Waivers of Inadmissibility: I-601s
Certain issues render a person inadmissible to the United States and may prevent a person from receiving a visa to enter the United States. The grounds for inadmissibility vary. Below are just a few of the reasons why a person may be prevented from entering the United States:
Security-Related Grounds. Those who conduct terrorist activities or individuals that would pose a threat to the public or U.S. foreign policy will be found inadmissible to enter the US.
Entry or Visa Violations: Many immigration-related grounds may cause a person to be found inadmissible to the U.S. A few of the immigration-related grounds include:
- Undocumented entry, or entry without inspection (EWI).
- Unlawful presence: If an individual came into the United States with a valid visa and stayed for more than 180 days, he or she may not be admissible for three years. If an individual came into the United States and stayed up one year, he or she may not be admissible for 10 years
- Individuals who stay in the country longer than a visa allows. If an individual overstays a visa, he or she may be found inadmissible
- Used misrepresentation and/or lied to obtain a visa or other immigration benefits. If an individual lied to obtain a visa, he or she may be found to be inadmissible.
Criminal-Related Grounds. Criminal-related grounds usually pose the largest threat to admissibility. A few crimes that will render a person inadmissible include:
- Crimes involving moral turpitude or crimes involving deceit such as perjury or theft
- Drug violations unless convicted of a single offense of possession of thirty grams or less of marijuana
- Convictions of aggravated felonies such as armed robbery
However, if an individual is considered inadmissible, he or she may be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility. A person rendered inadmissible can file a Form I-601. These applications can be filed either in the United States or abroad at the consulate, depending on the individual’s specific circumstances. In order to file a successful I-601 waiver, an applicant must prove inadmissibility will pose an “extreme hardship” on a qualifying relative. However the type of qualifying relative depends on the reason an individual was found to be inadmissible. If a person was found inadmissible, your must convince the immigration office that refusal of your admission into the United States will cause a great hardship on a lawfully present (either citizen or has a green card) spouse or parent. If however, a person was found inadmissible because he or she was convicted of a crime, then it must be shown that a bar to admission into the country will cause an extreme hardship to a lawfully present spouse, parent or child.
Extreme hardship does not have an exact definition. Rather it is up to an immigration judge or USCIS officer’s discretion to decide whether or not refusal to admission will pose an extreme hardship on a qualifying relative. Examples of extreme hardship may include health and medical issues, educational opportunities, and the conditions of the country the individual may face if he or she is returned to that country and the qualifying relative is aware of these conditions. This means that if the person found to be inadmissible faces a threat of persecution and the family members are aware of this threat, this factor may weigh in favor of finding that inadmissibility will pose an extreme hardship.
As mentioned, there is not a clear defined definition of what will be found to cause an extreme hardship. These matters are decided on a case-by-case basis. Therefore if you have been declared inadmissible and have been denied a visa, it is best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney. There are a variety of different sources of evidence required in these cases and failing to provide the correct documentation often results in a denial. The laws regulating the I-601 waiver are complex and a variety of factors are taken into consideration.
Contact our office in Tampa or Clearwater at 813-279-6180 or 727.712.2299 to discuss your options.