601 waiver charlotte immigration lawyer

If you are inadmissible to the United States for unlawful presence, fraud, or criminal convictions, you may have options. Qualifying individuals can use the 601 Waiver to overcome bars to admissibility. This post will discuss the 601 Waiver requirements and some keys to success.

The Steps to Determine 601 Waiver Eligibility

The First Step to Determine 601 Waiver Eligibility: Why are you inadmissible?

Before you discuss extreme hardship with your immigration lawyer, it is important to determine why you are inadmissible. This is important because the reason for inadmissibility will determine your options. Sadly, there are some grounds of inadmissibility that can not be waived. Other inadmissibility grounds make you eligible for relief.  

The Second Step: Can your ground of inadmissibility be waived with a 601 Waiver?

After identifying the basis for your inadmissibility, you and your immigration lawyer will be ready to discuss waiver options. A number of grounds of inadmissibility can be waived. These grounds include criminal issues, fraud and unlawful presence. Other inadmissibility grounds can not be waived. For example, if you have been convicted of one of a number of serious crimes you will be ineligible for a waiver. Also, if you have been unlawfully present in the US, depart, then return without being inspected, you will be ineligible for a waiver.

The Third Step: Do you qualify for a 601 A Waiver?

One drawback of the 601 waiver is that you must wait in your home country while the waiver is being decided. If you qualify for a 601 A Waiver,  you will be able to avoid this frustrating scenario. With a 601 A waiver you can remain in the US with your family while the waiver application is pending. In order to qualify for the 601 A waiver, you must have a qualifying relative in the US. An additional requirement is that your basis for inadmissibility must be for unlawful presence in the United States. If you have other grounds of inadmissibility, you will need to pursue the standard 601 Waiver or other options.

The Fourth Step: Do you have a qualifying relative for the purpose of the 601 Waiver?

For both the 601 and 601 A waiver, you need to have a qualifying family member in the US. To be eligible for a waiver based on fraud or the 3 or 10 year bar, you must have a US Citizen or green card holder spouse or parent.  If you are applying for a waiver based on criminal conduct, eligible qualifying relatives also include your US citizen or green card holder children.

The Fifth Step: Can you show extreme hardship?

Determining if you have a waivable ground of inadmissibility and a qualifying family member is just the starting point. You also need to show that your family member(s) would suffer extreme hardship if the 601 waiver is denied. Unfortunately the term “extreme hardship” is not defined in the regulations. The term basically means “more than usual hardship” than one would experience if they had to live in a foreign land. For example, an explanation that your relative would have to learn the language or adjust to a new culture is insufficient.

In order to be successful, you have to show that your family member would experience extreme hardship if you had to live abroad. Additionally, you have to demonstrate that your family member would experience extreme hardship if they had to relocate abroad. There are a number of documents that you can submit to demonstrate extreme hardship. Below, I discuss some types of evidence that can be used to demonstrate extreme hardship for the 601 Waiver.

What Documents can be used to establish extreme hardship for the 601 Waiver?


Declarations can be used to demonstrate the hardship that you or your family member would suffer if the waiver is denied. One way to convey the hardship is to describe the current day in the life of the affected family member. The statement could then describe what life would be like without the family member who seeks the waiver. This technique can be a powerful way to show that life would be bleak if the waiver is unsuccessful. Additional declarations from family or neutral parties can also be useful. These documents can be used to bolster claims of economic or psychological hardship that are made by the qualifying relative.

Evidence of Health Related Issues

Sometimes, a US citizen or green card holder’s health issues make moving abroad challenging. If health issues play a role in your case, you should include doctors reports that highlight the conditions.

Evidence of the Financial Situation

Oftentimes, the applicant for the 601 waiver is the primary breadwinner for the family. If this is the case, it is important to provide evidence of the financial situation. Does the applicant earn a salary that the family depends upon? Does the salary pay for childcare or health care costs for elderly family? If so, it is important to include declarations and financial documents that demonstrate this reality.

Evidence of Ties to the United States

The ties to the US and the lack of ties to the relevant foreign country should also be highlighted in a 601 Waiver.  This can be shown through declarations, property records etc.


There are a number of hurdles to overcome to obtain a 601 Waiver. This post was intended to inform you about the general requirements of the waiver. When it comes to obtaining the 601 waiver, there is no one size fits all approach. Since your situation is unique, your waiver will be tailored to your particular circumstances. It is important to learn about the process before considering a waiver. Likewise, it is important to start thinking about your particular hardship factors. If you organize your thoughts and do your research, you and your immigration lawyer will be in a better position to obtain a 601 waiver. Once the 601 waiver is granted you will be one step closer to reuniting with your family in the US!

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