In certain circumstances, individuals who have been found ineligible for an immigrant visa under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) may be eligible to apply for a waiver of the ineligibility. At the time of the immigrant visa interview, the consular officer will make a determination as to whether an applicant is eligible for a waiver. The officer will give the applicant instructions on how to apply for the waiver.
Ineligibility Concerning Prior Deportation
If you have been in the United States unlawfully and were deported, you are ineligible for an immigrant visa under section 212(a)(9)(A). However, if you have a qualifying family relationship, you may be able to apply for an I-212 permission to reapply for admission to the United States.
For more information on the I-212, click the following link:
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal
Ineligibility Concerning Unlawful Presence in the U.S.
If you have been in the United States unlawfully for more than 180 days after April 1, 1997, you are ineligible to receive an immigrant visa under section 212(A)(9)(B)(i) or section 212(A)(9)(B)(i)(ii). However, if you have a qualifying family relationship, you may be able to apply for an I-601 waiver to overcome this ineligibility.
To file Form I-601:
1) You must be the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition classifying you as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen of legal permanent resident. An immediate relative is an individual who is the spouse, child (unmarried and under 21), or parent of a U.S. citizen.
2) You must have already paid the Department of State immigrant visa processing fee (IV Fee) for the case associated with the approved immigrant visa petition.
- I-601(PDF 79K) Note: Do not submit these forms unless you have been notified by the national visa center or the Embassy that your case is ready for processing and you have all your documents ready to submit.
- Instructions for the I-601 (PDF 79K)
The waiver application and supporting documentation are reviewed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Applicants are notified in writing of the waiver decision and given instructions on how to proceed. Waiver applications referred for further review normally take between twelve to fifteen months to process.
Certain immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens may use this form to request a provisional unlawful presence waiver under Immigration and Nationality Act Section 212 (a)(9)(B) and 8 CFR 212.7(e), before departing the United States to appear at a U.S. Embassy or consulate for an immigrant visa interview. For more information see the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver web page.
I-601A Provisional Waiver
If you have been in the United States unlawfully for more than 180 days, you are ineligible to receive an immigrant visa under section 212(A)(9)(B)(i) or section 212(A)(9)(B)(i)(ii). However, if you have a qualifying family relationship, you may be able to apply for a provisional I-601a waiver to overcome this ineligibility, if you have no other ineligibilities. This waiver may be completed prior to your interview.
DISCLAIMER: If you have been deported or have any other ineligibilities, then you DO NOT qualify for an I-601a. If a consular officer uncovers that you have any other ineligibilities, your provisional waiver will no longer be valid. In such cases, you will need to apply for an I-601 waiver.