I-601 & I-601A Waiver

A person inadmissible in the United States may apply for an application for waiver based on qualifying extreme hardship. As of March 4, 2013, the provisional waiver I-601A was created to expedite the 601 Waiver process for those found inadmissible due to unlawful presence and are immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen. At Law Offices of J Thomas Smith, we have a history of successfully obtaining all types of waivers, and will help you compile all of the necessary forms and supporting documents. Our attorneys will assess your circumstances and assist you in meeting the requirements. Consultations are free and we look forward to speaking with you.


At Law Offices of J Thomas Smith, we represent you from beginning to end, until you have your Green Card in your hand. It is our goal to complete your winning waiver application package within two to three weeks. We limit the number of cases each month so that we can be available to you, pay attention to the smallest details, and provide you with a strategy session at the very beginning so you can feel comfortable as we work together on your case.

In addition to preparing a winning I-601 Waiver application package, we will provide you with:

  • Strategy session up to 2-hours with Attorney Smith;
  • A winning attorney filing consisting of hundreds of pages;
  • If needed we can facilitate Court, Expungement and FBI document retrieval support;
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request;
  • Referral for professional support with CPA, Family Counselors, Physicians and Pastors.

In summation, we are with you from beginning to end. You can rest assured that your case is safe with us until it is complete.


Legal Fee $10,000 (Average)

Free Consultation

*Legal Fees vary based on complexity of each case, and the above quoted price represents the amount we charge for a typical case. Your fee may be lower or higher.

Additional Information

I-601 Waiver

The I-601 is the traditional waiver filed to permit a foreign national who has been denied admission to the United States to gain admission as a lawful permanent resident under certain circumstances. The following is a list of grounds causing inadmissibility that can be waived through the I-601:

  1. The 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence;
  2. Certain criminal grounds;
  3. Immigration fraud or misrepresentation (except on a false claim to be a U.S. citizen);
  4. Health-related grounds.

This is not an all-inclusive list. Please see the USCIS website for more information.

I-601A Waiver

The new I-601A waiver became effective on March 4, 2013. Certain immigrant visa applicants who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens may qualify to apply.  With a 601a waiver, an individual may have their unlawful presence waived and be allowed to remain in the United States during the application process; before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad. This process promises to reduce the time U.S. citizens are away from their immediate foreign national relatives, as they go through the steps necessary to obtain an immigrant visa and become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

On August 29, 2016, the I-601a waiver was extended to include immediate relatives of lawful permanent residents in addition to U.S. citizens.

In order to qualify for the I-601a waiver, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. Currently be physically present in the United States.
  2. Be at least 17 years of age.
  3. Be an immediate family member to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, either a Spouse or Parent.
  4. Have no criminal record. Do advise us if you have concerns.
  5. Have no history of deportation or being stopped at the border.

Extreme Hardship

The purpose of a waiver application is to demonstrate that the immediate relative of a foreign national  or U.S. Citizen or permanent resident will suffer “extreme hardship” due to either the removal of the immediate relative, or the forced relocation of the relatives to the applicant’s native country. The law does not define “extreme hardship”. Decisions are made on a case by case basis. The key term in the provision is “extreme”, and therefore, there must be an actual or prospective injury to the U.S. Citizen relative in order for the waiver to be approved. Several factors, cumulatively, constitute extreme hardship, such as:

  1. Health, in regards to:
    1. Ongoing or specialized treatment requirements for a physical or mental condition;
    2. Availability and quality of such treatment in your country and the anticipated duration of the treatment;
    3. Chronic or acute nature of condition, long or short-term nature of condition;
  2. Financial considerations, related to:
    1. Future employability;
    2. Loss due to sale of home or business, or termination of a professional practice;
    3. Diminished standard of living and inability to recoup short-term losses;
    4. Cost of special needs, such as special education or training for children;
    5. Cost of caring for family members, such as elderly and infirm parents;
  3. Education, in regards to:
    1. Loss of opportunity for higher education;
    2. Lower quality or limited scope of education options;
    3. Disruption of current program;
    4. Requirement to be educated in a foreign language or culture with ensuing loss of time in grade level;
    5. Non-availability of special requirements, such as training programs or internships in specific fields;
  4. Personal considerations, in regards to:
    1. Close relatives in the U.S. and/or your country;
    2. Separation from spouse and/or children and the ages of involved parties;
    3. Length of time in the community and ties in the U.S.;
  5. Special factors, regarding:
    1. Cultural, ethnic obstacles , linguistic, and religious;
    2. Valid fears of persecution, physical harm, or injury;
    3. Social ostracism or stigma, and access to social institutions or structures.


In order to provide you with the best and most accurate consultation, we recommend that you bring as many of the following information/documents as you can to ensure a productive meeting.

  1. Evidence of commitment to community via letters, awards, memberships, social media presence, etc.
  2. School and/or work records and resume
  3. Medical history
  4. Financial information and documents
  5. Evidence of property ownership
  6. Evidence of relationship with petitioner via cards, letters, emails, visits, etc.
  7. Lots of Pictures
  8. Evidence of child(ren)’s commitment to community via letters, awards, memberships, social media presence, etc.

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