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I-601A Provisional Waivers: How long does it take for an I-601A waiver to get approved?

I601A Provisional Waiver Processing TimeI-601A Provisional Waiver Processing Time

On January 2, 2013, the following guidance was given by USCIS regarding the expected I-601A provisional waiver processing time:

 

  • Processing goals had not been set. This means that at this point in time, no one should be promising you that they can get you a decision on your I-601A waiver within a certain amount of time. Even the government doesn’t know the answer to this question yet.
  • The processing time will be determined by how many applications are submitted and the flow of those applications. Until USCIS begins to accept applications on March 4, 2013, there is no way to make an estimate on the processing times for I-601A waivers.

The best thing that you can do to get the fastest processing time for your application is to make sure that you submit the strongest package possible. You need to make sure that you provide all of the required information, that all forms are filled out correctly and completely, and that you submit supporting evidence that is easy for the reviewer to understand. By making it easy for the reviewer to understand the extreme hardship in your case, the reviewer will be able to make a faster decision on your case.

I-601A Provisional Waiver Processing Time Additional Information

If someone promises you that they have “inside connections” that can get your application special treatment, accepted before the March 4, 2013 opening date for I-601A waivers, or moved to the front of the line, they simply aren’t telling you the truth.

There are no special connections or tricks to get your application to the front of the line. You can’t pay a “special fee” to the government to get your application processed faster. In general, USCIS will consider requests to expedite an immigration case only in very special circumstances where the wait for normal processing times could have significant negative impact. Most of the special circumstances simply won’t apply to I-601A waiver applications.

For example, although there may be very limited special circumstances in which a person can request expedited review of an I-601 hardship waiver, this is very rare in practice and only applies to very special circumstances. If it is extremely difficult to receive expedited processing for an I-601 hardship waiver for families that are already separated and living apart, you should not expect that there will be many circumstances in which an I-601A provisional waiver will be expedited. After all, families who are applying for an I-601A provisional waiver are living together already. The desire to get through the process as quickly as possible simply isn’t enough to receive expedited treatment.

If you have any questions about the process, you can find the official I-601A provisional waiver USCIS information here.

About Kimberley Schaefer

Kimberley Schaefer is an immigration lawyer with client meeting locations in Reston, Virginia and Washington DC. She helps future Americans become citizens. In addition to helping future Americans apply for immigrant visas, fiance visas and green cards through adjustment of status, she also helps them obtain immigration waivers if needed. She helps with I-601 hardship waivers, I-601A provisional waivers, nonimmigrant waivers, unlawful presence waivers, misrepresentation waivers and criminal conviction waivers. To contact her, you can call (703) 665-1460 or send Kimberley an email now.

Comments

  1. Claudia Cardozo says:

    I am leaving for 8 yeas in Uruguay since i come back from de United States and I completed my case in the NVC already, now I have to apply for I-601A provisional waivers. I would like to know wich is the difference between I-601A provisional waivers and others waivers. and te principal question is besides an strongly hardship letter i should write, the fact that i am living in my country for 8 years already, count in the moment they have to make a decission about my case? I would like to receive a response soon, thanks a lot.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Claudia,

      If you are currently in Uruguay and need an immigration waiver, you most likely would apply for an I601 waiver after your immigrant visa interview. The I601A waiver is only an option if you are currently in the United States and need an unlawful presence waiver in order to get an immigrant visa.

      The extreme hardship standard is the same for I601 and I601A waivers. The new I601A waiver does not change the law or how extreme hardship is determined. It only allows certain people to apply for the waiver before they depart the United States for their immigrant visa interview.

      When USCIS considers whether to approve a waiver application, they balance all of the positive and negative factors of the case. A strong hardship letter alone will not win your case. You need to support the letter with solid evidence that is presented in a clear, organized manner. In addition, because of how all of the factors of a case are balanced together, it is impossible to give an opinion of how a single fact (such as how long a person has been outside of the United States) will impact a case. All of the facts of a case and all of the positive and negative factors are considered together and are not viewed as isolated items.

      Sincerely,
      Kimberley

      • antonio limon says:

        When I came to US illegally the officers of immigration caught me and took all my information.. what I have to put in the I 601a form?

        • Kimberley Schaefer says:

          Depending on what happened when immigration caught you when you entered the United States, you may not be eligible for an I-601A waiver. If you are not eligible and apply for the waiver, you risk being deported. Don’t take this risk. Set up a consultation with an immigration lawyer before you do anything with your waiver application so that you can make sure that you qualify before you submit anything to the government.

  2. jose david garcia says:

    what could be a exemple of hardship letters

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Jose,

      I’m working on some articles that will talk more about hardship letters. But the brief summary is —

      Your hardship letter should discuss your unique situation. No one else has lived a life exactly like yours and therefore your letter should be unique. One of the worst things that you could do with your waiver case is to try to copy a hardship letter that you find online. If you do so you’ll:

      • Fail to make your case stand out as involving extreme hardship. If your letter sounds just like the letters everyone else submits, you will have a difficult time showing that the hardship in your case is extreme compared to the hardship normally encountered in a family separation.
      • You’ll likely completely overlook the unique factors in your case if you are focused on what everyone else is saying in their letters
      • You’ll likely not present your strongest hardship factors first. Again, everyone has a unique situation. The strongest factor for someone else could be the weakest factor for you.
      • If the example letter you read online influences what you write (intentionally or unintentionally) to the point that the immigration officer reviewing your waiver package suspects that you copied a letter you found online, you will have a much more challenging time in getting your waiver approved.

      Every case that I work on involves identifying the unique factors that each client experiences and then finding the best way to document the hardships. This is a very time intensive process that involves talking to my clients about all aspects of their lives. I never rely on a letter from a different case to use as a starting point, and I strongly encourage that you don’t do so either. Focus on identifying your unique hardships (with or without the assistance of an immigration lawyer) and the rest will follow from there.

  3. Hi, I aLREADY FILED MOST OF THE IMMIGRATION DOCS THAT I AM REQUIRED FOR MY HUSBAnd. He is a guatemalan citizen who has been here over 10 years. we have been married for 6 years already and have 4 children together. He is the main breadwinner in my household and i am a us citizen. i am going to file the i601a in which we qualify for. I need to know what forms of hardship should i do????

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Ana,

      I know it seems like your question is a fairly simple one, but it is actually a fairly difficult question to answer. Each case is unique and the key to winning a waiver case is to identify the hardship factors that will make the case stand out as having “extreme hardship”. Keep in mind that having hardship due to a family separation is not enough to win a waiver case. You need to show that your hardship is extreme compared to the hardship that is normally encountered in a family separation. This requires not only identifying the strongest hardship factors in your case but then also identifying the best way to prove that the hardships exist and would be extreme.

      This is not an easy task. As a lawyer it typically takes me between 20-40 hours to prepare a hardship package for a client. The process involves talking to my clients at length, learning about their entire lives and then preparing multiple revisions of their supporting hardship letters and supporting evidence. It simply isn’t possible to answer your question without first spending a significant amount of time talking to you and learning about your situation.

      Kimberley

  4. Pelanio Tungpalan says:

    I’ve been here in the US since 8 yrs now and I’m holding c1/d visa or crewmen can I apply for a provisional waiver if I marry a US citizen girlfriend?which is she really need me because of my support taking care of her 4 kids that still studying.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Pelanio,

      The first step is to confirm whether you may be eligible for the adjustment of status process after you marry your girlfriend. It can be difficult to qualify for adjustment of status if you entered the United States using a crewman visa, but this is still an issue you should explore. If you do qualify for adjustment of status, you would be able to get your green card while in the United States and may not need an I-601A waiver. However, do not apply for adjustment of status if you don’t qualify as you could be placed in deportation proceedings if you do. You must make sure that you understand the adjustment of status process and the benefits and risks before you submit any forms to the government. You may also have other options available to you depending on your specific situation.

      If it turns out that your only option is an I-130 with consular processing then you would need to identify the hardships that your wife would experience if your waiver was not granted. Keep in mind that it isn’t enough that she would experience hardship. Every family that is forced to be separated experiences some hardship. You need to show that your situation is unique and that your wife’s hardships would be extreme compared to the hardships that are normally encountered in a family separation.

      Kimberley

  5. Mouhamed says:

    Hi I’m marry to a citizen an we do not leave together .do I qualify for the provisial waver

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      If you decide to apply for an I-601A provisional waiver, you should try to work with an immigration lawyer on your case. The fact that you don’t live together will make your case very challenging. Keep in mind that you need to show that your wife would experience extreme hardship if you were forced to live apart and if both of you were to move to your home country. It can be very difficult to show that a spouse will experience extreme hardship if you are forced to live apart if you are already living apart. Given the right set of facts it is possible to show extreme hardship, but it will depend on the specific facts of your situation.

      The difficulties in this type of case makes it a very advanced case that likely would be best handled by an immigration lawyer.

  6. Ashley Rodriguez-Villela says:

    Hello Kimberly,

    I am petitioning for my husband in the provisinal waiver I-601A.
    I have filled out the application electronically and am currently in the process of writing a hardship letter – which I’m sure you know is the most time consuming and difficult part of the whole process. I’ve requested that my family and friends and doctor write letters to help back up my letter. I’m also researching information and articles on the internet to back up my reasoning of hardship.

    My question is :
    Do you think that too many letters or information will be overwhelming and could possibly result in a denial?
    Also, how would you suggest I organize the letters/information/application as I will be filing electronically?

    - Ashley Rodriguez-Villela

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Ashley,

      As a starting point, I’m not sure what you mean by filing your application electronically. I-601A waiver applications must be mailed to USCIS. If you are completing your package online, please make sure whether you are completing your package through the official USCIS website located at http://uscis.gov or if you are working through the website of an immigration lawyer or an “immigration consultant.” As you can’t file your I-601A electronically, any website that is offering “electronic” filing of your I-601A is not the official USCIS website. If you are working through a website that is misleading you to believe that it is the official USCIS website, you should carefully consider whether you want someone who is engaging in misrepresenting their services to represent you. If the service you are using is not offered by a licensed US attorney, then the person offering the service is not qualified or authorized to give you legal advice and you should carefully consider whether you want to accept legal advice from them.

      It is impossible for me to give you specific ideas of what to include in your waiver package or hardship letter and how to organize your package without first doing an in-depth interview. I generally take between 20-40 hours to prepare a hardship waiver package and most of that time is spent on identifying the hardships and the best evidence to prove each hardship. It simply isn’t possible to give a meaningful answer without first learning much more about your situation and spending a lot of time working with you.

      If you’d like to learn more about hardship letters, you may want to get a free copy of my Extreme Hardship Letter Special Report by clicking on this link.

      It isn’t clear from your post if you’ve already filed your I-130 petition or if you plan on including a letter from your husband as well with the I-601A package. These are issues you should also consider before submitting anything to the government.

      Sincerely,
      Kimberley

  7. My lawyer sent my I601a packet on March 7th. We have been working on it since last year (I130 petition, evidencd, etc) what field office is processing thw waiver? Is there an update on processing times?

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      The National Benefits Center will be handling the I601A waiver applications. There are no updates on processing times — it is simply too early to give meaningful estimates because of how new the program is. Your lawyer should be able to update you as more information becomes available.

      Kimberley

    • silvana says:

      Jose,
      How long did it take for your I-130 to be approved?
      Did you hear from the I-160A back? Do you have an idea of how long would it take?
      I’d appreciate your response.

      Thank you,
      Silvana

  8. Rosario figueroa says:

    My husband has a i130 aproved am a us citizen i want to know if he qualifies for the new waiver. He was caught by immigration snd had his figerprint taken then was realease and he tried again and pass and been here ever since.does he qualifies.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Rosario,

      I recommend that you check with an immigration lawyer before moving forward with the waiver process. Depending on what exactly happened when your husband was caught by immigration, he may not be eligible for the new I601A waiver. Some people who were caught and fingerprinted will still qualify, while others will not — it all depends on exactly what happened. The only way for an immigration lawyer to be able to give you a definite answer on whether your husband qualifies is to review his case in detail.

      Kimberley

  9. My question is what is a lawyer supposed to do for you in the waiver process, cause mine already charged me he wanted the money all at once I only gave him 700 and he told me to start working on my letter I’m almost done with it since it is very hard. But then what is the point of getting a lawyer if I’m the one that has to work my hardest to get this letter done? Then what is his part?? Just to fill out an application? Or is there more? I already got my financial, emotional, dangerous insecure part of my letter since we would obviosly only have to places to live at in Mexico if he was deported which would be Juarez chih. Or michoacan which are both very dangerous places to live in Mexico :( Sooo please help me give me some advice is he taking advantage? Or he just waiting on the rest of the money then be will help?? Am I doing good on my letter?? Should I just go on my own??

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Every immigration lawyer has their own way of preparing a waiver package. With this in mind, I cannot comment on what steps your lawyer may plan on taking to help you revise your statement once he reviews the draft that you are preparing.

      I can share with you more details about how I work with my clients with their hardship letters. I typically will begin by spending time talking to my clients to help identify their hardship factors. Based on this initial conversation, I will prepare a list of questions for my clients to answer in writing. I will then help turn these initial answers into the first draft of the hardship letter. We then continue to discuss the hardship factors as we revise the initial draft and collect supporting documents for the waiver package.

      In many cases it is best for the person applying for the waiver and their family members to prepare the initial drafts of the hardship letters. This is because the people who make a decision on the waiver application want to hear from you in your own words. If your lawyer writes the initial statement, your hardship letter may read as if it was written by a lawyer. You do not want this. If you write the initial version of the statement, your lawyer can then more easily help you with revising it while making sure that the final letter still is written in your voice using your words.

      - Kimberley

  10. Freddie Melgar says:

    My wife and I have been separated for about eight years and a half now. And we have applied for the waiver I-601, the application has been re-submitted, because it was once denied. My question to you is: my wife is from Colombia I am the us citizen, we applied once, and it was once denied, as I mention before But back than, two years ago we sent the I-601 package to panama, but this time It was sent to Phoenix Arizona, back then in panama, it took a whole year for they to respond just to said no. Will this time be any different or any faster per Said?
    Thanks for your response.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Freddie,

      The current process for I-601 waivers is for the waiver package to be submitted to the lockbox in Phoenix, Arizona. The lockbox facility scans the package and then sends the file to the Nebraska Service Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is in Nebraska that the file will be reviewed and a decision will be made whether to grant the waiver. The decision will not be made in Panama.

      I recently had the opportunity to tour the Nebraska Service Center. I can assure you that the immigration officers at the Nebraska Service Center are doing everything possible to make decisions as quickly as possible. Most decisions are currently taking around 4 months and they are working hard to reduce this to an even shorter wait.

      The law is the same in relation to the requirements for an immigration waiver. But, depending on the changes in your situation, the hardship factors you presented in your waiver package and the supporting evidence that you included in your waiver package, it is possible to receive a different decision on a second waiver application. The keys will be how you presented your hardship factors and the supporting evidence that you included in your waiver package.

      - Kimberley

  11. I’m elegible for the i601a waiver process, but my attorney is telling me that she needs some fees from the national visa center and that she had contact the NVC with no answer. How long does it take for the NVC to send this? Because she is telling me that without that she can not send my package.

    Thank you.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Your immigration lawyer should be able to provide you with information on the timing of the process after the I-130 petition has been approved. It is not uncommon for it to take a month or so to receive the fee invoices from the National Visa Center. You cannot pay the fees until you receive the invoices and you cannot submit your waiver package until the fees have been paid.

  12. I am in the process to get my I 601A approved or denied, I did my fingerprints already. I want to know if you have an idea how long I will have to go back to my country once my I601A is approved.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      If your I601A waiver is approved, and all goes well at your immigrant visa interview, you likely will only have to be outside of the United States of a couple of weeks. But keep in mind that an approved I601A waiver does not mean that your immigrant visa will be approved. If your immigrant visa is not approved, you will not be able to return to the United States.

      The I601A waiver will only help you overcome the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. If you are inadmissible for any other reason, your I601A waiver will not help you. USCIS does not review cases in detail to identify whether a person could be inadmissible for other reasons, which means that you could have your I601A waiver approved but still be inadmissible due to some other reason.

      Before you depart the United States, make sure that you meet all of the other requirements for an immigrant visa and do not face any other grounds of inadmissibility.

  13. Hi, Is there any waiver for if some one is convicted for pwid over 30grams of marijuana? advice please.thank you

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      You’ll need to discuss your options with an immigration lawyer and have a lawyer review all of your court records in order to determine what immigration options may be available to you. The immigration consequences of criminal convictions is an extremely complex area of immigration law and a proper evaluation requires a detailed consultation and a review of the court records.

  14. Irene Villasenor says:

    Do I need a lawyer to file for the I601A provisional waiver or could I do it myself??? besides the hardship letter what other papers do I have to turn in with this form??? Do I have to get evidence for what my hardship letter says???

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      While there is no requirement to work with an immigration lawyer to apply for an I601A waiver, most people will find the assistance of a lawyer to be extremely helpful in navigating the waiver process.

      It typically takes me many hours of reviewing a case to be able to provide a comprehensive list of the documents that will be included with a waiver application. Every case is different and every case will require different supporting evidence. It simply isn’t possible to provide a generic list of supporting documents for complex cases like I601A waivers.

      Yes, you will need supporting evidence for your hardship letter. The supporting evidence is what will determine whether your waiver is approved or denied. Without supporting evidence, it will be almost impossible to win your waiver case no matter what your hardship letters say.

  15. Ana Cortez says:

    Hi Kimberly,

    I should not say I have a unique situation because having it lived pretty much all it I have seen similar or maybe worst cases than mine. I married my husband little less than a year ago, I am US Citizen he arrived to the US in 2005 illegal. He was taken into custody by ICE on May 2012 w/ a pending DUI charge (3rd offense pending) hired a good attorney and we were able bail him out on a $10,000 bond.

    While on bond he had to face his offense charge at the county courthouse, there he was charge w/ 3rd DUI, he was following everything as appointed by the court serving weekends. He was scheduled for an appointment with his parole officer and then he was taken again by ICE, where he has now been for about 2 months. We went to court and Judge said because there was a change of circumstance (although it was not a new charge) he was no longer eligible for a bond. Although we were told he has the option to wait while in custody for his I-130 and the submit the waiver which we were told it could take anywhere between 6-8 months.

    My question? Questions? In the event that his waiver is denied and he takes voluntary departure would he still be penalize for 10 yrs or could the Judge him a minimum penalty at his discretion? Would the felony charge have a direct impact on the waiver even with my hardship?

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      The decisions you make related to your questions likely will have a significant impact on your husband’s future immigration options. With this in mind, I would need to speak with you in detail before being able to provide you any legal advice related to these issues. These issues are simply too important to provide you with guidance without first understanding the entire case. Immigration law is very fact specific, and making immigration decisions without knowing all of the details can lead to serious immigration mistakes.

      You should definitely discuss these issues with the immigration lawyer who is representing your husband in his immigration court case. In particular, if the waiver that you mentioned is the I601A waiver, you’ll want to review the requirements for this waiver with your lawyer. You should also ask your lawyer for an update on how USCIS is currently deciding I601A waiver cases that involve DUI convictions.

      If you are considering voluntary departure, you should discuss both the positive and negative aspects of voluntary departure with your immigration lawyer before you decide whether voluntary departure is the right option for you and your husband. Voluntary departure is an excellent option for many people, but it is not the best option for everyone.

  16. I already send my husband waiver since March 13, 2013 and I haven’t receive any answer. I’m pregnant and I will be having my baby by July. My pregnancy was a high risk pregnancy and I send all the information and now I had to stop working do you think this enough prove to show them extreme hardship.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Extreme hardship decisions are based on many different factors. The supporting evidence that is submitted as part of a hardship waiver package is very important. Without reviewing your case in detail and the waiver package that you submitted, it is not possible to provide an opinion on the strength of a case.

      Please keep in mind that as an immigration lawyer it takes me many hours to prepare a waiver package (typically at least 40 hours). A substantial part of this time is spent identifying the hardship factors and how to best present those hardship factors. It simply isn’t possible to provide quick answers based on just a few pieces of information when it comes to hardship waivers.

      • I know but I wish I should have a copy of what I send but basically was everything about my high risk pregnancy, doctors letter, proof of income, working less hours, financial problems and all that. But I checked the USCIS.COM web page and they said it takes 4 moths my case is in Nebraska but what do the mean with the national average 1379.8 months.. In case that they denied the waiver what else I can do.

        • Kimberley Schaefer says:

          Mari,

          If your I601A waiver is denied, you can either file a new I601A waiver or you can apply for an I601 waiver instead. There are no appeals for denied I601A waivers.

          Kimberley

  17. angelica says:

    Hello, quick question…..my husband applied for the i601 a in march of 2013….then he received a letter to his biometrics appointment, which he attended…this was on April the 4th…we haven’t received any news at all…just wondering what’s going on…n how long till we hear some news??

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Although people have been receiving decisions on I601A waiver applications, there are still many people who submitted their applications in March who are waiting for an answer. There are many reasons why a case may take longer than others to process. For example, if USCIS needs to collect other records related to your husband to combine them into one file, that process can take time.

      Depending on how long it takes to receive a response, your immigration lawyer may be able to follow up with USCIS to request a status update.

  18. My husband was sent to Honduras back in November, 2012 for an interview at the us embassey and he was denied because they wanted me to be there, which either the lawyer nor immigration made us aware of that. So they scheduled us an interview together for March, 2013. We went to the interview and they told us we will call you. Well, it’s been 3 months now and we haven’t heard from anyone. Also, we filed the I601a from here and they recieved it in December, 2012. Can I write a letter to immigration to ask them how much longer or is that a bad idea?

    Thanks for your time!
    Anna

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Anna,

      You really should follow up with your lawyer on these issues as he will know all of the details of your case. The request for a joint interview and the delay in receiving a decision indicate that there is an issue with your case, but it is impossible for me to identify what the issue could be without first reviewing your case in detail.

      For example, you indicate that you filed an I601A waiver in December 2012. I601A waiver applications were not accepted until March 2013, so it is not clear from your information if you filed an I601A waiver or if you filed an I601 waiver instead.

      Sincerely,
      Kimberley

  19. Daniela Rosas says:

    Hi Kimberley,

    I am currently waiting on my K1 visa. My fiance is a USC and we are currently waiting on rfe response.
    It’s been 8 months since we started the process and it’s horrible knowing that we have to wait longer. I am 20 years old and I am currently living in Mexico ( by choice). Lived in the US for 13 years (left at the age of 18 and 11 months) wich triggered the 3 year ban. I am aware I have to file my hardship letter after our interview. What are my chances of getting approved? Also, after this november i only need a year more for that ban to disappear. Will that help my possibilities? Btw i have no crimanal record and was an excellent student all the way through high school. My only mistake was leaving 5 months after i was 18 1/2. Any advice would be so helpful!!

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Daniela,

      As I’ve mentioned in other comments, extreme hardship decisions are based on many different factors. The supporting evidence that is submitted as part of a hardship waiver package is very important. Without reviewing your case in detail and the hardship factors involved in your case, it is not possible to provide an opinion on the strength of a case.

      Please keep in mind that as an immigration lawyer it takes me many hours to prepare a waiver package (typically at least 40 hours). A substantial part of this time is spent identifying the hardship factors and how to best present those hardship factors. It simply isn’t possible to provide quick answers based on just a few pieces of information when it comes to hardship waivers.

      Also, although your comment is posted in the I601A section, you should keep in mind that since you are outside of the United States, you would need to apply for an I601 waiver. Although I601A and I601 waivers are very similar, you cannot apply for an I601A waiver if you are outside of the United States.

      If you haven’t taken a look at my hardship letter guide, you may also want to download a free copy of it here.

      Kimberley

  20. Daniela Rosas says:

    Hi Kimberley,
    I am currently waiting on my K1 visa. My fiance is a USC and we are currently waiting on rfe response.
    It’s been 8 months since we started the process and it’s horrible knowing that we have to wait longer. I am 20 years old and I am currently living in Mexico ( by choice). Lived in the US for 13 years (left at the age of 18 and 11 months) wich triggered the 3 year ban. I am aware I have to file my hardship letter after our interview. What are my chances of getting approved? Also, after this november i only need a year more for that ban to disappear. Will that help my possibilities? Btw i have no crimanal record and was an excellent student all the way through high school. My only mistake was leaving 5 months after i was 18 1/2. Any advice would be so helpful!!

  21. Stephanie says:

    I am preparing my own waiver and I was wondering if I should use color dividers to divide all my evidence ? I have a substantial amount of medical records which I have highlighted as well should I include all of my records? In addition I am wondering whether they scan the entire waiver and review it through a computer or do officers have a physical copy of it in front of them? Thank you so very much for your help!

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      For I601 waivers at the Nebraska Service Center, the files are scanned at the lockbox but then the hard copy files are forwarded from the lockbox to the Nebraska Service Center for review by the officers. I’m confident that this is the correct answer for I601 waivers as I was fortunate enough to be able to tour the NSC earlier this year. I have not visited the service center handling I601A waivers, so I cannot confirm if their procedure is the same.

      As far as the color dividers go, I never use them. When deciding what medical records to submit, you should ask whether the documents add to your case and make your argument more persuasive. Submitting a stack of medical records a foot tall will not guarantee that your waiver will be approved. Instead, the officer will look to see what those documents say. In some cases, a few pages and a doctor’s letter is better than a complete medical record. In other cases, a complete medical record may be essential to winning the case. Everything about waiver cases depends on the specific facts of a case.

      Kimberley

  22. Pouya raad says:

    Hello, I would really appreciate if you answer my question. My boyfriend and I have been together for over a year. He came in to the United States with a b2 visa and adjusted his status to F1 visa. His F1 visa got terminated since he couldn’t attend to his class. The Kaplan office gave him a notice that he has to leave the country in 90 days, however he applied for reinstatement. During his reinstatement he stayed here. And since his parents became permanent residents of United States they applied for him too since he was under 21. He got an interview in Frankfurt and the officer denied him because he overstayed his F1 visa and he said he is eligible for 10 years bar. He has filled i601 waiver as officer told him to do and my question is what is the chance of getting an approval?? Do you think he is actually illegible for 10 years bar?? If we get married, can we apply for his visa and get a result and pass that 10 years bar??
    Thank you so much

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      I would need to review your boyfriend’s case in detail in order to confirm whether he is subject to the 10 year bar. But, if he was out of status and not in a period of authorized stay for more than one year, he likely would face the 10 year bar.

      Assuming that he is subject to the 10 year bar, there are only two ways for him to be eligible for a visa: wait for the 10 years to pass or receive a waiver. Getting married, even to a United States citizen, will not overcome the 10 year bar.

      In order to receive a waiver to the 10 year bar, your boyfriend will need to show that if he is not granted a waiver that he has a United States citizen or permanent resident parent or spouse who would experience extreme hardship. I would need to review his situation and the situation of his qualifying relative in detail in order to provide an opinion on the strength of his waiver case. Keep in mind that waiver cases can be difficult to win. It is not enough to show that the applicant is a good person or that family members will be heartbroken if the waiver is not granted. Instead, you need to show that the hardship experienced will be extreme compared to the hardship that all families experience when there is a forced separation.

      Kimberley

  23. Hi Kimberly,
    I have recently filed my i601 waiver but I forgot to attach the g1145 email notification of acceptance with the waiver. I did however send my application through registered mail, this being said I know that they have received my waiver application. On average how long does it usually take to receive the i797c? Also is the i797c, the letter that says your waiver has been granted or is it to let the applicant know that the waiver was received?
    Thank you! Any help is greatly appreciated.
    H

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      The first notice that you receive should be the receipt notice. This notice only confirms that your package was received and is not a decision on your case.

      I have received receipt notices in the mail in as little as 7 days, and others have taken up to 6 weeks to receive. Most receipt notices are received in the mail between 2-3 weeks after mailing the package.

      Kimberley

  24. Stephanie says:

    First of all I would just like to thank you for taking your time to answer our questions. I am thinking about preparing my waiver, but I wanted to know if I should include color dividers. I am hesitant as I think that maybe they scan the I-601a waivers right? Could this be a problem?

  25. Dear Kimberley,

    I am currently living in Guatemala with my husband and we filed for paperwork through the embassy. All of our paperwork was in order, but we had to file an I-601 waiver because he was brought to the States illegally by his parents. I tried to file an I-912 waiver for the filing fee and was just denied. Since the Dept. of Homeland Security sent our application back with a letter saying we needed to provide payment, does that mean they already checked our petition and all the other information was correct? I am just worried about the status of our application.

    Sincerely,

    Kerry

    • Kimberley Schaefer says:

      Kerry,

      Without the filing fee, they don’t review the application at all. The request for payment does not indicate that the rest of the application is correct or that they will approve the waiver.

      Kimberley

  26. I was wondering how does the consular processing works after an I-601A has been approved, and if I need to send any other documents to the NVC before they schedule the appointment in Cd. Juarez, Mexico. My understanding is that once the I-601A is approved the USCIS will inform the NCV about the approval and then the NVC will schedule the interview in Juarez, but I’m not sure if there are other documents we need to send between that time; the consular processing fees have already been paid in full, and a receipt was submitted to NVC. Could please explain the whole process and requirements? Thank you

  27. Jose Reyes says:

    Hi, I got married 7 year ago and we have a child 10 months old, so can I apply for the new waiver i-601A if I have one d.u.i. Done in 2002 which is the only mistake that I have, so can apply if my wife can proof hardship??

  28. Hello,
    Are most cases updated with a denial/approval within 4-6 months?
    If approved what other factors excluding medical history would take place to make someone’s case get denied?

  29. celia bordini says:

    Por favor, não sei se vc pode me ajudar. Meu filho hs dois anos atrás estava como turista na Carolina do Norte e foi pego pelo bafômetro e ele estava dirigindo. Foi levado para a cadeia 01 noite e pagou a fianca.
    Veio embora pro Brasil e não voltou para a corte, pq la mesmo falaram que não ia adiantar e que se pagou a fianca estava tudo certo. Depois disto ele já voltou 2 vezes a passeio nos EUA e nunca houve problemas ou perguntas. Mas agora ao tentar renovar o visto, ele foi negado. O que ele pode fazer? Existe perdao para isto? Por quanto tempo esta infracao vai ficar registrado ?? Ele nunca mais vai conseguir renovar o visto?? Advogado pode ajudar ?? Obrigada, se arrependeminto matasse …. Ele ganhou um curso de 20 dias nos EUA agora em dezembro.

  30. First I want to say thank you for the information. My husband is from Ecuador and has been here 11 years. Our lawyer already filed our i106a waiver and we are waiting (it was just submitted 2 weeks ago) my question is if approved how long can we stay in his home country. I was hoping to stay for a month but I am not sure if they say we have to be back on a specific date. Thanks!

  31. I AM WONDERING IF THEY REALLY READ ALL THE MEDICAL RECORDS PAGE BY PAGE BECAUSE I HAVE FIBROMYALGIA AND VARIOUS OTHER DISEASES AND SO I HAVE ABOUT 200 PAGES OF MEDICAL RECORDS ALL WITH INFORMATION SHOULD I INCLUDE ALL OF THEM?

  32. Dear Kimberly,
    Today we received a request for initial/additional evidence for our I 601A. They highlighted the items that they needed to determine extreme hardship. We initially sent in everything that they are now requesting. Is there a way to request to see what USCIS received to have made the determination thAt they need additional evidence. Should we resend all of information or should we rewrite our letter of hardship? I am not sure what to do since all the items that they are requesting are the items we sent in with the initial i601A application.
    Please advise and thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  33. Nancee Arevalo says:

    Ms. Schaefer,

    I’m a U.S. Citizen, I’m applying for my husband. I’m at the point where the NVC has requested a second sponsor for my 864 application, as I do not qualify on my own. Bottom-line, it’s very difficult to obtain an additional sponsor. ‘What if’, I’m unable to find an additional sponsor, and I’ve exhausted all my resources trying to obtain one. What can I do? Is there an exception to this ‘rule’? Please advise. And, thank-you Ms. Schaefer for answering all of our questions, your advise if very helpful and your website very informative.

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