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I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

I 601

The undocumented spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents may qualify for obtaining a green card or lawful permanent residence in the United States through the I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver.

Do I qualify for the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver?

To be eligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, you must meet ALL of the following conditions:

  • Be physically present in the United States to file your application and your fingerprint taken (biometrics).
  • Be 17 years of age or older.
  • Have an immigrant visa case pending with Department of State, including the National Visa Center because you:
    • Are the spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21 of a U.S. citizen with an approved I-130 immigrant visa petition who has paid the immigrant visa processing fee to the Department of State or the National Visa Center;
    • Are the spouse or unmarried child under 21 of a green card holder (lawful permanent residence) with an approved I-130 immigrant visa petition who has paid the immigrant visa processing fee to the Department of State or the National Visa Center; or
    • Are an employee with an approved I-140 immigrant visa petition with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent; who has paid the immigrant visa processing fee to the Department of State of the National Visa Center.
  • Be able to demonstrate that refusal of your admission to the United States will cause extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent.
  • You will be inadmissible upon departing the United States only because of the unlawful presence bar for having been illegally in the United States for more than 180 days but less than 1 year (3 year bar under INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I)) or 1 year or more (10 year bar under INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II).
  • Meet all the requirements for the provisional unlawful presence waiver, as found in 8 CFR 212.7(e) and the Form I-601A instructions.

What are the steps for obtaining an I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver?

For a typical case, the steps for obtaining a green card or lawful permanent residence through the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver include:

  • File the I-130 Petition for Immigrant Visa with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • After the I-130 Petition is approved, pay the immigrant visa fees with the National Visa Center.
  • File the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • After the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver is approved, submit the DS-260 and civil documents to the National Visa Center.
  • The National Visa Center will schedule the immigrant visa appointment at the U.S. embassy abroad.
  • The family member attends the visa interview at the U.S. embassy, and if it approves the immigrant visa, will place the visa stamp in the family member's passport.
  • The family member returns to the U.S. and is admitted as a lawful permanent residence or green card holder.
  • The family member must also pay the USCIS immigrant fee to receive the lawful permanent resident card in the mail.

Do I have to leave the United States to obtain my green card?

Unless there is another way under the law to obtain the green card without having to leave the U.S., the family member must leave the United States to attend the interview at the U.S. embassy abroad after approval of the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. However, typically the family member is outside the U.S. for only a brief period. Among the many benefits of this waiver is the shortened time that applicants are away from their immediate relatives who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.

NOTE: If you are the spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen and entered the U.S. lawfully, you may not have to leave the U.S. to file for your green card. You may be able to file the I-485 adjust application for your lawful permanent residence to get your green card without leaving the U.S.

We have submitted many successful I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver applications and have the expertise in immigration law to guide you in this process. Contact us now to schedule a consultation.

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