Immigration Attorneys

I-601A Waiver


Throughout the years here at Alcock & Associates, our team of immigration attorneys have helped hundreds of clients with I-601 waivers in Arizona.


An Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (I-601) can be considered for immigrants who are spouses, fiancés, or parents of U.S. citizens/residents that have been denied a green card based on certain criteria.

The immigrant applying for the waiver must also provide sufficient proof that a denial will result in extreme hardship for their “qualifying relative.”


– Your qualifying relative has to leave the U.S. to be with you
– Continuous medical treatment is needed for a health condition
– Your country is in the midst of political upheaval or war
– You’re the primary caretaker for an individual with significant needs
– Your education would be interrupted and/or terminated
– Significant employment opportunities would be lost or denied
– You primarily care for your children

The I-601A waiver forgives illegal or unlawful presence here in the United States and excludes an individual from any mandatory time that one would otherwise be waiting in his or her home country. The waiting time period can vary from three to ten years. It’s a great honor and pleasure to help people obtain lawful permanent resident status.

Our team of dedicated and experienced immigration attorneys have represented hundreds of people in their I-601A waiver process. We would be happy to help you with your application. For more information or a free consultation, please do not hesitate to contact us.


We are proud to offer free consultations for our clients. Just call 602-989-5000 today and we will explain and walk you through the process. We are dedicated to helping people as knowledgeable 601 waiver attorneys.


We work diligently to make sure our clients have affordable payment plans and fees. Pick up the phone and find out just how affordable the process can be.


The I-601A waiver forgives unlawful presence in the United States. This means that the applicant would only need to leave the United States to attend the visa interview which would be conducted in their respective home country. This I-601A waiver allows the applicant beneficiary to wait in the United States while their waiver application is being processed. An individual will only be eligible to qualify for the I-601A waiver if the individual has a United States citizen or legal resident qualifying relative.

The first step in applying for an I-601A waiver is the I-130 family petition. The purpose of the I-130 petition is to classify the immigrant beneficiary/applicant as a relative of the petitioner. When an I-130 application is approved it simply means that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is satisfied that the applicant is the spouse of the petitioner. In order to establish that there is a relationship, there must be proof that the marriage is a legitimate marriage, not one solely for immigration purposes. This can come in many forms including pictures. The I-130 is $420 and takes typically 6-9 months.

After the I-130 waiver has been approved, the petition will be forwarded to the Department of State which is when two fees can be paid to the National Visa Center. These two fees are $120 and $325, and they are for the immigrant visa and the DS-260 application for residency.

After the National Visa Center fees are paid, the waiver can be submitted. In order for an individual to be approved for an I-601A waiver, the applicant must be able to demonstrate that if they are refused admission into the United States, it will cause “extreme hardship” to their qualifying relative. This includes evidence of financial, medical, educational, and emotional conditions. The cost of the waiver is $670 and takes about 4-8 months.


After the waiver has been approved, certain documents must be mailed to the National Visa Center so that the interview, which will take place at the consulate of the applicant’s home country, can be scheduled. One of these documents is the I-864 Affidavit of Support. The purpose of I-864 form is essentially to demonstrate that the applicant has adequate means of financial support and is not likely to become a financial charge. If the petitioner does not have enough income and/or assets in order to maintain the applicant at 125% of the federal poverty guidelines, then a joint sponsor who meets the requirements may submit a Form I-864. All Sponsors must be living in the United States, at least 18 years of age, and a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States.

After the interview at the consulate has been scheduled, the applicant will leave the United States to their home country to attend the visa interview. Also, before the interview the applicant is required to have a medical appointment with an authorized physician in the country where they will be interviewed. At the interview, a consular officer asks the applicant various and different questions in order to ensure eligibility for an immigrant visa (green card).

If the individual is found to be out of status in the United States for more than 365 days, departs the U.S., and then attempts to re-enter the U.S. or is successful in reentering, they will not be eligible for the I-601A waiver. This means that a person must be in the United States to apply for an I-601A waiver, and must have only one illegal entry and period of unlawful presence in the United States. An individual will also be ineligible for an I-601A waiver if they have been convicted of a controlled substance offense or a crime which involves moral turpitude. A crime of moral turpitude is a crime which has the intent to steal or defraud as an element, or a crime in which an intentional act caused bodily harm. A person will also be ineligible for the I-601A waiver if he or she entered the United States with false fraudulent documents, claimed to be a United States citizen, or brought anyone with them when entering the United States (alien smuggling).


Here are the questions that we must ask in order to determine whether or not an individual is eligible for Adjustment of Status:

1. How did you enter the United States?

2. How long have you resided in the United States?

3. Have you ever left the United States and if so, when and for how long?

4. If you entered legally, have you ever overstayed your visa and subsequently departed the United States?

5. Have you ever been deported?

6. Have you ever been caught crossing the border?

7. Have you ever signed a voluntary departure?

8. Have you ever been denied entry to the United States?

9. When you came to the U.S., who was with you? Did you bring any family members?

10. Have you ever used fraudulent documents to gain entry to the United States?

11. Have you ever told anyone you were a United States citizen?

12. Have you ever been arrested for any crime?

13. Have you ever been convicted of committing any crime?


What happens in a consular interview?

A consular interview is where a U.S. official asks you questions and reviews your record to see if you are admissible, which means that you can be allowed into the U.S. Your medical, financial, and criminal record will be reviewed as well as your immigration history. Often if you are getting papers through a spouse you are asked questions about your marriage again to make sure that it’s a valid marriage.

Your medical record will be reviewed based on the medical exam you have done in your home country while you are there. Your attorney will help you get the medical exam organized before you leave.

Your financial record will be reviewed to ensure you don’t become a public charge, or in other words become reliant on the government. They will make sure your sponsor makes enough money to financially support you. Several factors will be considered like your work history, education, English speaking ability, possessions, debts & loans, and your ability to pay medical bills if you don’t have health insurance.

If you have any criminal history it will be considered. Even if the charges are really old or the case has since been closed because you have completed everything, it will be taken into account. They will want to know whether charges were ever filed, if the charges were dismissed, or if you were convicted on any charges. It’s extremely important that you resolve any open criminal cases you may have prior to leaving.

It’s critical that you are truthful and you tell your attorney everything about your history before you leave for this interview. Otherwise, the consequences could be that you have to wait in your country of birth for 10 years or that you never will be allowed to enter the U.S. Following our legal advice is the best path to getting your green card.

Your 601 waiver attorney will let you know what to expect at the interview. We know many of you have not been to your home country for a long time, or you may not have been old enough to even remember it, but rest assured you will be fully prepared for this interview.

What is a 601 waiver and what’s the difference between a 601 and 601a?

A 601 waiver is filed on the Form I-601. It is an application to waive (or have forgiven) something in your record that makes you inadmissible. Inadmissible means that you cannot be allowed into the U.S. for some reason. Not everything can be waived but a lot of things can. Once the waiver is approved, you are then considered admissible.

Things in your record that would require that you apply for a 601 waiver are often immigration violations or criminal history. The most common immigration violation needing to be waived is unlawful presence in the U.S. Time in the United States without lawful immigration status is counted against you. If someone is in the U.S. for 6 months to under a year without status and then leaves the U.S. is inadmissible (or cannot be allowed to enter the U.S. lawfully) for 3 years. The most common scenario is that someone is in the U.S. for over a year without lawful immigration status. If you’ve been in the U.S. for more than a year with no status or out of status and you leave to your country of birth to apply for a green card at a U.S. embassy or consulate, you will need to apply for a 601 waiver.

Other things needing to be waived is criminal history. Not all convictions require a waiver. But some do and the question is whether your state conviction fits into certain federal categories. The most common federal categories that require a 601 waiver are crimes involving moral turpitude (AKA “CIMT” or “CMT”) and controlled substance offenses. Some of the more common crimes involving moral turpitude are fraud offenses (such as taking the identity of another, criminal impersonation, fraud, possession of a forgery device), aggravated assault, endangerment, and theft offenses.

A controlled substance offense is a conviction relating to a controlled substance or a drug. But not all controlled substance offenses can be waived. In fact, only those that relate to 30 grams or less of marijuana may be waived. If you have a conviction for possession of marijuana or possession of drug paraphernalia and that conviction is related to 30 grams or less of marijuana, it can be waived with a 601 waiver.

Not all convictions mean that you will have to apply for a 601 waiver. It’s all dependent on the specific subsection of your conviction or the individual circumstances of your case. This list does not include all reasons why you may need to apply for a 601 waiver. The best advice is that you have one of our experienced attorneys review your immigration and criminal history.

The difference between a 601 waiver and a 601A waiver is that one is applied for from outside the United States and the other is applied for inside the United States. The 601 waiver is applied for while the person is outside the United States and in their home country. The 601A waiver is applied for while the person is inside the United States. It is applied for on the Form I-601A. If you can apply for the 601A waiver inside the U.S., this allows you to be with your family while the waiver is being processed, which can sometimes take up to a year. The 601A waiver is relatively new and has been around for a couple years already. In order to be eligible to apply for the 601A waiver inside the U.S. you cannot be in active immigration court proceedings and also if the only thing needing to be waived is unlawful presence in the United States. If someone doesn’t fit this criteria, then they will have to apply for the 601 waiver from their country of citizenship.

Let’s say you do need to file either a 601 waiver or 601A waiver. To get either waiver approved you have to show that your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent will suffer extreme hardship if it is not approved. Extreme hardship can be proven by showing how they will medically, psychologically, financially, and/or emotionally suffer if your waiver isn’t approved. You will submit medical, psychological, and financial records, and anything else that shows how they will be affected if they were in the U.S. without you or if they went with you to your country of citizenship. Unfortunately, the law does not allow someone to apply for a waiver if they only have children who are U.S. citizens.

Don’t be alarmed by the requirements of the waiver. Our clients have had great success getting their waivers approved with the help of one of our experienced attorneys.

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Choosing Alcock & associates was a blessing to us from day one. They made my wife’s immigration case a breeze. Daniella Hernandez helped us and she was wonderful. If she wasn’t available to speak at the moment, we would always get a quick call soon after. She answered every question we had with confidence and it was clear that she knew what she was doing.

- B.R.

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Mr. Alcock since the early 2000 and I’ve seen all his work and growth on helping the community and now after 10 years of residency, I had no doubt of coming to the firm for advice regarding my citizenship process.

- S. and S. W.

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Hands down, the best law firm. They really worked hard and still working hard on my complicated immigration case. So far it’s really a good experience with the attorney Lisa, co-attorney Emanuel and all the front staff.

- P.K.

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This is the only law firm I turn to for legal consult/representation. Immigration attorney, Lisa Elkin, assisted my wife with her legal residence status. After 34 years of living in this country my wife is finally a legal resident of the United States.

- A.C.

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Alcock & Associates has helped me greatly when acquiring and renewing my DACA permit. They are extremely kind hearted and go above and beyond to help the people.

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Really professional lawyers. Took two different cases based on immigration from us. One with Cody for the deportation withheld process thank you so much for everything for closing completely the deportation process against my husband.

- A.G.

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Very good group of lawyers who work, for your interests without any rest. Thanks to that today I can say that I am a resident I do not have how to thank everything they did for me. Thank you very much and may the Lord bless you.

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This will be my third time coming with Alcock & Associates for my Daca and as always they never disappoint, everyone here is super helpful and welcoming! Thank you Kirk for helping with my renewal

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Dora and Lisa (the lawyer) did such a wonderful and professional job with my husband's residency. Everything went smooth at ciudad juarez. Everything they said would happen, did. They prepare you very well. I recommend Alcock & Associates 100%. They are honest and will let you know the truth

- C.G.

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Here at Alcock and Associates our team and staff are dedicated to helping and representing YOU. The first step is to understand your case. We will take the time to get to know you and your legal situation so that we are best able to answer all of your questions. After your initial consultation with our attorneys, you will know what you are facing and what can happen to your case.


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Alcock & Associates P.C.
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