I601A Unlawful Presence Waiver – Overview Infographic

I601A Unlawful Presence Waiver - Overview Infographic


The I601A unlawful presence waiver overview infographic provides a quick introduction to the new I-601A provisional waiver for unlawful presence. The infographic is a good starting point, but you should make sure that you carefully review all of the requirements for this type of waiver before you apply.

About Kimberley Schaefer

Kimberley Schaefer is an immigration lawyer with offices in Boise, ID and Rexburg, Idaho. She helps future Americans become citizens by assisting them with immigrant visas, fiance visas, adjustment of status and green card applications, applying for immigration waivers, fighting deportation and applying for asylum. To contact her, you can call (208) 918-0852 or send Kimberley an email now.


  1. Nitin Mishra says

    Hello Madam,
    I was in Removal Proceeding and I have taken Voluntary Departure(VD) so I have to leave by March 30th,2013.
    I have a US citizen daughter 3 years old. So how will this new waiver affect me?
    Waiting for your reply

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      One of the first steps in applying for any waiver is to identify whether you have a “qualifying relative.” For an I-601A waiver, you’ll need to have a US citizen spouse or parent. US citizen children are not considered to be qualifying relatives for I601A waivers. With this in mind, you first need to determine if you have a qualifying relative. If you do, your next step would be to confirm that you meet the other requirements and to identify a way to reopen you immigration court proceeding. However, the first step is to identify whether you have a qualifying relative.

  2. hi
    my mother us citizen she apply i130 in 2007 and its approve . but current file runing for visa 2006 jan.
    so im qualify but do i have wait till my visa number come .

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      For the I601A waiver process, the first step is to submit an I130. When it is approved and a visa number becomes available, the National Visa Center will contact your lawyer or you to let you know that you can pay the immigrant visa fees. You won’t be able to submit your I601A waiver package until after the immigrant visa fees are paid.

      However, you can start working on your waiver package now. Most people find that the process of preparing a waiver package takes a considerable amount of time. Even immigration lawyers who are familiar with the law related to waivers will typically spend 30-40 hours of attorney time preparing a waiver package for a client. And that 30-40 hours doesn’t include the administrative time of collecting documents, translating documents, copying documents, preparing the package for mailing, etc. With this in mind, you may want to start thinking about your waiver package now and begin the process of collecting supporting documents. If you start the package now, you should have plenty of time to work on it and have it ready to file as soon as you can file it.

  3. hey i am currently having h1b visa and it’s till dec 2013. & i have a real sister in florida and she us citizen and i am going to apply for immigrants file for brother & sister. so is there any thing coming new laws or something that can help in new ways….

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      President Obama promised during the election that he would move forward with comprehensive immigration reform within the first year of his second term. At this point, we simply don’t know what will be included in comprehensive immigration reform or if President Obama will make good on his campaign promise. At this point, all that we can do is wait to see what happens.

      As a US citizen, your sister may want to contact her Senators and Representative to let them know that she would like any immigration reform to include options for speeding up the immigration process for brothers and sisters of US citizens.

      In addition, if you are here on an H1B visa, you may want to also consider other immigration options that may be available to you such as employment based immigration options or the green card lottery/diversity visa program.

  4. Hi,
    Im a us citizen and filed the I130 for my husband and its approved now currently just paid the $88 no waiting on the $230 but my question is my husband has never filed taxes for the lack of a social will that affect us in any way on gettin his papers??

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      The short answer is that tax returns are reviewed at different steps of the immigration process, and the information on the tax returns can impact whether a visa will be approved.

      As an initial matter, don’t forget that it is possible for a person who does not have papers to obtain an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or ITIN so that they can file tax returns. If you have any concern about how his not having paid taxes on his income could affect your immigration application, you should work with an immigration lawyer to see if paying back taxes would resolve the issue.

      On a related note, have you filed income taxes since you married? What status did you list on your tax return? If you were married but did not file your taxes in a category that shows you are married, this could create a problem with your immigration petition. This is because if you did not indicate that you were married when you filed taxes, the consular officer at your husband’s interview may believe that you are not married. If this situation may be an issue for you, you should consult with an immigration lawyer as quickly as possible.

  5. My husband came here in the US in July 2012. Immigration gave him 6 months to stay here but in the meantime, I submitted I-130 and it was approved in January 2013. He was approved to stay here until Jan. 13, 2013. I am so confused. Was he supposed to go back to him home? Or is he suppose to stay here while his form for Permanent Residency is processed? If he was suppose to go back home, how can it do it without getting arrested at the airport? I had a stroke and he takes care of me.

    • Kimberley Schaefer says


      I recommend that you schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer as soon as possible so that you can identify whether your husband may be eligible for the adjustment of status process. If he is, this may be a better option for you as it allows a person to complete the green card process while in the United States. If adjustment of status is not a good option for you, you should learn more about the immigrant visa process instead.

      From your comment it sounds like you may be mixing the two different ways to get a green card. While similar in some ways, they are very different processes and require that different steps be taken. In addition, not everyone is eligible for adjustment of status so it is important to verify if your husband is eligible as soon as possible.


  6. Hello my husban cross the border ilegal and he will go to immigration next week he have a chance to apply for a waiver and get out of jail immigration we be married for 4 years

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      Immigration court cases are very complex. If your husband has a hearing next week, you need to set up an in person consultation with an immigration lawyer as quickly as possible to discuss what options may be available for your husband. The decision of the immigration judge will depend on the specific facts of his case. An immigration lawyer will only be able to give you an assessment of his case after discussing his situation in detail with you.

  7. Hi my husband has been here since 2000 we put his i30 in 2007 when we decided to get married it was approved although he was not able to adjust his status we received a letter from his lawyer stating he qualifies for the waiver I’m hearing different things from others tho is it true if you were caught crossing over fingerprinted he automatically disqualifys pls help my lawyer didn’t tell me that and I payed lots of money already can you answer for me I would greatly appreciate sincerely Corina

    • Kimberley Schaefer says


      I would need to review your husband’s case in detail in order to answer your question. Whether he is eligible for an I601A will depend on what actually happened at the border and whether he meets all of the other requirements for an I601A waiver. Some people who were caught crossing the border and were fingerprinted may still be eligible for an I601A waiver. Others are not eligible. But without reviewing your husbands records in detail, it is impossible for me or any other immigration lawyer to give you an answer to this question or to evaluate whether he meets all of the other requirements.


  8. I just sent my i601a for my husband. I am a citizen, my question is how long do I have to wait before I send in the affidavit of support and the visa application to the NVC. the fee’s are already paid but Ive been hearing from some people that I should wait and from others that I should go ahead and send it. can you please let me know what I should do or what is recommended. thanks

    • Kimberley Schaefer says

      There are different approaches to when you should submit the affidavit of support and visa application to the NVC. Some people prefer to collect all of the information and then wait to submit it until the I601A waiver is approved. Others prefer to send it all in as quickly as possible.

      The National Visa Center is generally fairly good about processing the affidavit of support and visa application materials quickly, so there shouldn’t be much of a difference in the timing of your immigrant visa interview no matter which option you follow.

      Even if you don’t submit the documents until the waiver is approved, you should consider collecting as many of the documents as possible now so that you are ready to submit them later on.

  9. Raquel Hernández says

    My hustand entrances July 2001-nov 2002…w no immigration problems. Came back on Dec. 2005 and has been here since then. Got married with me on 2009, two children together, i130 approved but paused. Can he qualify for the a601? Or should we wait for a CIR? Thank you

    • Kimberley Schaefer says


      There are many facts that need to be explored in order to determine whether a person qualifies for an I601A waiver or what other immigration options may be better for a person. You should consider scheduling a consultation appointment with an immigration lawyer to review all of the details of your case and to make sure that you choose the best course of action for your family.


  10. Natalie Molina says

    Hello I have a question. I am a US citizen and have filed an I-130 petition for my husband. It is currently pending. He was arrested as a minor (17 years old) for lewd acts with a minor. He was tried in juvenile court and complied with everything that was asked. He is not 27 years old and has no arrests. Would he qualify for a I-601A?

  11. Hi Kim
    I’m a LPR, Planning to apply for citizenship very soon, and have an unmarried 22yo daughter with aproved DACA. My question is Should I File an I-130 and wait until a visa becomes available for her? When could We apply for I-601a considering the long wait for visas under F1 category. Thanks

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