Many I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver applicants do not realize review of their applications can take more than six months even though United States Citizenship and Immigration Services reviewers attempt to complete each application before a six month period passes.

Expediting USCIS Reviews

Reviewers for the USCIS can speed up the process for certain rare special cases in which a long wait could have an extremely negative effect on the life of an applicant’s family members who are citizens of the United States. Overall, you should never expect a faster review. You can not pay for faster processing or use relatives or friends who work for the USCIS to expedite the process.
That said, there there are a lot of things you can do that will help the reviewer to finish reviewing your application faster:

  • Make a strong case. Explain in persuasive language and a high level of detail why the hardship exists.
  • Fill out every form completely and legibly
  • Use accurate information. Never exaggerate your circumstances.
  • Provide “supporting evidence” that does a good job of showing in clear, concrete terms that the hardship exists.

Satisfying these requirements takes thorough knowledge of federal immigration law and it is in your best interest to work with an immigration lawyer. For more information on I-601A waivers, visit:
I-601A Provisional Waiver

I-601A Application Requirements

The requirements for I-601A applications are the same no matter your home country or type of hardship and are as follows:

    • You must be 17 years of age or older at the time you apply.
    • You must be an underage (below 21 years old) child, a parent or a spouse of a United States citizen. Note: You can’t apply if your immediate relative has a visa as a “preference category” immigrant.
    • You must have received a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130). Widow(er) or Special Immigrant (Form I-360) approval.
    • You must have already paid the United States Department of State an immigrant visa processing fee.
    • You must have a “pending” U.S. Department of State immigrant visa case for the Form I-130 or Form I-360 petition.
    • You must also have proof that your immediate relative will experience hardship if the United States refuses your request.
    • You must not have scheduled a Department of State immigrant visa interview prior to January 3, 2013.

Remember, you must be in the United States when you apply, as the Department of State requires that all applicants apply in-person to record their physical attributes for future reference.


Additionally, applicants must meet all other requirements on Form I-601A and the instructions for the form; as well as all requirements outlined in 8 CFR 212.7(e).

Important Reminder

A lot of people who apply for the I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver have what they believe are “special” considerations. Yet, those who apply for the I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility are usually in worse situations.

I-601 applicants live outside of the United States away from those who need them most while they wait on the review process. Their immediate relatives, U.S. citizens living in the country, often experience hardship because they are not present.

Expedited Processing Not Common

Representatives for the United States Citizen and Immigration Services rarely approve special consideration expedited application processing for I-601 applicants. As a result, I-601A applicants should not get their hopes up that their applications will be reviewed any faster because of the nature of their hardships.

Again, special consideration expedited review is very rare. It’s best to focus on submitting a detailed application packet that has all of the information reviewers need to make a determination without them having to follow-up with you for additional details.

Ensure the Best Results Possible

Despite the obvious difficulties, having an error-free and properly managed case will give you the best chances for approval. For more information on I-601 or I-601A waivers, call Pride Immigration Law Firm PLLC today to learn how we can help you. Or, send us a message online and tell us about 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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