I-601 Waiver Available to Fiancees of U.S. Citizens

July 15, 2013 in Attorney Blog

If you are a U.S. citizen engaged to a foreign citizen who has been deemed ineligible for admission to the U.S. under INA 212(a) you need not give up hope of obtaining a visa for your fiancee. The State Department foreign affairs manual now prescribes that fiancees are eligible to file for an I-601 waiver. Specifically 9 FAM 41.81 N9.3(a) states:

“If it is determined that the K visa applicant is ineligible to receive a visa under INA 212(a), but that the ineligibility could be waived after (or as a result of the) marriage to the petitioner, the consular officer should instruct the applicant to file Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, with USCIS per USCIS instructions.”

To obtain an I-601 waiver the applicant would still have to show that their inadmissability to the U.S. would cause “extreme hardship” to their U.S. citizen fiancé. The major factors the USCIS considers are:

1. HEALTH – A physical or mental condition that you need continued treatment for.
2. FINANCIAL – Future employability and financial losses if the waiver of inadmissibility is not approved.
3. PERSONAL – Hardships that your close relatives will suffer if the waiver of inadmissibility is not approved.
4. EDUCATION – If you cannot continue with your education goals and the impact it would have on your earnings.
5. SPECIAL FACTORS – Cultural, language, religious, and ethnic issues.

The above list are only some of the hardships that can be aggregated to show “extreme hardship”. Proving extreme hardship is possible and an experienced immigration attorney can prepare a compelling case for submission to the USCIS.