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What is a 601A Waiver?

A 601A waiver is a waiver for spouses and other immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen petitioner. The waiver asks the United States government to excuse the applicant's unlawful presence. The waiver is most commonly used when someone enters the United States unlawfully or without proper documentation and who marries a United States citizen.

For help with your 601 and 601A waiver, contact Yekrangi & Associates! We're here to help you achieve your immigration goals.

What is the difference between a 601 waiver and a 601A waiver?

A 601 waiver is a waiver for various grounds of inadmissibility, including unlawful presence, crime, fraud, and other grounds of inadmissibility. The 601 waiver is much broader, and you must specifically select the grounds you are seeking a waiver for, with an explanation as to why the waiver should be approved.

Unlike the 601A waiver, which is relatively new, the 601 waiver can only be applied for after an embassy or consulate interview where you were denied admission.

The 601A waiver, on the other hand, can be applied for while you are in the United States. Upon approval of the 601A waiver, you still must leave the United States and conduct your consular interview, however, you will have an approved waiver in your hands prior to the embassy or consulate interview, which you will give the interviewing officer. This avoids the uncertainties of leaving the United States prior to a waiver approval.

I want to apply for a 601A waiver. What do I need to prove?

601A waivers are not easily approved, so you need to contact an experienced Orange County immigration attorney to assist you with the process. Significant documentation and evidence is needed to prove that if the waiver is not approved, your qualifying relative petitioner will suffer an extreme hardship.

What is considered an extreme hardship?

Many factors are taken into consideration when determining if there is an extreme hardship to your immediate relative. Some examples include extreme financial difficulty the petitioner will face, the emotional distress a petitioner will face and the country conditions of the beneficiary's country, so as to prove that it would cause an extreme hardship if both spouses were to have to live outside of the United States.

In short, the 601A waiver is asking the government to excuse the non-US citizen spouse's previous unlawful presence so that the family can live together in the United States. The evidence and documentation should also prove that it would be nearly impossible for the US citizen to live in the country of the person he or she is trying to petition. An immigration attorney can assist you in preparing a convincing case to grant the 601A waiver.

When do I apply for the 601A waiver?

You may only apply for a 601A waiver once you have an approved immigrant visa petition from an immediate relative US citizen, and all visa fees are paid.

What happens if the 601A waiver is denied?

Unfortunately, there is no appeal process if the 601A waiver is denied. However, you can apply again. In the meantime, however, the USCIS may refer your case to an immigration judge. That is why you should have your case evaluated by an immigration attorney before submitting the waiver. Individuals with criminal records are particularly at risk for being referred to an immigration judge.

I attended an embassy or consulate interview and I was found inadmissible. The officer told me I need to file a 601 waiver. What should I do?

The first thing you need to do is speak to an experienced Orange County immigration attorney to evaluate the chances of whether your 601 waiver will be granted. Common reasons for denial include unlawful presence, past criminal conduct and medical issues.

Once an immigration attorney has reviewed your case, the attorney, upon deciding the likelihood of success of having the 601 waiver approved, can assist you in preparing a strong case, supporting the grant of your 601 waiver.


Whether you are seeking a 601A waiver or a 601 waiver, you need to speak to an experienced Orange County immigration attorney to evaluate and prepare your case. Both the 601 and 601A waivers require extensive evidence and an attorney can help you through this confusing process.

To schedule an initial consultation with us today, don't hesitate to contact us at (949) 478-4963.

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