The law at this point in time states that you can’t apply for an I-601A waiver if you have a record of conviction on a DUI or DWI. This “provisional” or “stateside” waiver is an attractive option for many people for purposes of obtaining permanent residence and maintaining family unity while avoiding a prolonged family separation. What comes to issue is that an I-601A waiver can only be sought if the applicant is inadmissible because of an unlawful presence in the United States. They can’t be inadmissible for any other reason. However, Not All DUI Convictions Make You Inadmissible.

Certain Exceptions for Inadmissability DO Exist

A plea or finding of guilty in a DUI case might be called a conviction in some states. The general rule is that conviction of a DUI or DWI is a basis for automatic inadmissibility, but there are exceptions to this rule. After reviewing your court records on your arrest, your immigration attorney can tell you if you might be able to raise one of these exceptions. Any alcohol related arrest can raise issues on your admissibility, even if no conviction resulted. It might be argued that you’re medically inadmissible to the United States as a result of an alcohol related illness or disease. Multiple alcohol related arrests would only give greater weight to that argument.

I-601A Waiver is Somewhat New

It wasn’t more recently that individuals were permitted to apply for the newer type of I-601A waivers. It appears as if applications are being evaluated on a case by case basis. That’s because the facts of each DUI or DWI arrest and prosecution are different. Working with an experienced immigration attorney throughout the I-601A application and review process will assure that your application will contain the most recent and accurate legal information possible. To learn more about I-601A waivers, visit:

  • I-601A Provisional Waiver

I-601A Waiver and DUI Risks

The United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) has indicated that a denial of an I-601A waiver won’t immediately result in issuance of a Notice to Appear. That would trigger deportation proceedings. The possibility has been left open though, that a Notice to Appear could issue based on the reasons for the I-601A waiver denial. Light will be shed on whether a DUI/DWI arrest will prompt a Notice to Appear when USCIS decisions are made on that specific issue.

Consult with a Lawyer Before Proceeding

If you fit the requirements for an I-601A waiver, it could be a valuable option for you. Even with alcohol related incidents in your past, you could still be eligible for this waiver. If you’ve been convicted of a DUI/DWI, or even if you’ve only been arrested for an alcohol related offense, you need to consult with a licensed Fairfax DUI attorney and then an immigration lawyer before you apply for a I-601A waiver.

For more information, or to get started, contact Pride Immigration Law Firm PLLC by phone or send us a message online. Consultations are free and we will be able to help you make an educated decision on how you wish to proceed with your case.

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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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