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I-601 Waiver Interview: What to Expect and How to Prepare

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What is an I-601 Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility?

An I-601 application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility allows an individual to immigrate to the U.S. who may have otherwise been deemed inadmissible. The I-601 Waiver also may permit them to seek admission to the U.S. in a nonimmigrant status or adjust their status to permanent residence.

However, an I-601 waiver is notoriously challenging for non-U.S citizens to obtain due to the intense level of scrutiny and investigation on the part of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer.

One of the most complicated issues in the I-601 waiver is the time it takes to collect the necessary documentation to be considered for an interview. On average, the process can take at least 12 months or longer.

Because of the overly complex nature surrounding an I-601 waiver, it is in your best interests to hire a Chicago immigration attorney who can explain your legal rights, gather supporting documentation, and help you prepare for an interview.

Who is Eligible to File For an I-601 Waiver?

Only certain individuals can file for an I-601 waiver. These individuals include applicants for an immigrant, K, or V nonimmigrant visa who are outside the United States, have previously had an interview with a consular officer, and were found to be inadmissible.

Individuals may also apply for an adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence who wish to obtain relief from the grounds that include:

  • Health-related grounds of inadmissibility.
  • Specific criminal grounds of inadmissibility.
  • Immigration fraud and misrepresentation.
  • Immigrant membership in a totalitarian party.
  • Alien smuggler.
  • Being subject to civil penalty.
  • The 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence in the United States.

Others who may qualify include applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). women who are fleeing violence, special immigrant juveniles, and others.

How Long is an I-601 Waiver Valid?

Generally, if an I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility is approved, the waiver is valid for an indefinite period of time. The waiver will remain valid even if you do not obtain an immigrant admission, an immigrant visa, or an adjustment of status. Your waiver should not be affected even if you lose your legal permanent residency (LPR).

However, it is vital that you make a full disclosure on your I-601 application, as a waiver will only cover the events, crimes, and conditions that have been approved. Failure to make a full disclosure could lead to further immigration legal actions against you.

How Can I Prepare For the I-601 Waiver Interview?

Because of the complexities involved in obtaining an I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility, applicants should carefully prepare themselves beforehand. For this reason, it is best to hire a highly trained I-601 waiver lawyer in Chicago who can assist you with gathering legal documents and preparing for interview questions.

Documents That Must Be Submitted for an I-601 Waiver

Before you have an I-601 interview, there are specific legal documents that must be submitted, which include:

  • Medical reports
  • Police reports from any country you may have resided in.
  • Complete and accurate court records regarding any charge or conviction from any other country.
  • If applicable to your case, any evidence of rehabilitation.
  • Any evidence you feel is applicable to your situation that demonstrates that your admission would in no way endanger public safety, national welfare, or security of the United States.

What Happens During the I-601 Interview?

Understanding what to expect and how to prepare for an I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility interview can be overwhelming. Aside from gathering the necessary legal documentation, you will also have to meet with an immigration officer who will conduct the interview.

The immigration officer will review your supporting legal documentation, and you and your family members will be asked a series of questions. These questions are asked to gain a better understanding of the applicant and any medical conditions that should be taken into account.

After the interview, a comprehensive report will be completed, and a copy will be given to your immigration attorney.

An Experienced Immigration Lawyer Who Can Help You Better Prepared For the Next Steps

One of the best steps you can take to give yourself a better chance of being granted an I-601 waiver is to hire an experienced immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer will understand what type of legal documents need to be gathered and can help prepare you for the interview.

Contact SwagatUSA, LLC, at (312) 854-7065 and ask to schedule a consultation to discuss your case and learn how we can help you prepare for the next steps in your goal to achieve the American dream.

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