How to Prepare Form I-601 to Request a Waiver of Inadmissibility

Line-by-line instructions for filling out USCIS Form I-601, used to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility.

The I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, which is used to overcome various barriers to receiving a green card or visa, can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. This application can seem intimidating at first. It is six pages long, includes a duplicate administrative copy, and asks for a lot of information. Fortunately, most of the questions are straightforward in that they primarily ask for information about you and your family in the United States. 

When you complete the I-601 application, you need to type or print your answers in black ink. You are required to answer every question where a space is provided. If a question does not apply to your situation, you must answer with “N/A” or “None”. If you need to include an addendum to your application, make sure you sign and date each additional sheet of paper used for it.

How you submit the I-601 depends on what type of application for a visa or immigration benefit you are submitting. In some cases, where you know in advance that you will be found inadmissible, you may be able to submit it before the immigration authorities have requested it, in conjunction with your visa or other application. In other cases, you will need to follow instructions from whatever immigration-related agency or consulate told you that you were inadmissible and gave you the opportunity to apply for a waiver.

Completing Part A 

 Part A of the I-601 application asks for information about you. Questions one through nine ask for your basic biographic information. Questions 10 and 11 ask about the date and location of your visa application. These two questions refer to applicants outside the United States who applied for an immigrant visa at the consulate and were denied because of their ground(s) of inadmissibility.

Part A includes a second question 10, which asks for you to check all the reasons for inadmissibility that apply to you. This question is broken up into three parts:

  • Question 10a needs to be answered only if you are applying for an immigrant visa (except when based on T nonimmigrant status), a K nonimmigrant visa, or a V nonimmigrant visa.
  • Question 10b needs to be answered only if you are applying for adjustment of status based on T nonimmigrant status.
  • Question 10c needs to be answered only if you are applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

At the end of question 10, you are given the opportunity to describe the reasons why you are inadmissible in your own words. A text box is provided on page three for this purpose. Make sure you include every reason why you are inadmissible to the United States. If your waiver is approved, it will only be for the grounds of inadmissibility that you indicated on this form. If you neglect to identify all grounds of inadmissibility, your waiver may end up being useless.

Part A includes a second question 11 that asks for details about your prior stays in the United States. This includes the city and state you stayed in, the dates of your stay, and your immigration status. If you can’t remember the specific details of each stay, include an affidavit with your application that states you recorded this information to the best of your ability. 

Question 12 asks for your Social Security Number (if you have one) and question 13 asks whether you have already filed a Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status or Form I-821 Application for Temporary Protected Status. If you have already filed one of these applications, you must provide the receipt number, filing location, and date. This information will be on the receipt notice that was sent to you after your application was received by USCIS.

Completing Part B

Part B of the I-601 application asks for information about your qualifying U.S. relative. Waivers of inadmissibility are generally available only if you have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child in the United States who qualifies under the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.) for your particular ground(s) of inadmissibility.

Part B asks for basic biographic information about one qualifying relative. If you have more than one qualifying relative, you must check the box at the bottom of Part B indicating that you will include the same information for each additional relative on a separate sheet of paper.

If you are applying for a waiver as the fiance of a U.S. citizen, you will write “prospective spouse” as your answer to question five, which asks you to identify your relationship with the qualifying relative. If you are the child of a fiance of a U.S. citizen and you will be less than 18 years old at the time your parent marries, you will write “prospective stepchild” for question five. If you will be at least 18, but less than 21 years old, you will write “child” for question five.

Completing Parts C Through E

Part C of the I-601 asks for information about any other relatives you have in the United States who are not qualifying relatives. You will sign the I-601 application in Part D of the form. If you had an attorney or third party complete the application for you, that person will complete Part E of the form.

Applicants With Class A Tuberculosis

Page six of the I-601 application is completed only by applicants who have a Class A Tuberculosis Condition. This part of the form includes three statements that must be signed by you, your physician, and a local or state health officer who recognizes your physician for the purpose of providing care for tuberculosis. This page also asks for the address where you plan to reside while in the United States.

Agency Copy

The I-601 application includes an agency copy. This is a duplicate copy of the form that includes all the questions except for page six. You must complete and sign the agency copy.

Supporting Documentation

Your I-601 application must include documentation that supports your claim for a waiver. The instruction packet for Form I-601 provides an overview of the types of supporting documents that must be submitted for the waiver you are applying for.

Seeking Legal Assistance

It is always a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney when preparing an I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. An attorney can assist in collecting the best evidence to support your arguments. An attorney can also prepare a legal summary to support your case and to serve as a guide for the adjudicating officer.

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