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Understanding Waivers of Inadmissibility

New York waiver attorney

Professional Help from a New York Waiver Attorney

When some people apply to immigrate to the U.S., some might be found to be inadmissible by the immigration authorities. There are several grounds of inadmissibility that can bar you from entering the U.S., immigrating, or returning if you leave. However, if you are found to be inadmissible, you might be eligible to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. If you are granted a waiver of inadmissibility, it means that the government forgives your inadmissibility and will allow you to enter the U.S. or immigrate. Different grounds of inadmissibility have different requirements for waivers. If you have been found to be inadmissible, getting help from an experienced New York immigration lawyer at Oltarsh & Associates is critical and might increase your chances of being granted a waiver.

Grounds of Inadmissibility

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) contains multiple grounds of inadmissibility that are broad in scope. Some of these grounds include the following:

  • Health grounds
  • Criminal grounds
  • National security grounds
  • Likelihood of becoming a public charge
  • Unlawful entry
  • Immigration violations
  • Lack of valid entry documents
  • Prior removals
  • Miscellaneous grounds

Within each of these categories are numerous individual grounds of inadmissibility, but many of them are eligible for waivers of inadmissibility.

What Is a Waiver of Inadmissibility?

A waiver of inadmissibility is a formal request for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reconsider and forgive your ground of inadmissibility so that you can immigrate to the U.S. or enter the country. If the USCIS denies your visa application, or you have been refused other immigration benefits after being declared to be inadmissible, you can appeal by filing an I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility form if you are outside of the U.S. or an I-601(a) if you are located inside of the U.S. The waiver process can be highly complex, and you are not guaranteed approval. Getting help from an experienced New York waiver attorney at Oltarsh & Associates is crucial if you need to file a request for a waiver of inadmissibility.

Form I-601 is used if you have been declared inadmissible for entry to the U.S. or to adjust your status within the U.S. This form is used for only certain grounds of inadmissibility. People use Form I-601A within the U.S. who have family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents when the applicants have entered the U.S. unlawfully. If the USCIS approves your Form I-601A, you will be able to have a green card appointment in your home country, but you must apply for the waiver before you leave the U.S.

Applying for a Waiver Using Form I-601

Only certain people can apply for a waiver of inadmissibility using Form I-601, including the following:

  • Applicants for green cards, K visas, or V visas outside of the U.S. who were found to be inadmissible during a consular interview
  • Applicants to adjust status to lawful permanent residence with certain exceptions
  • Applicants for temporary protected status (TPS)
  • Applicants for adjustments of status or immigrant visas under the Violence Against Women Act or the children of VAWA petitioners
  • Applicants for adjustment of status from T nonimmigrant visas
  • Special immigrant juveniles (SIJ) applying for adjustments of status

If you have been told by a consular official that you can apply for a waiver, you would file Form I-601. If you are applying for a waiver after being removed from the U.S., you also must file Form I-212. You must also submit supporting documents and details about why you should be granted a waiver. Once the USCIS receives your application, it will adjudicate it and tell you of its decision. Applications can be filed online or by mail. It can take as long as three years for a decision to be reached about your application for a waiver, so it is critical for you to be accurate and complete when you submit your forms and supporting evidence. If you are denied, you can file an appeal or a motion to reconsider using Form I-290B.

Applying for a Waiver Using Form I-601A

Form I-601A is a request to waive the ground of inadmissibility and the time that you would otherwise be barred from re-entry to the U.S. To file Form I-601A, you must be physically present in the U.S. and be at least 17 years old. You must also already have a visa case pending before the U.S. Department of State. This form cannot be filed with other requests or petitions.

When you apply for a waiver using Form I-601A, you must be physically present in the U.S. and go to a USCIS facility for a biometrics appointment. You might also have to submit fingerprints or other information to verify your identity, undergo an FBI criminal history check, a background check, and may have to attend an interview. You must also submit evidence to support your application, including evidence that your lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen family member will suffer extreme hardship if you are barred from reentering the U.S. for three or 10 years.

Form I-601A is submitted either online or by mail. Once the USCIS receives it, it will ask you to submit biometric information, process your application, and might ask you to attend an interview. The processing time can take up to 12 months. If your application is approved, you will then be allowed to return to your home country to apply for your green card, and you will need to submit your waiver with your application for a green card to prove that you are not subject to the three or 10-year bar to re-entry.

Get Help from an Experienced New York Waiver Attorney

If you need to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility, it is critical for you to seek help from an experienced New York immigration lawyer at Oltarsh & Associates. If your application is denied, you might be barred from re-entering the U.S. or from being approved for a green card or other immigrant benefits. To learn more about getting a waiver of inadmissibility, contact us today at (212) 944-9420.

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