The Waiver Process
New I-601A waivers
On January 2nd, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens present in the United States, who are in the process of seeking immigrant visas with the Department of State to become lawful U.S. permanent residents, may apply and be approved for provisional unlawful presence I-601A waivers before departing the United States to attend their immigrant visa interviews. USCIS will begin accepting I-601A applications on March 4th, 2013.
Please review the necessary qualifications carefully. Relatives of Legal Permanent Residents are not eligible to apply for this provisional waiver. If you do not meet the qualifications, you should appear for your scheduled immigrant visa interview. Failure to do so will significantly delay your case.
If you would like to apply for an I-601A waiver, please follow these instructions.
I-601 and I-212 waivers
In certain circumstances, individuals who have been found ineligible for an immigrant visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) may be eligible to apply for a waiver of the ineligibility. At the time of the immigrant visa interview, the consular officer will make a determination as to whether an applicant is waiver eligible. If the consular officer finds an applicant ineligible for a visa, but eligible to apply for a waiver, the officer will give the applicant instructions on how to apply for the waiver.
The waiver application and supporting documentation are reviewed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Applicants are notified in writing of the waiver decision and given instructions on how to proceed. Waiver applications referred for further review normally take between twelve to fifteen months to process.
See the USCIS I-601 Waiver page for more information.
See the USCIS I-212 Waiver page for more information.