I-601 Waivers for Misrepresentation

To be eligible to enter the United States, an individual must be deemed “admissible” under U.S. immigration law. Two of the reasons someone might be found inadmissible to enter the U.S. are fraud and misrepresentation. Although fraud and misrepresentation are considered separate reasons for inadmissibility purposes, they are similar in some respects. 

Individuals who are found inadmissible for fraud are also almost always considered inadmissible for willful misrepresentation. However, those found inadmissible for misrepresentation aren’t necessarily inadmissible for fraud. The reason is that two additional elements are necessary for a fraud finding. To understand this, let’s look at each of these classifications. 

Willful Misrepresentation

To be found inadmissible for willful misrepresentation, all of the following elements must be present: 

  • The individual received or sought to obtain a U.S. immigration benefit
  • The individual willfully stated a false fact related to their eligibility for an immigration benefit
  • The false representation was made to a U.S. government official, typically an immigration or consular officer

Regardless of whether the individual succeeded in obtaining an immigration benefit or not, they would still be considered inadmissible, and no evidence would be required to prove their intent to deceive officers on the matter. 


Inadmissibility based on fraud requires a finding that an individual knowingly made a false representation to deceive the other party to gain entry to the U.S., obtain a visa or other documentation, or acquire additional immigration benefits. In addition, the individual would have to meet the above elements, as well as the following two:

  • The individual had the intent to deceive a U.S. government official (typically an immigration or consular officer) who was authorized to act upon the request.
  • The U.S. government official believed the individual and granted the request. 

If the individual is found inadmissible for fraud, they will also be found inadmissible for willful misrepresentation since the fraud findings include all misrepresentation elements. If the individual could not obtain an immigration benefit, they might still be found inadmissible for having “sought to procure” it through fraud. 

The key difference between willful misrepresentation and fraud is the intent to deceive a U.S. government official in an attempt to obtain immigration benefits. This may be difficult to prove in cases of attempted fraud because the fraud didn’t succeed. In some cases, however, it may not be necessary to prove that the individual had intent because they’ve already been deemed inadmissible due to misrepresentation. 

Sometimes an applicant may be found inadmissible even though they didn’t willfully misrepresent a material fact; in this case, they can challenge the allegations. Although it can be difficult to challenge the findings, there are situations where there’s a legal basis to do so. Working with an immigration attorney can help you show that: 

  • No fraud or misrepresentation occurred
  • Any fraud that occurred wasn’t intentional
  • Any misrepresentation that occurred wasn’t willful
  • Any fraud or misrepresentation that occurred wasn’t material

Another option, if you’ve been found inadmissible due to willful misrepresentation, is to apply for an I601 waiver. In most cases, your eligibility for an I-601 waiver depends on whether you have a qualified U.S. relative who would experience extreme hardship if you weren’t admitted to the U.S.

An I-601 waiver waives a visa applicant’s inadmissibility finding and admits them into the U.S. on the grounds of extreme hardship due to one or more of the following factors:

  • Family ties and impact
  • Social and cultural impact
  • Economic impact
  • Health conditions and care
  • Country conditions

Extreme hardship is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and can often be challenging to prove because it requires ample evidence that your U.S. relative would suffer more than the standard hardship if your entry to the U.S. was denied. Therefore, it wouldn’t be enough to state that there might be an economic impact or that your family member would miss you—the impact must be extreme and particularly significant. 

To apply for an I-601 waiver, you’ll need to file Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, with USCIS and pay the application fees. Along with the form, you’ll also need to include supporting documentation showing evidence of extreme hardship. Depending on your case, this may include:

  • Country reports issued by the U.S. Department of State or other governmental or human rights organizations publish reports showing how difficult conditions in your home country would cause extreme hardship for your U.S. relative.
  • Letters from medical professionals showing that there are physical or medical conditions that will lead to extreme hardship for your U.S. relative.
  • Copies of tax returns and/or pay statements. 
  • Copies of your U.S. relative’s professional or educational credentials.
  • News articles discussing events in your home country that could lead to extreme hardship for your U.S. relative.
  • Letters from professionals, family members, and/or friends who can support your extreme hardship argument. 

At Ranchod Law Group, we’ve helped countless clients obtain I-601 waivers on the basis of extreme hardship. One such client was living in Pakistan while his mother was living in the U.S. as a legal permanent resident. His mother was wheelchair-bound and depended on her son for financial and physical support, among other things. Unfortunately, our client was deemed inadmissible because he was nervous and misrepresented a fact during his interview. 

We argued that the bar should be waived due to the exceptional hardship his legal permanent resident mother would endure without her son. She didn’t have any income and little financial support within the U.S. In addition, she had chronic medical conditions, including depression and anxiety, which would likely get worse without her son with her. We also demonstrated why his mother wouldn’t do well in Pakistan due to poor healthcare, lack of accessibility for those in wheelchairs, and the social stigma surrounding mental health. 

Finally, we showed how her son couldn’t provide for her financially in Pakistan due to poor economic conditions. His waiver was approved, and he was able to join his mother in the U.S. and provide the care and support she needed. 

If you’ve been found inadmissible to the U.S. because of misrepresentation, Ranchod Law Group is here to help. Please contact us at (916) 613-3553 or email us at info@ranchodlaw.com