Big News on I601 “Extreme Hardship” Waiver or Pardon: Some Are Moving Stateside

On January 12, 2012, the US Department of Homeland Security announced a proposed changed in a regulation governing the process for I601 “extreme hardship” waivers or “pardons” as they are referred to sometimes. This proposed change is HUGE and positive, given the byzantine nature of how it currently works today.

First, an I601 Waiver is a procedure to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility that prevent persons from entering the United States. It is based on a qualifying relationship and requires a showing of “extreme hardship” to the qualifying relative.

The procedure is currently the following: If the foreign national is standing in the US, the waiver will be adjudicated in the US by the local office or court where the foreign national is living. If the foreign national is abroad, the waiver is adjudicated by a USCIS office for the designated region. For instance, in a waiver for a foreign national in Venezuela goes to Panama. A waiver for a foreign national in Morocco is adjudicated in Rome.

There are multiple problems with these abroad USCIS offices: the regulations never provided a clear definition of “extreme hardship” and so the standards have varied wildly from location to location; and second, the time it takes from transferring a case from the Embassy to the USCIS office abroad and back and the adjudication backlog itself – it can take in most instances 6 to over 12 months to get the individual approved and back into the US.

The rule proposes to eliminate adjudication of these waivers at these abroad offices for immediate relatives, who are processing abroad and instead have these waivers adjudicated IN the United States. It has also been clarified by USCIS that the proposed rule, due in Spring 2012, will only be applicable for violations involving three and ten-year unlawful presence bars and not apply to those with criminal bars or other admission problems. It will also only be available to spouses and children of US citizens.

This proposed change in the location of the waiver adjudication will particularly have a positive impact on those processing their immigrant visas in Ciudad Mexico due to the huge backlogs and random violence occurring in that country. But, it is positive step for all those who will qualify and reflects the Obama administration’s effort to keep families reunited who are attempting to obtain legal residence.


Anthony Venegas

Hi my name is Anthony Venegas I live in west covina Ca. Im wondering is there any consideration with this change. for like my self who turned in a waiver for my wife on march 28th 2012. and she has been in mexico since her first interview on january 10,2012?


The new rule as proposed will only apply to those still present in the US. This is not a final rule yet so things may change – but if the rule stayed the same, she would not be eligible because she is no longer residing in the US.

Amy Loja

I too am following these new rule changes. The USCIS website only details that there haven’t been any changes yet. Do you have any information as to when this rule change will be finalized? I see your post says Spring of 2012, but are there any updates that it’s coming soon–or later?


Hi Amy
The proposed change to make a provisional waiver in the US is now not likely until November, according to a USCIS source I met with personally but there is no official notice of when it is expected.


Hi,my name is maria and mu husband filed for his visa when he was here he went to his appt in march and we still haven’t received any info on the pardon appt. Can you give me a little info on how that works. I just want to know how long i should expect him to be gone. i am a US citizen and we have two kids and we where told that he would receive his pardon and be able to come dback home soon.


I assume you are asking about Ciudad Juarez. Every embassy has a different wait time. It is taking about 3-5 months for an initial decision. If it is referred or you obtain a Request for Evidence – it is then taking about 10 months. You can call us with further questions about the waiver process.


Hi i came to united states with a student visa and was pit of status back in 2004 and stayed here. I got married back in 2010. My wife has a green card. On july 22 , 2010 we had a son and sad thing is that my son has to go thru open heart surgery and rt now till todays date he does not feed by mouth and has a g- tube attached in hos stomach and now i am wondering if i file a waiver due to extreme hardship that will occcur in my family if i leave the country in my own, will uscis grant me a waiver still living with my wife and kid coz i am the Only one working, my wife does not work ….. If i leave the country it will be a problem for my kid and wife… So whats the chance of getting waiver still here…. I hope i don have to leave them alone here for suffering…. Is it a good reason to get waiver. My son is jus 10 months now and my wife stays home looking after the baby…..


Hi Tim,
You will have a strong waiver case but because your wife is a permanent resident you will have to wait in a line to get your visa/waiver processed. Any chance your wife can naturalize soon? You will NOT be eligible for the provisional waiver in the US unless they change the current proposal to include spouses of residents – right now only allowing spouses and children of US citizens to process a provisional waiver in the US.


My name is Lily. I was student in UK and received MBA master degree in UK, then I met ex fiance from New York, he is US citizen, finally I moved to US by Fiance visa, but we didn’t work out, he didn’t want to marry me, and my student visa is going to expire, so I over stayed in US about 6 years now, I got married with another US citizen Louis in Jan 2012. We all thought after married US citizen, I could get green card. But I realized now the law has been changed, I won’t be able to get green card and also if I leave US, I will face 10 years bar, it’s just killing me and my new family. Me and my husband are so frastrated, don’t know how to do. They said we can try 601 waiver, I’m not sure if we are qualified. What happend if I still got refused, do I have to leave US right away? Please help me. Thanks! 917 536-2549


These are good questions Lily – what happens if you are denied the provisional waiver? All we know now is that there is no appeal allowed under the proposed reg – that could change in the final regulation. Because you were deportable before you filed the waiver, the question is whether USCIS will put you in deportation proceedings after a denial. We may not have an answer in the final regulation but a good question to ask. It is a waste of govt resources to do so, assuming that you will proceed with the immigrant visa abroad. The question is if people will actually leave the US to continue the visa process knowing the provisional waiver did not pass muster.


I was wondering. how the i601 works they told my husband that he migth have to leave the us for 1-10 years I am a us citezen and have four kids do you think he might quality. if the law comes to.effect


Hi Rebecca – he might qualify. I cannot know for sure without having a more indepth conversation with you but you are a US citizen and he has not left the US yet – correct? You might benefit from speaking to me or another immigration attorney in Denver about the situation.


Hi,I came to US last 2001,with tourist visa with assumed name.I have two US citizen sons ages 7 and 9.My 9-yo son was diagnosed with Autism.Can my son file for me for waiver of extreme hardship?I dont want leave US while filing is that possible.I’m the one working to support them.


In general, you need to show extreme hardship to a qualifying relative and those relatives only include spouses and parents of a US citizen or legal permanent resident. For the new I601A Provisional Waiver, the proposal only lists spouses or parents of US citizens (not permanent residents). Children are not considered a qualifying relative but of course, if your children impact the stress/burden on your qualifying relative, then we can argue in that way.


i was visiting america in 2005. i was convicted of e`felony fr a computer fraud. i was sentenced to 4 months of imprisonment in 2005. their was no overstay, thy let me go after the sentencing. now my wife is a us citizen,but i live in bangladesh. after completing the spousal sponsor in ma interview they told me i need a waiver because of that incident and i ve to submit the i-601 form and the hardship document to homeland department. ma question is whats the address of the homeland where i can submit the proper forms and how long would it take to process? thanks in advance


Hello Ms. Brown
Your blog gave me a huge settlement as to when it is likely that SOMETHING will begin to develop. You mentioned november, at first comments were made about early spring. I am personally stuck in the situation where i am at the last step as far as submitting for my appointment in Juarez i have prolonged this because of the posibility of the waiver changes. My question is would it make sense to wait until november to see if possibly something occurs( keeping in mind that is 5 months from now) or just submitting for the appointment and carrying through with the process as of today June 7th 2012? I thank you for your valuable time. Cesar


Hello Ms. Brown,
My name is Aracelis,and I am a US citizen fixing papers for my husband. We have already received an approved I-130 for my husband in March 2012. We did not continue with Form I-864 because we are waiting for I-601 to take effect. However, I was notified last week that my husband would not currently qualify for the waiver because he has already started his immigration process. And for him to qualify, we would have to get his already approved I-130 to be thrown out, Then, restart the whole process after we get the waiver. I just want to know if this is correct. I find it hard to believe because we have been married for 6 years now,and he is the only income provider of the family because I stay at home with our 2 kids. Thank you in advance for your time and knowledge.


i came in to (EWI) U.S in November 1998 i was 16 years old, by September 1999 i was 17 years old, i filed for TPS and i was granted on January 2000( STILL 17 YEARS OLD) 10 years later. In September 2010 i filed I-131 and I-94 to have an advance parole for Humanity i left to my home-country for a week when i came back Immigration officer left me come in but put a stamp in my passport, it said ” paroled until sep 25,2011″ . that date was sep 26,2010 the date i reentry to US…it means I’m 10 years bar and i need a waiver for change status???? Please aswer me,give me a real answer.
1; i was a minor under 18 when i entry US (EWI) and i filed TPS before a year.
2. I reentry to US with advance parole the paroled me for 364 days ( not a year ) and i had my TPS. Please advice me 😉


Hi, I am 23 years old came to the US when i was 10 been studying and currently married a US citizen In february of this year which we been together 7 years now…My question is i came to a Lawyer and he said i should start with the I 130 and then we would apply For the waiver but how is that if the waiver is not In effect and i know i also qualify For the dreamer law about getting a work permit that way but he suggested we do the i 130 then waiver is that safe to do? Or should i wait the 60 days to get my work permot first thru the new dream act regulation?…..


These are good questions and unfortunately I cannot give you legal advice on this forum. If you’d like to consult with me or any other Colorado immigration attorney about your options for deferred action and permanent residence, please give a call at 303-322-2117


Hi,my name is Lupe,iam a us citizin Iam the petition for my husband. My question is if my husband is still being processed in ciudad juarez and the pilot becomes accepted.Would he be elegible.


There are two things happening to waivers. One is that ALL waivers for applicants who applied at a US embassy are eligible as of June 4, 2012 to file the I601 Waivers in the United States via a Lockbox procedure. The waiver will be forwarded to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center for adjudication. The second thing happening is that those applicants who are GOING abroad to process their immigrant visas will be eligible to file a provisional waiver BEFORE they go abroad – this rule is not yet in effect. So no, your spouse will not be eligible for a provisional waiver because they are NOT in the US; but they are currently eligible to file a waiver in the US rather than in Juarez, which will most likely be faster. You should consult with a Denver immigration attorney Catherine Brown to get advice on whether to proceed.


Hi , i am the petitioner for my husband … But we are not in USA as I’ve to live with my husband … Just want to know that is it possible that I send my I-601 completed forms to my sister in USA and she posts my forms along with fee to the local lockbox ???? Is that ok ??? Kindly reply me ASAP. Thank you ..


i have my green card since Feb 2011, my wife has left USA and was pregnant at the time as her asylum appeal was denied.

she now lives in Egypt with my 4yrs child, and don’t know what to do to enable her to come back legally, as the political situation in Egypt is quite hard on Christians(like us) to live in the country.

please advise of what procedures i should follow and how long it normally takes


hi name is Alex and I’m a us citizen.back in 2004 my girlfriend decided to take a chance of crossing the Mexico border to live with me.after trying to get a visa in Brazil 3 times and received a “no”for an answer she came to the US.she was only 17 when she tried crossing the border.She was captured by the police were she was instructed by the coyotes to give a fake name at immigration.the ice let her go on the condition of going to court 30 days after.She never went to court and lived here for 5 years with me .we went back to Brazil and we live there now.we are not proud of this situation at all and i want to send a form for pardon .do u think is possible?thanks for the consideration.


Alex- your situation is complex and nothing will happen for your girlfriend if she does not have a qualifying relative to sponsor her – a US citizen spouse, parent or child or sibling or a legal permanent resident spouse. I recommend talking to an immigration attorney in detail about your girlfriend’s situation. Feel free to call to set up a consultation with Catherine Brown regarding eligibility and waiver options.


Hi! My husband and I are currently in the immigration process. We are getting ready to submit the Affidavit of Support. Should we wait until the new I-601 regulation goes in effect so that we can apply in the US before going to the interview in CD Juarez?


Gladys – this is a question that requires my legal advice which I cannot give in this format. If you’d like to call me to set up a consultation to go over this likely option, then please call us at 303-322-2117. Thanks.


Hi, My wife and her daughter are in El Salvador for their immigrant visa interview at the US Embassy, July 20. My wife has lived illegally in the US for 4 years and went back for the interview. We have been married for 18 months. I will attend the interview with her. What can we expect? Do we need to file the I601 waiver only if she is denied? Will she probably be denied? Also, I heard that it is likely that her daughter would be approved immediately. If the daughter came back with me and I had to take care of her by myself, would this constitute extreme hardship? What is the best way for us to handle this? Any info you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Your wife likely accrued 365 days of unlawful presence since she was living in the US for 4 years but I do not know for sure. They will tell you in the denial notice whether she has triggered the penalty for 1 year of unlawful presence – the 10 year bar of re-entry. THEN you are eligible to file the I601 waiver.

Yes taking care of your stepdaughter can count as extreme hardship.

You can call us for an immigration consultation on how to proceed with the I601 waiver if in fact, that is what is required for her re-entry.

robert b

hi im curently in mexico waiting on a response i already submited my pardon waiver and they told me the wait time is 30 days for a respons what happens if i get approved for the visa pardon do i get to enter the us soon after? i had all my appt in ciudad juarez


Yes if approved then she will be asked to surrender his passport to stamp the immigrant visa in it. If the waiver is approved more than 6 months after the first visa interview, she will likely have to re-interview and undergo another medical exam (and pay fees for that exam), but eventually will get approved. Once immigrant visa stamped in passport, enter the US legally.

robert b

im concerned because at the appt they told me after i gave them my pardon waiver that it will take 30 days or less for a response but i read some forums online where they say it takes 6 to 8 weeks for a reply. should i trust what the person who interviewed me said about the 30 day wait? this coming saturday is the 30th day and i havent got an answer yet


Where did you submit the waiver? Juarez? If so, did you request the US Lockbox or the USCIS office in Juarez? 30 days versus 6-8 weeks is really not a huge difference in immigration law as it is not an exact science when they give you a processing time estimate.

luz agah-lomas

Came across your site and would appreciate a response if possible. My spouse and I married in 2006. I am a citizen, he is a Mexican National. He paid an attorney that did nothing except take his money and documents. We went to another attorney and paid him some $ not all. My spouse was told that he would have to leave the US as he entered illegally in 1999 or 2000 do not recall right now. Anyway, I have since been diagnosed with diabetes, lost my job in 2010. We are getting back on our feet however debt and my health are an issue of concern. Should we wait to go back to an attorney to attempt a waiver. Thank you,


Luz – I am sorry to hear about your former attorney. Please know that you can file a complaint against your attorney in the state he has a license through the attorney regulation agency for that state and also hopefully, get reimbursed your attorney fees.

I cannot tell you whether to get an attorney or not. I can tell you that the waiver is the most difficult part of the residence process and has the least amount of information available to the public on how to be successful. Thus I personally believe attorneys (good attorneys) do a great service in preparing and filing waiver applications.

Luis Rivera

Hi my name is Luis, my wife is currently in Mexico, we have already submit all documentation for the waiver on June 26, 2012, I need to know how long is taking to process these waivers in Juarez, when should expect to hear something from them? Thank you in advance for your help.


Approximately 3-4 months for an initial decision. If it is referred – could be another 6-8 months.


I am a US citizen with an unmarried son over 21 born in Spain. He was admitted to the US on a VWP and overstayed, waiting for his passport application which came denied, all his relatives are US citizens, even his only brother, my youngest. Can anyone “clarify” me if this waiver applies for unmarried sons of USC over 21 with an I-130 approval waiting on an available visa # from NVC? The Law is so unclear, I can’t find an honest attorney who isn’t all about getting my money. Please anyone knows if he is eligible? Thank you in advance.


If the I130 Petition is based on USC parent-over 21 child relationship then yes a waiver is applicable and he must show extreme hardship to YOU that he cannot return for 10 years. Feel free to call me about waiver questions – I am sorry you did not have honest attorneys in the past.


Hi, My husband had his Visa interview July 9th, 2012 in CDJ and was denied based on illegal presence over a year. He was given the waiver information. How long do I have to submit the waiver? It does not specify on the info sheet and it is a very difficult and large packet to prepare. Can I apply for an expedite since I need a major surgery soon? (An expedite was approve for my I-130 due to medical needs) Also, any idea on what I can do or who to contact as several original documents were not returned to us at the visa interview? Some are very difficult to replace. Thanks in advance.


Hi, my name is hugo and want to know if is necessary to file a i601 waiver for a job that I applied 12 years ago with a fake social sec number. I provided to the company the good SSN and green card copy in 2009 when I became US Permanent Resident. Now I want to apply to be US Citizen, but I don’t know if they will come up with this issue during the interview. I have not told t immigration about this job. Thank you


Hugo – an I601 is only necessary if filing for permanent residence – not US citizenship. Good luck with your interview and thanks for contacting the law office of catherine brown today!


My name is Scott and in 2008 my wife was deported back to Brazil after we had been legally married in the USA. Unfortunately, we had not yet filed for the marriage visa. Since then, I have been residing in Brazil with her, and we now have a son that is 17 months old. Can we apply for the i601 waiver? If so, how and where do I turn for this help. The last thing we heard from the immigration authorities was that she would have to wait 10 years to come back to the USA,and becuase of the recent economic problems, we lost our business in Brazil and I am now away from my family, back in the USA to work and support them because what I make teaching English there is not enough to support us anymore. Can you help us with some information please? Thanks in advance for your attention to my query.

Pamela Plunkett

Hi, I filed for my husband he was approved on February 6, 2012. His interview was July 23, 2012 in the Jamaica. H once lived here in the US 1985 to 1999 and his father had become a US citizen before he turned 16 but he was deported. He has been out of the US since 1999. We kept in touch and married in August 2010. He was told during his interview he had to file the I-601 before they can go any further. They kept all his permanent documents. So what does this mean. It states his case is pending. How long would it take before we hear something. I filed the for I-212 and I-601 July 24, 2012, the day after the interview and overnighted the package. They received it yesterday.


My husband Martin has his first interview on 11-16-2011 we needed more info it was submitted in december 2011 we had a second interview only to turn in i-601 waiver then they needed more info on my diabetes and doctor issue a letter 07-16-2012 and submitted to uscis again just waiting to hear if its been approved how long will that take. all together my husband has been in durango, mexico for 8 months.


i do not know where the I601 was filed. If in Juarez – could be 12 to 15 months from initial filing. If in the US, likely 3-4 months.




i am a us citizen and i applied for my husband in 2002 we were approved for the I130 but we have not heard anything new as our lawyer say we hav to wait as for the ay he enterd the usa illeagly…will the i601 help us? we have 3 boys he is an assistant coach to our boys sports and i have IBD inflammatroy bowel disease my medcines are really expensive would that help us? or is there another way we can get him a green card?


Veronica – I am not able to give you legal advice on this forum. If you’d like to contact Colorado immigration lawyer Catherine Brown please do so at 303-322-2117 to discuss your case in detail.


My husband turned in his Perdon then we got the evidence letter. I turned it in 3 weeks ago Nd last week called USCIS. They stated that it was already sent to immigration. They said it could take from 6to 8 months. Have u seen any be less? Also how can you get it expadited? Can I call someone? I have post partum depression.


It is very important you explain where the waiver was filed. In Juarez or did you send it to the USCIS Lockbox address in Arizona? You can expedite it but it requires proof and much harder to do in Juarez than if filed in US (going to Nebraska Service Center). Let me know where filed and can help further.

Pamela Plunkett

Hi I filed for my husband and on February 6, 2012, was approved. His interview was July 23, 2012, at the Consulate Office in Kingston, Jamaica. He was told he need to file I-601 and I-212. He had moved here in the US 1985 with his father who became a US citizen when he was about 16 and then he was deported in 1999. We kept in touch for all these years and now are married. How long does it usually take for processing. I filed the form on July 24, 2012, they received it July 25, 2012.


Pamela – I am assuming it was filed at the Lockbox. In that case, the Nebraska Service Center will hopefully soon be posting public processing times for I601s but it has not happened yet. go to for processing times.

Based on my work and other lawyers, it is taking about 2-3 months for Nebraska to adjudicate.


My name is veronica I am a us citizen and I filed for my husband I130 and now he has an appointment Sept,4 in cuidad Juarez we currently have 2 children and he has bin in the states illegally for 7 years. If all goes well and he qualifies for the waiver pardon how long should I expect him in mexico ?


Veronica – if you stick with the old process – the waiver can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 months. The old process still has a fast and slow track – if he has any criminal or fraud issues he will definitely be put in the slow track. Slow track takes 10-12 months.

If you go with NEW stateside filing process, word of mouth says happening in about 3 months.

ONLY Mexican nationals have a choice between the old system and the new stateside filing system. If you want advice on which way to go- you will have to set up an appointment as I cannot give legal advice on this forum.

Dragan Paunovic

Hi, I am Dragan Paunovic from Serbia, I went to America in 2000 where I applied for asylum in the meantime I got married and get twins in 2004, December 2007, I was refused asylum in 2008 at the urging of lawyers leaving America to be my resolve the case quickly as I leave country on my own, my wife and my children were in short visits of several months, after which she again became pregnant and gave birth in October of 2010, unfortunately I could be there with them, it was last came here to visit January 2011 when the youngest daughter was 3 months to be able to se her,and stay three weeks, and since then I have not seen my family. my wife is an American as children to.she is all these years as I passed through piles of stress, and vent to regular visits to a psychiatrist, and last week suffered a heart attack, fortunately it is well and recovering, it was found that the consequences of stress and she is only 34 years old, I tried to get in touch with my current (third) lawyer who does not give me any answers, apparently waiting for her to send him the papers of psychiatrists and hospitals, whether these unfortunately accident allows me a quick return to America and to united with my familie or who can I contact for help, thanks a lot


Dear Dragan – I would be happy to assist you. Your road sounds like it has been very difficult. If you have a deportation on your record then you need to do an I212 waiver in addition to a likely unlawful presence waiver for being unlawful in the US for over a year and that waiver is the I601. Did you actually have any of those waivers filed? You are welcome to contact me – we may need to set up a consultation to discuss your situation in detail. 303-322-2117.

Nansi Estala

Hi, I have a question I file I-130 for my husband and we received the acceptance letter already. We were waiting for 1-601 approval but we decide to continue with the process. We know my husband has to go to Ciudad Juarez and stay in Mexico until his waiver get approve. Do you know if I leave with him will affect his process like take longer.


I will not affect the duration of the process where the US citizen is standing. IT may have a positive or negative effect on the waiver though, depending on how life will be harder or not for you if you migrate to Mexico. MOst of the time it is an advantage to a waiver but you need to prove the hardship.


Hello again thank you for the reply and information. What is the differnce with the choice between the old system and the new stateside filing system?


Hi. my name is leslie. I’m married with a citizen but I came here illegally 3 years ago, we have one year baby and we never apply for paperwork, now we heard about the new law I-601 Can you please tell me what can I do? Thanks.


Leslie – you may need to call me as your question is a bit vague – please review the blog on what is happening and feel free to contact us with specific questions and/or to set up a consultation. Thanks

ira hasa

Hello, I came to USA 10 years ago,and then i married to my husband, my husband is US citizen. I came with somebody’s else passport but my picture on it. I do not have the passport anymore, but I have copy of it.I have two kids, meanwhile I finished masters in USA during this 10 year period. My husband has some medical issues with his liver.What are my chances of geting approved.Should I file everything at the same time,like I-130, I-485 and I-601, or file fist I-130 and then I-485 and I-601?


You should seek attorney consulting about your chances. You can contact Catherine Brown Colorado I601 waiver attorney at 303-322-2117 to set up a consult. I cannot give that kind of legal advice on this forum. No you would not file the I601 at the same time.


Dear Sir,
thank you in advance for your time given to the answer of my question and questions of others who are in peculiar situations.

I would like to file for Adjustment of Status for my husband. I am a US citizen, he is presently in the US without a status. He entered USA in 1999 with visitor B1 visa, he has 2 retail thefts in his FBI file. 1st was in 2001 the 2nd was in 2002(Both under $50, he was found guilty for both). Would this waiver be able to help him? Or could he be deported at the time of interview? I was advised by a friend that the safest way would be to wait 15 years from the first offence, since after 15 years from the crime, he becomes admissible again.
What is your opinion ?


I cannot give legal advice about whether or when to file adjustment of status unless I am hired as an attorney or am in a consultation setting with you. I would contact an attorney for legal advice as thefts are serious and may or may not make him permanently ineligible.


Hello again my husband just went to his first interview in cuidad juarez and he qualifies to file for the I-601 waiver. He has no criminal record. I am a US citizen and my husband was able to get an appointment this same month for the waiver. my question is… He chose to file in cuidad juarez. We here so many people say differnt things, is the old process realy take longer? or is it about the same timeline as the new process? I’m alittle worried that we might not have understood the new process that he just went with the old now it will take longer.




Hello,I was brought to the US when I was 6 yrs old, I marriend my husband sep.2011 but we have been together for the past 7 yrs. we do not have any kids but we both did continued our education. He is a born US citizen. I had my visa interview and I was approved to file the I-601 for sep. 19 2012.
It had been a little over a month since the waiver appointment, how much longer till I hear back with a response if the waiver was apporved or referred?
Thank you for your time.


on november 1 2012 my son-in-law had his first interview at cd juarez consulado but given 10 yrs bar to not come to usa can he files a i-601 waiver in usa if he was given the 10 bar?


If they ticked the box for 10 year bar then yes he can do the waiver and if successful can return to the US thereafter.


Does this new rule apply to the individuals who live currently in USA?I lived 5 years illigaly in US and am now in Bulgaria.My husband is filing I-130 petition for me from USA and I know I need I-601 because of the overstaying in US.Can my case be handled in USA or not because I do not reside there now


Karina – the change in filing location was effective in June 2012 and is only for those who have processed a visa abroad. If a person is in the US and eligible to adjust status in the US, then they can file a waiver in the US.

Yours would be filed with the Lockbox in the US and processed by the Nebraska Service Center.


My situation is as follows: My relative has deported in 1987 and he is in the US illegally he does not work, or has a drivers license he has not committed any crime or traffic violation since being here. What little work he does is just manual labor and people pay cash for he work. His wife is a US citizen and so are his children one is already adult, but the others are still children and his wife works 2 jobs to try to provide as best as they can, because she is the main support. He has been in this same situation for almost 25 yrs and I was wondering if ask for a pardon would he have to go to Ciudad Juarez for appointment or could he do it here in the states? If he does ask for pardon and it is granted will his penalty of either 5,10,15,20 yrs will be considered as done as his case goes back 25 yrs now. Please help he has missed so much in the lives of his children and family members passing away, and he is truly scared of going to Ciudad Juarez as it is so dangerous in Mexico right now. Thanks!


My name is jose a born U.S citizen & I’ve been married to my wife for nearly 6years now, we married in 2006 2months after she turned 18 the only problem is she was brought to the u.s.a as a newborn, illegally.. She studied in the u.s.a. From k-12.. She never broke the law but in the beginning of 2008 she decided to return to her born country mx voluntarily to start the process of fixing her immigration status! I moved to a bordertown to be closer to both her & our 2 children who I petitioned for & are now u.s citizens!. I was wondering if this waiver would be our best choice to start the process,???

Evens Loiseau

hi this is evens i just want to know if this can apply to me as well simply i been deported from the US and the judge told me after 5 years i should be able to reantry its been over 5 years now what may i do to get back let me give you my social securite number XXXXXXXXX


Hi Evens
You can apply again if your 5 years are done. You should contact me or another attorney about how proceed. FYI – never post your Social Security number on a public forum due to fraud issues!


Hello im a US Citizen. I filed form I-130 for my husband in January 2012. He was approved and had his visa interview in Cd. Juarez on Nov 15, they told him to file a waiver. He had his waivers appt.weeks later on Nov. 29 and turned in the waiver. During that time , they told him to wait 30 days.


My name is Vida. I’d like to thank you in advance for answering my question. I am a US citizen who filed the I130 form for my husband back in 2010 they approved that. Before I continue I’d like to mention that we have one daughter (US born) together. Later he was granted a voluntary departure for March 2011 after staying in a Krome detention center. He had his first interview at the Honduras consulate in July 12 2011 for his visa. At that time he did not qualify for the visa but he did qualify to file the I601. This past Oct 2012 I submitted the waiver to the Nebraska Service Center and they accepted it. As of right now he is on the initial review step. My biggest concern right now is that my husband had 2 domestic violence charges. Would he still be eligible for a visa?


Vida – I cannot give you legal advice in this forum but I recommend talking to me or another immigration attorney about DV offenses – they can qualify as crimes of moral turpitude depending on what he pled guilty to which can make him ineligible for a visa unless he qualifies for waiver.

andrea Feketová

My husband of 7 years was granted a relieve from removal from judge. My daughter was diagnosed w seizures and judge granted him green card.
He just received his green card for 10 years.
I his wife live in USA for 18 years but my visa has already expired long time ago. My husband was told by emigration office that i have to fill application I -130.I just want to make sure I am filling a right application. How long would it take to receive my permanent residence? Thank you for your help.


Spouses of legal residents are currently processing in about 3- 3.5 years. If your husband naturalizes then the wait is much less – about 4-6 months. How you process depends on how you entered the United States – with or without a visa.


How long does a pardon takes to come back.Can my husband still stay in Us .is he going to be able to come back.why does he have to he already has his case# i requestef him


You need to tell me more about where you filed, when and what kind of case your husband initially filed – an adjustment of status application in the US or a immigrant visa abroad. Then can answer your question better.


Hi my sister filed an I130 and got approved 2 years ago. I went for the interview in Bridgetown, Barbados 3 1/2 weeks ago and I was denied for staying unlawfully in the US for over 365 days. I was awaiting a case trial to prove my innocence. Someone maliciously called ICE and told them that I was working illegally there. Since I am innocent of the allegations, the case was dismissed by the Immigration Judge in October 2009. What are my chances of filing a Waiver 601 for hardship, bearing in mind, my son is now 16 years old and he is an American citizen. He now had to migrate with me, since I would not have been able to visit him as I wanted to. He used to live with my sister. I am barred for 10 years. My lawyers asked me to wait in the US for my trial. The case was dismissed andI voluntarily departed. I now live in St.Lucia with my son… Your advise please.


Juliana – thanks for posting. I cannot give you legal advice on the strength of your case in this forum. If you would like to set up a consultation with me to go over your facts in detail, I would be happy to do so. Please contact me at 303-322-2117.


I moved to the U.S. at age 15 and attended school there. I have no criminal records at all.. At age 24 I got married to my husband & moved back to my country because we were told that it would be easier to obtain my green card from here, when we got here we found out that I can not return until the 10 year bar is lifted. We were wondering what our chances are & if there were any other way to get back sooner..


You can apply for a waiver of the 10 year bar and if successful then yes, you can return then. The waiver is based on extreme hardship to your spouse that you are in this situation.


This law has beem in office for a while now.My question is when is this law suppose to be approved?


Kathryn – the Provisional Waiver was approved on 1/2/2013! It becomes effective March 4, 2013. You posted your answer though to the article pertaining to I601 Waivers moving stateside. If you are inquiring about the Provisional Waiver see my blog from 1/2/2013.


Hi I.have a question.i came to the u.s illegally when i was 7years old.i got married at 18 my husband filed the i130 for me on December of 2009. We decided not to.keep going with the process because I didn’t want to for the June of 2011 immigration got me at a checkpoint but when I went to court the immigration court the judge told me my case was dismissed without prejudice. So my question is do I qualify for the new immigration law the i601? We don’t have kids does that affect anything?


Hi Lizeth
You may qualify if you are no longer in deportation proceedings and no prior deportations or criminal issues. I cannot give you an assessment without really talking to you in more depth. Please contact our office for a consultation.

Maria Zarate

Hi my name is Maria, my question is if the waivers going into affect are also for those that were denied back in 06 or is it just for recent applicants, I applied from here in the US. and he is in Mexico he went to his appointments in Juarez and was denied his pardon there as well we were told in the letters we received that I would be able to reapply in 2016, because his pardon was denied.


Maria – It does not apply for people standing outside the US. Your husband is eligible to re-apply for an I601 waiver if that is his only issue. If he triggered a permanent bar then you can do nothing for 10 years after his exit and then apply for a different waiver called an I-212 waiver.

Caroll Cedeño

hi, good morning, I went with tourist visa to USA to visit my family who is all us citizen, i overstay my visa because i miss my family so much, my mom is us citizen and apply for me I-130 in sept. 2005, my 3 daughters where born there, i came back to my home country which is Ecuador in June 2010, and soon i have an appoinment in the us embassy, i am worry if the embassy deny my residency because my overstay, i am the only one out, all my family is us citizen, my stepfather, my 2 brothers, my mom, and my babies, please i need help¡¡¡¡ thanks so much


If you overstayed by more than 1 year you will be barred for 10 years. You can do a waiver of the bar and if successful will get in after that.


hi am nick my parents are us citizeen, i came here in the us as b1b2 visa and overstayed for 5years can i qualify for the waiver? can my parents petition me base on the new rule that will take effect on march 2013? am 46yo, thinking to get married but waiting for any changes in the rule. thank you so muc


Are you under 21 and unmarried? If so you are considered a ‘child’ of a uS citizen and can qualify for the provisional waiver


Hello Miss Catherine,

On Sept 2000 my wife and I flew to miami running from violence against us in our country, 6 months later we filed for asylum. While waiting for the hearring we had worked authorization and paid taxes for over 2 years. Then at the initial hearring they denied it. We waited for another date to appeal but we decided to get back to our homecountry wich was safer then. But before leaving, we filed for voluntary departure, they cancelled our tourist visa. 4 years (2007) after this I went to the US embassy applyng for a tourist visa again. They denied it saying i broke the law by not requesting an extention while i waited for asylum. The officer didnt say anything about a ban but i can only guess i had to wait 10 years after leaving the US to apply again. Right? , On june 2013 I’ll complete this 10 year period. My questions are : do i have to wait until june to make the appointment or can i do it now. Is there any special form or document that I need to bring to the appointment. Do you have any suggestion on what to say, bring or do at the appointment.
Thank you very very much for your time. Good day.


Dear Jaime – you need to set up a consultation with me or another attorney to get legal advice on your complex situation. I cannot give legal advice on this forum


Hello My question is my husband is currently in mexico we have gone through the process and we got a refferal in 11/21/2012 I had to mail my waiver letter to El paso TX with that additional evidence. my question is how long does it take for the respons? my husband passport expires in Feb.2013 will this effect the process ? can he renew and who does he have to notify when renewed? Thank you for your time.


Hello, i have a question. My husband had his first interview january 8, 2013 and i submitted the waiver friday of the following week. I expedited my case because i have seizures that started in 08, a susoended drivers license due to my health issue, and a 24 month old daughter who cannot take care of me when i have seizures. I havent heard anything from immigration so i’m guessing the case was not accepted as expedite. How long will i have to wait to receive a notice and a decision made on our case and are my reasons any good in having immigration make a decision as soon as possible???


Hi Guadalupe – your reasons sound compelling but unfortunately you will not know if they expedite your case or not. There is no way to get feedback on that but for a quick decision. Normal processing times are about 3 months. You can try to request an expedite again through the National Customer Service line listed on the receipt.

Kitty Davila

My husband entered the country undocumented in 2005, we recently married. He was arrested while entering the Country but was release on his own recognizance to return for a scheduled appointment at USCIS but at the advice of his attorney he did not appear for the scheduled appointment. I am a US Citizen, I would like to petition for him as well as for the provisional waiver. What would happen to him since he has been ordered removed by a US Immigration Judge?


He is not eligible for a Provisional waiver if he has a prior deportation. He is always eligible for the regular waiver process once he steps outside the US and goes to his interview. After denied the visa he will need to file the I601 waiver and the I212 waiver to waive the prior deportation.


my husband was deported after a felony conviction. i am a us citizen hes indian. we are currently living in india. my son from previous relation is not allowed to leave the us and judge ordered him to live.with my mother he has developmenatal delays adhd add and oppisital defience disorder he requires special ed. we have adaughter born in india whos entitled to us citizenship. his mom had to move here to help him since knew nothing of india he.left at 5. can the i130 i 212 or i 601 be.used to get him back into the us.


Hi Stephanie – yours is a complicated case best discussed with an immigration attorney in detail. I can’t answer the question without much more information and I cannot give legal advice in this venue.

sonia trivino

Hi my son over 21 come to us with tourist visa, ason as i have my usciticenship paper i aplie I130 for him (he overstay after visa expired) the I130 was aproved, but he could not ajust status, because our lawyer told us he will be bar for ten years, is taht posible to do something with this new waiver


Sonia – only immediate relatives are eligible for the provisional waiver – minor children, spouses, parents of US citizens. Your son is over 21 and no longer a minor or “child” under the law. You can do the regular waiver procedure though.


Hello, my question is I just married my husband on 5/12/2012 and want to apply for the -130. He entered the US w/o inspection in 1997-1999. He was fingerprinted and sent back, but never had to sign anything. He isn’t sure about actual dates. He then went back in 2004 for a 15 day period and came back w/o inspection, not getting caught. My question is, can he become legal. No criminal record. One daughter-7 yrs. old. Can he also ask for an I-601 waiver? Thank you.


Hi Brenda – even if he wasn’t expeditedly removed in 1997-99 which is very likely, he left and re-entered illegally after being her unlawfully for 1 year and therefore triggered a “permanent bar.” That bar means must spend 10 years outside the US before can apply for a permission to re-enter/waiver.


Im am a us citizen, my husband and i have been married for 3 yrs and we have one child. Our i130 has been approved and the next step was to go to Ciudad Juarez we decided to wait for this i601. My husband does have a deportation on his record. My question is do u think he has a good chance his pardon will be approved. We have the proof to show we have a hardship marriage. Thanks for ur help..


He will not be eligible for the provisional waiver due to the prior deport but can do the regular waiver process once he exits for the visa interview, gets denied at interview for a prior deport and 10 year unlawful presence bar. Then he will need to file an I601 waiver for 10 year bar and I212 waiver for prior removal.


Hi there,
I am a naturalized us citizen(from the uk)through my father, we have all been here for 27 years we overstayed. My parents are divorced and i want to get my mum legal through me, however i presume she will have a 10 year ban if i file a petition for her. We did an FBI check on her even though nothing came through (it’s almost like she is a ghost) I could file for the provisional waiver but the only case i can come up with for extreme hardship is that i am going through infertility treatments with my husband and i need her support. Is that a weak case do you think? We support her (she’s 65) She’s healthy and active, no issues. Thanks!


Hi Nikki – its always best to meet with an attorney about the hardship issued because lots of small or what you might consider insignificant hardships can compound to make a qualifying hardship.


Hi we went to pay our lawyer the hardship waiver on 601A and she is going to pay it tomorrow. How long do we need to wait to receive the letter about gettig the waiver approve? He came here with his visa and it expired in 2005 and we have been married in 7 yrs. Do you think there is a chance he may have to go bk to mexico for his interview? If so how long will he be home from his appt?


I think you should talk to your lawyer about these questions.


Hi. My husband is currently in Mexico. We filed for an I-601 back in December 2012. I got a receipt from USCIS stating they received I-601 on December 26, 2012. How long will it take to approve my waiver? My husband and I have 2 boys and I am currently 27 weeks pregnant. It has been hard in me taking care of the 2 boys by myself while being pregnant. I cannot imagine my husband not being by my side when I give birth. My oldest boy has severe allergies and has to get allergy shots every teo weeks. Juggling his health issue, my pregnancy and my job has been very challenging. Do you think he will be back before I give birth?

Tearza Chavez

My husband got the 10 year ban in May of 2012 and I want to know if we can file the I601 waiver now ..


He can file now but where he files depends on where he is standing. If outside the US, he files an I601 in the US through the Locbox which eventually goes to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center.


Hey we have done out last step and she sent the package off about a month ago. If my husband dont have any criminals on him, he should be ok and I can’t do all the things all alone cuz I have disability. So he should be able to stay here in GA to his interview, don’t you think? Thanks


Hello, thanks in advance for your time and for answering the previous questions. I’m a US citizen and filed for my dad (my parents are divorced). He overstayed his visa in the US and is now in his home country. When he went to the interview he got denied at the embassy and had a penalty of 10 years. The embassy told him he has a year to apply for a “waiver”. Would you recommend me to seek a lawyer? Can he actually qualify for the waiver? Thanks once again


Hi Alex
Yes I recommend talking to an immigration lawyer if dad truly wants to come back to the US legally. I am not sure of all the facts in this complicated case so I can’t say if he is eligible or not.

frank Smith

I was deported of a felon and I was a permanent resident, I was deported almost 10 years ago, can I use the i=601 for to apply for reentry? can i ever return to america after deportation.


Frank – You have to be eligible to re-enter. Deportations are mostly a 10 year penalty; however, some criminal charges make you permanently ineligible to be admitted. So you should speak to an immigration lawyer about whether you are eligible to re-enter. If you are just shy of your deportation time, then you use an I-212 waiver; not an I601 waiver.

frank Smith

Thanks, I want to get this clear, I was a permanent resident, agg.felon, serve 4 and half years, deported since 2003, cn I ever come back to USA, my sister has a medical condition, can I ca=ome visit her even though I was deported for a agg. felon..plase help, my parents wants to file for i-130 for me, is that possible


Hello, I have a question. I am 19 years old. I lived about all my life in U.S I was taken over when i was little. I had my first appointment at Juarez they denied my residence due to staying in the country after the age of 18. And they suggested i would just try getting naturalized as my right of a US Citizen. I have no criminal record. we schedule an appointment but my sister and i did not qualify to be Naturalized because my dad didnt have enough evidence of living in the states 4-5 years before we were born. Now we have hired a lawyer, the Pardon has been sent, we have been waiting since the parton on May, and now it is August, will it take any longer? we have been in Mexico 8 months, it is really hard for us. We live on our own and it is extremely dangerous, not to mention my dad is disabled . We are so frustrated my sister and i. I need some advice please !


Hi Aileen – the processing time is about 4 months. If you need further assistance please call my office but if your application is pending you should wait to see what the result is.


Hi, I am a permanent residence, I have applied for a petition to my unmarried daughter, then she got married with two little daughters, I have received a letter to from NVC to pay the fees fro processing her visa, I have heard that she now as married is ineligible, is any way submit a letter for exemption? thanks in advance


My Brother US citizen and sister-in-law left to Juarez for her interview and got approved on 12-5-13 and still waiting for her package but now has to file the I601. Can she cross the Border to the US since she been approved? and come home to file the I601? Thank You..

Fernando Marquez

Hello, I filed (received by Chicago Lock box) October 2013, a I-601 waiver Grounds of Inadmissibility for Moral turpitude – under Extreme Hardship on US Citizen. I am in the US with work permit, Social Security, and I-130 approved but no Green Card (I-485 pending). it has been over 5 months of waiting and nothing. How long does it usually take for a case like mine to get answer? Thanks.


Hi Fernando
It is taking 4-6 months. Have you been checking your receipt number on the USCIS website?


hi I have been approved for i601a and have my apt in Ciudad Juarez this month,Do I need to take the i601a waiver with me to the interview?


Hello i have a question, my husband entered the united states in 1999 undocumented. In that same year his uncle was stopped in arizona and he was in the car too. Because they didnt have any documents they were taken to an immigration office where they were finger printed and they signed a vountary exit from the usa. He entered the united states again in 2000 undocumented. Now in 2015 we are married with 5 children. Can he apply for permenant residence?


Cont: i filed a petion 2 years ago with a lawyer. She asked to get his finger prints called foya before she entered his pardon. When the finger print report came back it showed that he had a vountary exit from the usa in 2000. Now she is telling us that he should not move foward with the case because when he gose to his enterview abroad he will be dined his residency and he will be deported for 10 years. I am confused. Is this true or should we proceed with our case?


Hi Nancy
It is very hard for me to help you without sitting down in more depth and talking about the details of his case. Usually a “voluntary return” or exit means no deportation happened in the past. Please call us to schedule a consultation 303-322-2117.


Hi Nancy
voluntary returns are different than a deportation. He might have a shot if we can understand his entire history! Please call us to schedule a consultation 303-322-2117.


Hello my name is Maria, I am a us citizen and married with 2 kids. We’re planning to process the petition I-130 for my husband. The thing though that in 2008 when he entered the United States, he got detained by the border patrol and got issued a voluntary return. Will this be automatically a 10 year ban? Or will the waiver also cover this?


Hi Maria
A voluntary return does not have the same meaning as “deportation” so he may not have triggered the permanent bar which is NOT covered by the waiver, but the 10 year ban for unlawful presence is always waivable. Please contact us if you want to schedule an appointment to get more information and for us to make sure he is eligible!

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