I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers

Foreign nationals who enter the United States illegally, are barred from adjusting status to lawful permanent resident status while in the United States. Instead, in order to become a lawful permanent resident, these individuals must leave the United States and apply for an immigrant visa at a United States embassy or consulate.

However, once a foreign national who entered the United States illegally leaves the United States, they are inadmissible to return to the United States without a waiver of their unlawful presence, if they accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while living in the United States. Typically, foreign nationals cannot apply for a waiver until after they have been deemed inadmissible to the United States during an immigrant visa interview at a United States embassy or consulate.

The I-601A waiver allows immediate relatives (spouses and children) of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver while still in the United States. Once the waiver is approved, the foreign national leaves the United States and returns to their home country to seek an immigrant visa. Once the immigrant visa is approved, the foreign national may then re-enter the United States.


A foreign national is eligible for an I-601A waiver if:

  • The individual is 17 years of age or older;
  • The individual is a spouse or parent of a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident;
  • The individual is the beneficiary of an approved Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, or Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant;
  • The individual is physically present in the United States;
  • The individual has a pending immigrant visa case with the United States Department of State and has paid the Department of State’s immigrant visa processing fee; and
  • The individual is able to demonstrate that refusal of their admission into the United States will cause extreme hardship to a United States citizen spouse or parent.

Individuals Not Eligible for I-601A Waivers

Individuals are not eligible for an I-601A waiver if any of the following conditions apply:

  • The individual is inadmissible to the United States on grounds other than unlawful presence;
  • The individual has a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, pending with USCIS;
  • The individual is currently in removal proceedings in Immigration Court (unless the case is administratively closed before the waiver is filed); and
  • The individual is subject to a final order of removal or reinstatement of a prior order of removal and does not have an approved Form I-212, Application to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Remova.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Lawyer Today

If you or someone you know is interested in learning about how Hartzman Law Firm can help you solve your inadmissibility issues, contact us (412) 495-9849 or fill out a contact form online. Our principal immigration attorney, Daniel Hartzman, has helped countless individuals in the United States and around the world solve their immigration issues. We offer free consultations in person, by phone, and by secure video conferencing. Weekend consultations are also available by request.

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