If you are an immigrant living in the United States with no status and you are married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may be able to apply for a green card through a process called "adjustment of status." However, if you entered the U.S. illegally, you will need to file an I-601A waiver to overcome the unlawful presence bar.
The I-601A waiver, also known as the provisional unlawful presence waiver, allows certain individuals who are physically present in the U.S. to apply for a waiver of the three- or ten-year bar that they would otherwise face if they leave the U.S. to apply for a green card at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
I-601A waiver Checklist. You will need to follow these steps:
- Gather evidence: You will need to provide evidence to prove that your spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident would suffer extreme hardship if you are not granted the waiver.
- Complete the application: You will need to complete and submit the I-601A waiver application along with the required filing fee and supporting documents.
- Attend biometrics appointment: You will be required to attend a biometrics appointment to provide fingerprints, photographs, and a signature.
- Wait for a decision: USCIS will review your application and make a decision on whether to grant or deny the waiver. If the waiver is granted, you will be able to proceed with the adjustment of status process. If it is denied, you may be able to file an appeal or reapply.
It is important to note that the I-601A waiver process can be complex and time-consuming. It is highly recommended that you seek the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the process and help you prepare a strong case.