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I-601 Hardship Waiver Legal Analysis

Author: Ranchod Law Group

Why many Applicants are turned down

An Immigration Attorney Looks at Marriage to a US citizen and I-601 Hardship Waivers

Usually, a foreign born spouse can have their petition for a visa approved and they can enter the United States with their husband or wife. But in my capacity as an immigration attorney, I’ve found that matters get complicated when a spouse is found to be inadmissible due to various criteria that determine they are not eligible to enter the country (or your spouse is in the country but entered without a visa). This is when a foreign born man or woman who is married to a U.S. citizen turns to the I-601 Hardship Waiver in an attempt to gain admittance to the U.S. with their spouse.

Most Common Reason for Inadmissibility

As an immigration attorney, I’ve found that the most common reason for someone being turned down in their visa process and being termed “inadmissible” has to do with their entering without a visa (the legal term is entering without inspection).
Additionally, an overstay of 180 days will result in a person being barred for three years and a 365-day overstay garners a decade-long ban. Either of these violations require a waiver if the spouse hopes to stay in the U.S. or reenter the country if they left the U.S.
The three or ten year bar is in effect once the person leaves the country. If an individual has an overstay of less than 180 days, then no waiver is needed to be granted a visa and those under 18 years old will not need a waiver if they overstay for any length of time.  If your spouse entered the U.S. lawfully but overstayed s/he could stay in the U.S. and adjust status to lawful permanent residency (green card) without leaving the U.S.

Other Reasons for Inadmissibility

There are various other reasons for prohibiting individuals from entering the U.S. Here is a partial list:

  • Falsely claiming U.S. citizenship (lifetime band);
  • Addiction to alcohol or drugs;
  • Have a dangerous mental or physical disorder;
  • Have a communicable disease;
  • Committed serious criminal acts, such as:
    • Drug trafficking;
    • Moral turpitude;
    • Prostitution;
  • Are unable to support him/herself and will become a charge of the state.

Your Recourse

The recourse that I help people take in my practice as an immigration attorney is to file an Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601 or Form I601A depending upon whether or not you qualify for the provisional unlawful presence waiver). Please note that you are now allowed to file for the I601A provisional waiver in the United States after March 4, 2013. The law requires that the US citizen files the waiver and the the spouse who is an American citizen will also need to prove that not allowing their partner reside in the U.S. will result in “extreme hardship.” In my I-601 hardship waiver process article, I address the basic process involved in I-601 Hardship Waivers. Please contact the Ranchod Law Group in San Francisco and Sacramento California, if you have any questions regarding or want to start the process of applying for an I-601 hardship waiver.  We serve clients across the U.S. and at U.S. Embassies worldwide. To schedule a consultation contact us at 415-986-6186 or leave us a message – fill in the form below.

More Information on I-601 Waivers:

I-601 Hardship Waiver Process
Extreme Hardship in an I-601 Waiver Case

Published by: Ranchod Law Group

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