. The Santos Law Offices, PA. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (post) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

The Santos Law Offices, PA
6741 SW 8th St.
Miami, FL 33144
(305) 417-4111


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