Navigating the complex world of immigration law can be daunting, especially when facing the possibility of deportation. One potential lifeline for individuals seeking relief from removal is the I-601 Waiver. In this detailed guide, we will break down everything you need to know about the I-601 Waiver, including its requirements, fees, approval rates, and more. As an experienced immigration and criminal defense attorney practicing in New York and New Jersey, I am here to provide you with reliable information to help you understand this critical aspect of immigration law.

Understanding the I-601 Waiver

Definition and Purpose

The I-601 Waiver, also known as the Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, is a crucial legal tool for individuals facing deportation or inadmissibility to the United States. This waiver allows certain foreign nationals to overcome specific grounds of inadmissibility and seek lawful immigration status or avoid deportation.

Requirements for the I-601 Waiver

To qualify for an I-601 Waiver, individuals must meet specific requirements, which may vary depending on their circumstances. It is essential to understand these requirements before proceeding with the application process. Here are some common prerequisites:

  1. Eligibility Criteria: Applicants must establish that their removal would cause extreme hardship to a qualifying U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative.
  2. Grounds of Inadmissibility: The waiver aims to address grounds of inadmissibility such as unlawful presence, fraud or misrepresentation, criminal convictions, and more.
  3. Good Moral Character: Demonstrating good moral character is often a crucial factor in the approval of an I-601 Waiver.
  4. Evidence and Documentation: Gathering compelling evidence and supporting documentation is essential to strengthen your case.

The Application Process

Navigating the I-601 Waiver application process can be intricate. It involves completing specific forms, gathering supporting documents, and submitting the application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Here’s a step-by-step overview:

  1. Form I-601: Begin by completing Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.
  2. Supporting Documentation: Compile evidence that demonstrates extreme hardship to the qualifying relative and other required documents.
  3. Filing Fee: Pay the required filing fee, which is subject to change, so it’s essential to check the latest fee schedule.
  4. Submission to USCIS: Submit your completed application package to the USCIS Lockbox facility.
  5. Biometrics Appointment: Attend a biometrics appointment if requested.
  6. Interview (if applicable): Prepare for an interview with USCIS if it is part of your application process.
  7. Waiver Approval: Upon approval, you may move forward with your immigration plans.

Fees Associated with the I-601 Waiver

Understanding the costs involved in the I-601 Waiver process is essential for planning your immigration journey. The fees may include the application fee, biometric services fee, and any associated costs for legal representation.

Approval Rates and Timelines

I-601 Waiver approval rates can vary based on individual circumstances and the strength of the application. It is crucial to manage expectations and consult with an experienced immigration attorney to improve your chances of success. USCIS processing times can also vary, so it’s advisable to monitor the latest updates on their website.


The I-601 Waiver is a lifeline for many individuals facing deportation or inadmissibility to the United States. This detailed guide has provided an overview of its requirements, fees, approval rates, and application process. However, it’s essential to consult with a qualified immigration attorney to navigate this complex legal terrain effectively.

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FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

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  • 6. What is the I-601 Waiver?
  • The I-601 Waiver is a waiver application that allows certain individuals who are ineligible to enter or reenter the United States to apply for a waiver of the applicable grounds of inadmissibility.
  • 7. What are the requirements for the I-601 Waiver?
  • The requirements for the I-601 Waiver can vary depending on the specific grounds of inadmissibility. It is recommended to refer to the detailed guide or consult with an immigration attorney for accurate and up-to-date information.
  • 8. How much are the fees for the I-601 Waiver?
  • The fees for the I-601 Waiver can also vary depending on the specific circumstances. It is best to refer to the official USCIS website or consult with an immigration attorney for the most accurate and current fee information.
  • 9. What are the approval rates for the I-601 Waiver?
  • Approval rates for the I-601 Waiver can vary and are influenced by multiple factors, such as the strength of the application, the specific grounds of inadmissibility, and individual circumstances. It is recommended to consult with an immigration attorney for a better understanding of approval rates based on your personal situation.