An I-601 bar waiver application is used where a foreigner is applying for an immigration benefit, but has committed a wrong and is barred from the U.S. The I-601 waiver application seeks to waive the bar for good cause and allow the foreigner to complete immigrant processing.
A common grounds for bar would be a foreigner who was in the U.S. illegally for more than 6 months as an adult and then left the U.S. For more information about bars from the U.S., see About Waivers.
Bar waivers often take more than six months to process, sometimes much longer. A foreigner who is outside the U.S. must remain abroad until the waiver is granted. A request for expedited processing can be obtained in extraordinary circumstances. The foreign applicant must make a formal request and provide supporting evidence that sufficiently establishes the nature of the emergency.
Among the criterion:
- Applicant has critical medical needs that cannot be addressed in home country.
- Qualifying relative has critical medical needs that require the applicant to assist them in the U.S.
- Applicant has a family member who might be seriously ill or dying soon.
- Applicant is at risk of serious harm if they remain in their home country.
- Government interest.
- Qualifying relative is about to be deployed and the applicant’s continued absence from the U.S. will have a significant impact on themselves, the qualifying relative, or any children.
The qualifying relative is usually a U.S. citizen petitioner. The applicant is the foreigner who is barred.
As an example, one of my U.S. citizen clients has a serious and rare degenerative eye condition. She needs an operation soon, and the specialized clinic is ready to proceed. She will not be able to see during her recovery, so she needs her foreign husband present to assist. This would be a good basis for expedite.
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