Thursday, October 22, 2009

CIS issued revised I-601, waiver application

USCIS has revised the Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility "to make it easier for applicants to complete."
    The I-601 is used by visa applicants who are "inadmissible" to the US for any reason. The most common ground of inadmissibility is a prior overstay, rendering the visa applicant inadmissible for 3 or 10 years. To qualify for a waiver, the applicant must show that not returning to the US would cause extreme hardship to the US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent of the I-601 applicant. Family separation and financial inconvenience alone do not necessarily constitute extreme hardship. 
    As one consulate explains:
    Extreme hardship can be demonstrated in many aspects of your spouse or parent’s life such as: 

  • HEALTH - Ongoing or specialized treatment requirements for a physical or mental condition; availability and quality of such treatment in your country, anticipated duration of the treatment; whether a condition is chronic or acute, or long-or short-term.

  • FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS - Future employability; loss due to sale of home or business or termination of a professional practice; decline in standard of living; ability to recoup short-term losses; cost of extraordinary needs such as special education or training for children; cost of care for family members (i.e., elderly and infirm parents).

  • EDUCATION - Loss of opportunity for higher education; lower quality or limited scope of education options; disruption of current program; requirement to be educated in a foreign language or culture with ensuing loss of time for grade; availability of special requirements, such as training programs or internships in specific fields.

  • PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS - Close relatives in the United States and /or your country; separation from spouse/children; ages of involved parties; length of residence and community ties in the United States.

  • SPECIAL FACTORS - Cultural, language, religious, and ethnic obstacles; valid fears of persecution, physical harm, or injury; social ostracism or stigma; access to social institutions or structures

  • OTHER - Any other situation that you feel may help you meet the burden of extreme hardship. 

  • CIS press release on the new form here.


    1. I was deported 7 years ago for overstaying (only 1 time). I am married to an USC... My I 601 was denied back then and we are trying again. I understand the officer at the visa interview(DS-230), after asking a few questions, will inform me that I am not eligible for a visa because of unlawful presence, and determine whether I am eligible for the I-601 waiver.
      I have heard that the officer can determine whether I need the I 601 or not. Is that so? is it possible the officer will not ask me to send the I 601 and grant me the immigrant VISA "excusing me" the years that are left before the 10 year bar is over?

      According my limited understanding of the immigration law I am elegible because I entered with inspection with a valid passport and I stayed after my visa expired only one time. Also because I was elegible last time.

    2. Juan - please contact me directly at