What Is the Difference Between Form I-601 and Form I-601a Waivers?


 “What is the Difference Between Form I-601 and Form I-601A Waivers?” A skilled attorney like Michael G. Murray, P.A. can answer this and more. Call us now!

Form I-601 vs. Form I-601a Waivers: What’s the Difference?


Many people aim to become U.S. citizens after obtaining an approved immigrant visa petition. Unfortunately, if they fail to take all the necessary precautions regarding their immigration status, they may be penalized and declared inadmissible. Family separation could result if they are unable to obtain permanent residency.

People who are ineligible or inadmissible to immigrate to the United States with an immigrant visa, or adjust their status to permanent resident, may be eligible for a waiver. As a result, the ground of inadmissibility may be waived, allowing them to obtain legal permanent residence or a green card.

Even though there are many grounds of inadmissibility, only a few of them can be waived. You can waive a ground of inadmissibility if you qualify for a waiver by applying for Form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility). In certain circumstances, you may qualify to apply for a provisional waiver of unlawful presence under Form I-601A.

The law firm of Michael G. Murray, P.A., can help with what you need to know about the Form I-601A and Form I-601, as well as other immigration issues.

Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility


Waivers are available if you are deemed inadmissible during your immigration application process. This waiver process is typically for applicants applying from outside the United States.

You can apply for a Form I-601 waiver using if you have been found inadmissible for entry into the United States or adjustment of status (and certain other visa categories).

Inadmissibility can be attributed to health problems, criminal activity, national security, public charges, labor certification (if needed), fraud and misrepresentation, prior removals, unlawful presence in the United States, and several other factors.

In other words, form I-601 lets you get a visa even after being denied. It is necessary to have a compelling reason for receiving this waiver, such as aiding a family member otherwise they would suffer extreme hardships.


Who Should Use Form I-601?

Individuals can use this form under the following circumstances:

  • Your permanent resident application has been denied.
  • You are in the process of applying for Adjustment of Status.
  • You are applying for Temporary Protected Status.
  • You are applying for adjustment of status under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Act or the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA).
  • You are applying for a humanitarian visa under the Violence Against Women Act.

Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver


This form I-601A requests a provisional waiver of unlawful presence in the United States. These waivers are available to people who enter the United States illegally but have immediate family members who are citizens or who have green cards (legal permanent residents), such as their parents or spouses. In these circumstances, applicants must leave the United States and apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Applicants must apply for a Form I-601A waiver while inside the United States. Hence it is also referred to as a stateside waiver. If the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves your application, an appointment for a visa interview will be scheduled at an embassy or consulate in your country of origin. There are, however, some eligibility criteria that must be met before leaving the U.S.

This provisional waiver is only available for people who are inadmissible due to unlawful presence in the United States. A person who is physically present in the United States without the government’s permission is considered unlawfully present. Unlawful presence can have serious consequences, such as barring you from returning to the U.S. Before leaving the country, you may be able to waive the unlawful presence exclusion by completing the I-601A form.

Who Should Use Form I-601A?

The requirements for Form I-601A are as follows:

  1. Physical presence in the United States.
  2. Be at least 17 years old at the time of filing.
  3. Have a pending Department of State (DOS) immigrant visa case for the following reasons:
  4. A Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), Form I-140 (Petition for Alien Worker), or Form I-360 (Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant) has been approved by the Department of Homeland Security, and you have paid the immigrant processing fee to the DOS.

1. DOS has selected you to participate in the Diversity Visa (DV) program, and you are currently in the process of getting your immigrant visa

2. Your immediate relative, spouse, or parent, has successfully petitioned for your immigrant visa.

3. The spouse or child of someone with an approved immigrant visa petition who has paid the DOS’s immigrant processing fee, or the spouse or child of someone selected to participate in the Diversity Visa (DV) program.

Generally, it is considered in the public interest to grant relief if a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident would suffer extreme hardship without the hopeful immigrant. A knowledgeable lawyer can offer resources and support with the complicated Waivers in Removal Proceedings.

How Often Are I-601A Waivers Approved? 


Approval rates of I-601A waivers vary based on different factors, such as the applicant’s country of origin, age, and criminal grounds.

The Application for Provisional Unlawful Residence Waiver acceptance rate is around 70%. 

A qualified attorney may be able to help improve your odds of waiver acceptance, which can further help you become a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen.

How Long Do Form I-601 and Form I-601A Waiver Approvals Take?


Approval of these forms takes longer to get approved if your case is more complicated. Therefore, the approval process can take as little as a few months to over a year, although it could take longer.

A legal professional can provide additional information and advice regarding waivers & grounds of inadmissibility.

How Can an Attorney Help With Form I-601 and Form I-601a Waivers?

You might benefit from the experience of a savvy immigration law firm if you are seeking lawful permanent residence and were declared inadmissible.

If you need assistance with these waivers, an established lawyer such as Michael G. Murray can provide legal counsel, help you complete the applications, and explain what documentation you need to submit.

A lawyer can also assist you with other technical matters, such as scheduling biometrics appointments or preparing for visa interviews.

If you have questions about immigration or waivers in removal proceedings, contact Michael G. Murray, P.A. We look forward to hearing from you!

Coronavirus update: We are safely open for business! USCIS is still accepting new filings for all applications. Our office is offering virtual consultations for new clients so that you don't have to come to our office in person. Call us to schedule your virtual meeting today.
This is default text for notification bar