1-601A Waiver Streamlines Process for Lawful Permanent Resident Status
The 1-601A provisional waiver streamlines the process for unlawful alien spouses of United States Citizens to obtain lawful permanent residence status without being outside the United States for a lengthy period of time.
Prior to the utilization of the I-601A waiver in March of 2013, the process for an individual that was not in lawful status due to overstaying their Visa and was married to a U.S. Citizen was quite cumbersome. First, the U.S. citizen spouse needed to apply for their unlawful alien spouse to become a lawful permanent resident. The unlawful alien spouse was required to return to their home country to wait for approval and complete a Visa interview at the consulate. Simultaneously, the return trip home would trigger the immigrant’s “unlawful presence bar” on re-entering the U.S. since they had overstayed their Visa. If they were unlawfully in the country in excess of six months but less than one year, they would have a 3-year bar on reentering the country. If the individual were unlawfully present in the United States in excess of one year, they were subject to a 10 year bar.
The new I-601A waiver allows the unlawful alien spouse to file petitions to lift the “unlawful presence bar” from the U.S. The unlawful alien spouse must complete an interview at the consulate in their home country; however, they are permitted to remain in the United States pending approval of the application.
Here are some other important rules surrounding eligibility for the I-601A:
- The waiver is available for spouses and family members of U.S. citizens only, not lawful permanent residents.
- The waiver is not available for those illegal immigrants who are inadmissible on other grounds, such as a criminal offense or a removal proceeding.
- Children must be under 21 and unmarried to qualify for the waiver.
- Immigrants who have scheduled their Visa interviews before the rule took effect are ineligible for the waiver.
At Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD, we offer assistance with the filing of I-601A waivers and other immigration matters. We can guide you through the filing process for legal status in the United States. Please contact us at 847.944.9400 to discuss your case.