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I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility

An I 601 Waiver allows a foreign born person to apply for lawful permanent residence thru a US citizen spouse even though the foreigner arrived in the US without a visa or without inspection (EWI). CAUTION: In the event the waiver is denied the 10 year bar to reentry applies. The waiver is only granted upon proof of extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse.

By Executive Order in late 2012, President Obama directed USCIS to work with The State Department and various Consulates throughout the world to expedite the adjudication of the waiver prior to departing for their home country to seek readmission as a lawful permanent resident. Substantial proof of extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent is required, as well as proof of only one unlawful entry into the U.S. The applicant must be a person of good moral character with no criminal record. This is a strict requirement and renders one ineligible for the provisional waive with a DUI or Petty Theft conviction, for example, in which case one may still be eligible for the standard I 601 waiver, which we have processed since March of 2008 when wait times abroad were very short.

With the increased numbers of waiver applicants of the standard waiver, wait times increased from 1 week in March of 2008 to about 8 months at present. The President responded by directing the USICS Service Center here in the U.S. to adjudicate the waiver while the applicant waited in the U.S. to lessen the risk factor and shorten the time of waiting abroad for approval. And most important, the applicant gains provisional approval before departing the U.S. and incurring the 10 year bar of reentry. It is a provisional approval only so the applicant should retain experienced counsel to submit a legal brief and documentation of "extreme hardship" and to expedite one's return to the U.S.

To determine if you qualify for the Provisional or Standard Waiver and adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence (Green Card) you may call our attorneys:

(415) 513-4533

Contact us by email


Lawful Permanent Residence for Spouse of USC Who Arrived or Entered without Visa or Illegally

Our law firm has represented many families where one family member is an illegal alien. We have obtained their lawful permanent residence despite the fact that they cannot adjust status in the United States because of an illegal entry. To be eligible the person who entered without inspection (EWI) must meet the following criteria:


  1. Be a person of good moral character with only 1 illegal entry;
  2. Be married to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  3. Have a good record of employment in the United States;
  4. Be willing to travel to Juarez Mexico to the U.S Consulate and remain in Mexico pending the approval of a green card.

Our attorney has obtained lawful residence for his clients, who are allowed reentry upon approval in nearly 100 petitions in the last 18 months. His success rate is based upon very careful screening of those who may be eligible and careful preparation of the legal documents required for approval.

In addition, Mr. Carrico is with you every step of the way until you are granted permanent residence (Green Card) and are allowed reentry into the United States.

Admission to the United States after Illegal Entry

An applicant for permanent residence based upon extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Spouse may be granted a green card by returning to his or her home country and petitioning the U.S. Consulate for lawful entry.

We at SFIS have been successful in over 9 out of 10 of these I 601 Waiver Petitions. Our Clients have been able to return after a few week's wait in the Mexico and are now lawful permanent residents. However the percentage of approvals at the Consulates is well under 50 % generally. Wait times in the home country vary depending n the procedures of those U.S. consulates. For current wait times abroad please consult with our lawyer.

The consequences of denial are serious: a 10 year ban to reenter or a long delay of many months or several years if the extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse is not proven. Our approvals are obtained by being very conservative on which clients we accept to represent and care in drafting legal arguments by way of a brief in support of the facts of extreme hardship. In addition, Mr. Carrico is with you every step of the way until you are granted permanent residence (Green Card) and are allowed reentry into the United States. The following are examples of successful waiver petitions. The names have been changed to protect our client's privacy:

Case Study #1

Mr. Garcia married his employer's daughter where he worked on the family farm and was awarded his permanent residence. He was in Mexico for 4 weeks when he was granted admission to the U.S. as a permanent resident. In support of his I 601 waiver we filed a 6 page legal brief and 16 exhibits supporting the grounds of supreme hardship to his spouse were he not allowed to return to the U.S.

Case Study #2

We filed a 9 page legal brief and 20 exhibits relating to extreme hardship of Antonio's U.S. citizen spouse in support of his I 601 waiver of inadmissibility. Antonio received his permanent residency about 6 weeks after his initial interview in Juarez Mexico. The facts are as follows:

Antonio entered the U.S. in 1998 when he was in his early 20's. He made no subsequent reentries and is a person of good moral character. His wife who is 6 years older than Antonio has three children from a previous marriage and two children with Antonio. One of her children was a college student at the time of his waiver appointment. Two of her other children have significant medical issues that we related to his wife's hardship were he not allowed to return to the U.S. and be banned for 10 years.

In support of Antonio's good moral character we cited an award the couple one for doing community service in their home town.

Case Study #3

Jose in his early 40's was an illegal alien for 10 years when he applied for permanent residence by his U.S. citizen wife who had naturalized in 2005. She had been a lawful permanent resident for 23 years. She was born in El Salvador; he in Mexico. She was employed while he had recently been laid off. She had two children from a previous marriage. They each have children themselves so she was a grandmother of two She presented medical records for various health problems and had good medical coverage from her employer.

One element of hardship to her was the fact that she had never lived in her husband's home country of Mexico and would not therefore be likely to be employable there. We argued it would be hardship for her to be either separated from her husband for 10 years or chose to move with him and not be able to live in the same area as her children and grand children. She had just purchased a condominium and would have to leave it were her husband denied the waiver and not be able to help her with the mortgage.

We presented an 8 page legal brief with 14 exhibits in support of her hardship were he denied. Jose was in Mexico about 3 weeks before his waiver was approved and he returned to the United States with his green card.

Case Study #4

Linda, married to a U.S. army veteran with medical disabilities and veterans benefits were married in 2002 while they were in their late 20's. After his discharge from military service he was employed by another federal agency. They had met in Arizona where he had been stationed and where she had entered the U.S. without a visa at the age of 25 and was studying to be a nurse. Her husband is enrolled in college part time while he works.

We argued hardship related to his being denied an education as a veteran and his possible loss of veterans benefits were he to live in Mexico, as well as his inability to support his wife and raise a family in Mexico. We submitted an 8 page brief and records of his physical injuries in service to his country, proof of his ongoing medical treatment at the veterans hospital, current proof of employment and both of their school records showing they were both enrolled in college.

Linda attended her waiver interview 3 weeks after her initial interview at the U.S. consulate and was able to return to the United States the next day as a permanent resident.

Case Study #5

"Pablo" left the United States in late 2009, His wife, "Martha" was caring for the couple's two young sons while facing unpaid medical bills and trying to manage the health conditions afflicting her mother and herself. Her mother was helping support Martha by allowing her to cohabit and by watching her child when needed. Now that Pablo is back with his permanent residence Martha can resume her education.

Case Study #6

Mr. Sanchez had been diagnosed with depression that had been linked to his spouse's unlawful status. He was prescribed medication and psychotherapy for his depression.

His spouse unlawfully resided in and accrued unlawful presence in the United States from January 2005 till she voluntarily departed from the United States on December 2008. They had been separated for for almost 2 years, when we were retained to complete her waiver application. She is now a lawful permanent resident.

Case Study #7

"Ruby", age 27, and "Raphael" 28, met in Mexico in 2003 while he was on vacation. T hey began dating through a long distance relationship. The married in Mexico in 2004. Ruby had entered the U.S. without inspection in 2005. The couple has two sons born in Mexico. Both are U.S. citizens. Raphael has an excellent job where he has been employed since 2008. Raphael was experiencing chronic depression due to the long separation of his family. His two young boys were not doing well in the Mexican school system.

Now that Ruby has been awarded permanent residence the family has been reunited and the children are enrolled in elementary school here in the U.S.


For more information about I-601 Waivers and Immigrant Visas, contact our San Francisco immigration lawyer for a personal consultation.