I-601 Waiver Application Assistance

Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

Purpose of the Waiver

The I-601 Waiver for Grounds of Inadmissibility is intended for foreign nationals who are seeking to immigrate to the US but are deemed "inadmissible" by law to enter there. Inadmissible individuals may include those who have had a criminal history at some point, are physically or mentally unfit, or have been banned from re-entering the US for other offenses such as overstaying a visa. To lift this ban and earn another chance to enter the US, they can file for an I-601 Waiver.

To qualify, applicants must be at least 17 years of age at the time of filing, and have an immigrant visa case pending with the US Department of State.

Who Can File an I-601 Waiver?

Any applicant for an immigrant visa (CR, IR, etc.), adjustment of status, certain nonimmigrant statuses (K-1, K-3, etc.), or certain other immigration benefits. For Thai applicants, they must be currently in Thailand and have had a visa interview with a consular officer to be eligible to file for an I-601 Waiver, provided they are found inadmissible due to any of the following grounds:

Grounds of Inadmissibility
  • Communicable disease of public health significance
  • Physical/mental disorders and harmful behaviors
  • Controlled substance violation
  • Prostitution, human or sex trafficking
  • Spies and terrorists who are a threat to national security
  • Previously deported, found guilty of unlawful entry, committed fraud, or misrepresenting facts to enter the US
  • Likelihood of becoming a public charge
  • Polygamy
  • Child abduction
  • Smuggling
  • Money laundering
  • Student visa abuses
  • Distorting or misrepresenting information during US visa application process
  • Unlawful presence
  • Totalitarian party memberships

It is still possible for some applicants who have been denied admission to the United States to process an Application for Waiver based on qualifying extreme hardship. They may apply for an I-601 Waiver, granted that their Ground of Inadmissibility falls under those that may be waived. Siam Legal can assist ineligible applicants with submitting an I-601 Waiver.

Exceptions for Grounds of Inadmissibility

While there are several grounds for inadmissibility as outlined above, there are certain circumstances in which the USCIS may approve an I-601 waiver.

Health Concerns

Health-related cases, for example, may warrant careful scrutiny from the USCIS. For public safety, applicants may be denied entry into the US to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. An applicant may be deemed ineligible if they lack proof of the required vaccination. However, the USCIS can approve the waiver for the following reasons:

  1. A qualified medical officer certifies that the vaccination wouldn't be medically appropriate.
  2. The Secretary of the DHS determines that requiring the vaccination would go against the applicant's religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Affiliation with Totalitarian Regime

In cases where the visa applicant is a member of a totalitarian regime such as being affiliated with the Communist party, then they may be refused entry into the US. A waiver, however, can be granted if:

  1. The applicant is the spouse, parent, son, daughter, brother, or sister of a US citizen or a spouse, son, or daughter of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or the fiancé of a K visa petitioner.
  2. The alien isn't a threat to the security of the US.

Unlawful Presence

A foreign national is deemed inadmissible for three years if he or she has lived unlawfully in the US for an uninterrupted period of more than 180 days but less than one year, and then voluntarily departed before removal proceedings were initiated against them. Additionally, any applicant who may have intentionally lied about or misrepresented any significant fact when seeking a visa or admission into the US can potentially qualify for an I-601 Waiver under certain exceptions. For the two cases of having an unlawful presence and misrepresenting information on US Visa applications, a waiver may be granted for a foreign national who can establish at the visa interview:

  1. Refusal of the applicant’s admission to the US would result in extreme hardship to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent, or the K visa petitioner.
  2. In the immigration officer's opinion, the applicant's undesirability as a permanent resident is outweighed by social and humane considerations.

Please keep in mind, however, that all information declared in the I-601 Waiver must be truthful and accurate. Penalties, fines, and criminal prosecution will apply in some cases if applicants knowingly conceal or omit an important fact on their waiver.

Documents Check List

  • Proof of citizenship status of the qualifying US relative
  • Proof of relationship between the qualifying US relative and applicant such as cards, letters, emails, visits, photos, etc.
  • Proof of commitment to a community such as letters, awards, memberships, social media presence, etc.
  • School or work records such as school transcript or resume
  • Medical history
  • Financial information and documents
  • Evidence of property ownership
  • A statement detailing extreme hardship

Filing Fee

The filing fee for Form I-601 is $930 as of May 2023. It is non-refundable and can be paid by check or money order.

Note: Waiver approval cannot be guaranteed.

Siam Legal’s I-601 Waiver Application Services

To get the best chance at a favorable outcome for this complex and difficult process, it is recommended to apply with the assistance of a knowledgeable US immigration attorney. Siam Legal offers an all-inclusive service package for I-601 Waiver applications that includes:

  • Consultation
  • Preparation of I-601 Waiver Application
  • Collection of Data from Applicant
  • Supporting Document Advice
  • Collection of Data from Sponsor
  • Filing of Application
  • Access to an Immigration Lawyer
  • Embassy Forms Preparation
  • Contact with the US Embassy
  • Embassy Interview Preparation

Note: Government fees are not included in the package.

Ready to start a new chapter of your life in the USA?

Siam Legal’s US Visa Team

  • Over 20 years of experience helping people from all over the world travel to the United States
  • More than 10,000 successful US visa applications.
Call Us Today!

Speak with an expert US immigration lawyer, or submit the form below to begin the consultation process.

Ken Graham

Ken Graham
US Immigration Attorney
Partner, Siam Legal International

For English language assistance call:

Linda Pringpuangkeo

Linda Pringpuangkeo
Senior US Visa Consultant
Siam Legal International

For Thai language assistance call:

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