The misrepresentation waiver application process involves six main steps:
Step 1: Confirm that an misrepresentation waiver is needed and available for your situation.
This step involves first making sure that a I-601 misrepresentation waiver is needed in your case. The terms “misrepresentation” and “fraud” have very specific legal meanings. Not every misstatement or misstep will be considered to be a misrepresentation or fraud. This means that you may not need a misrepresentation waiver even if you have made a mistake on a past immigration application.
If a waiver is needed in your case, you should then make sure that a waiver is available for your situation. Waivers cannot overcome everything. For example, there is no waiver available for falsely claiming to be a United States citizen. Always make sure that a misrepresentation waiver will work for your unique situation before you begin the application process.
Step 2: Prepare the I-601 form for your misrepresentation waiver application.
The misrepresentation waiver application form is a required part of every misrepresentation waiver package. Read the instructions before you begin the form to make sure that you complete it correctly and that you provide all of the information needed to win your case.
Step 3: Prepare the hardship waiver letter.
A very important part of the misrepresentation waiver package is the hardship letter. You should take your time with this part of the application process so that you don’t leave out important information because you rushed the writing process. Your hardship letter should help the immigration officer reviewing your package understand why your qualifying relative will experience extreme hardship if the waiver is not granted.
Step 4: Collect supporting documents.
Your hardship waiver letter will not be enough to win your waiver case if you don’t include supporting evidence. Your supporting evidence should document as many of the hardship factors that you discuss in your hardship letter as possible. Your immigration lawyer will be able to assist you with identifying what evidence should be included in your package.
Step 5: Finalize and submit the misrepresentation waiver package.
After collecting all the pieces of your misrepresentation waiver package, you’ll be ready to finalize the package and submit it to the government. This includes preparing a detailed table of contents, making sure that you have included all required supporting documents, ensuring that the I-601 form is signed correctly, and adding any needed page numbers to your documents to help keep your package organized.
All misrepresentation waiver packages involving overseas cases are now submitted to the “lockbox” which is a centralized filing location in the United States. You should confirm the correct address in the misrepresentation waiver instructions. If you have been asked to submit a waiver application as part of your adjustment of status application process, you should follow the instructions given to you during the adjustment of status process. If you are submitting a waiver application during immigration court proceedings, you’ll need to follow the instructions of the immigration judge and the immigration court practice manual.
Note: If you are working with a lawyer on your hardship waiver, your lawyer will also prepare a legal letter memo or a legal brief to include with the hardship waiver package. This document will describe how you meet the legal requirements for the hardship waiver and why it should be granted in your case. Preparing this type of document generally requires legal research and an understanding of how to present legal arguments in writing.
Step 6: Receive the decision on your I-601 misrepresentation waiver application.
Once your waiver application package has been submitted, you’ll need to wait to receive the decision on your waiver request. The waiting time is different for each case. Although I’ve received decisions in less than 2 months, you should not be surprised if it takes longer to receive a decision. USCIS has indicated that most cases will take at least 3 to 6 months to reach a decision, and depending on the issues in your case it could take significantly longer to receive a decision.
To receive the fastest possible, you should submit an application that is well organized, includes good supporting evidence and describes your hardship factors in a way that makes it easy for the person reviewing your package to understand the issues in your case. A poorly prepared or organized package will make it more difficult for the person reviewing your case to reach a final decision.