Difference Between I-601 and I-601A Waiver

Both the I-601 and I-601A waiver can be used to adjust for “unlawful presence”. Unlawful presence is time spend in the U.S. without a lawful status. Common example include overstaying time on a visa intentionally or unintentionally or originally entering the U.S. by unlawful means.

3 Year Bar

The amount of time an individuals has spend in the U.S. without a lawful status can make a significant difference. If the individual has accrued 6 months – 1 year of unlawful presence, a three year bar from returning under a lawful status is triggered at the time of departure.

10 Year Bar

A 10 year bar begins upon departure if the alien has accrued more than 1 year of unlawful presence. Remember, this bar is only triggered upon leaving the U.S. This is not meant as a deterrent from exiting the U.S. lawfully to gain a lawful status, but it is wise that you check with your immigration lawyer before departing officially.

Key Points to Remember!

Not all time in the U.S. is considered “unlawful”. A common example is that time spent in the U.S. before an individual was 18 years of age would not be added to the amount of time considered to be unlawful presence. This is just one example and it is in your best interest to work with an attorney in order to determine the exact duration of your unlawful presence.

Avoid the “permanent bar” which prevents re-entry. A common reason for receiving this more serious bar is attempting to re-enter without the proper waiver. Talk to a licensed immigration lawyer to make sure that you understand if you require an immigration waiver and for assistance in receiving one.

Difference Between I-601 and I-601A Waivers

Both the I-601 Hardship Waiver and the I-601A Provisional Waiver can be useful tools in avoiding penalties associated with having maintained unlawful presence. There are advantages and disadvantages to each.

Submitting the Waivers

  • The I-601 Hardship Waiver can only be submitted after an immigration interview overseas
  • The I-601A Waiver can be submitted by an individual while in the U.S.

Waiting Period

  • Individuals who have submitted the I-601 waiver must wait for the response while being present outside of the U.S.
  • Individuals who have submitted the I-601A waiver are permitted to reside with family while awaiting the decision.

Definition of “Qualifying Relative”

  • With the I-601 Waiver, a “qualifying resident” may be a U.S. permanent resident OR a citizen.
  • With the I-601A Waiver, a “qualifying resident” may only be a U.S. citizen.

Filing Additional Waivers

  • The I-601 Waiver is able to be submitted with additional waivers, while the I-601A waiver may only be submitted by itself.

Which Waiver is Best For Me?

Because there are significant pros and cons to each type of waiver, you should work with a reliable immigration lawyer in order to determine which waiver will best suit your short term and long term goals. For more information on all types of waivers. call Pride Immigration Law Firm PLLC or contact us online. We can help you understand your options and help you through the entire process.

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Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.

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