Consular officers determine that certain individuals are permanently ineligible to receive a visa due to serious violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In some cases, these individuals may apply for a waiver (i.e. the removal) of these penalties. All waiver applications are adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
Individuals abroad who have applied for certain visas and have been found ineligible by a U.S. Consular Officer, should mail their requests to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility directly to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Lockbox facility.
This instruction affects filings for:
- Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
- Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal
- Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, (if filed after a denial of a Form I-601 or Form I-212) .
Applicants who mail their waiver request forms should use the address provided in the revised form instructions on the USCIS website . Applicants who wish to receive an email or text message when USCIS has received their waiver request may attach Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance , to their application.
If you wish to apply for a waiver, you must:
- be eligible for a waiver (If you are eligible, it will be indicated on your blue refusal sheet),
- prepare a detailed written statement from both the beneficiary and the petitioner regarding extreme hardship,
- be ready to pay the required fee (currently U.S. $930),
- complete the required waiver application form I-601 (Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility) and form I-212 (Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal), if required.
Any questions pertaining to a waiver application should be addressed to USCIS directly. Please visit http://www.uscis.gov for contact information.
In cases of involving visa fraud, illegal entry and overstay, and alien smuggling, USCIS has little sympathy for claims by offenders that they are naïve, poor, uneducated, and/or that their criminal acts were planned and executed by other individuals. If you do not explain the background details pertaining to your violation of United States immigration law, you should find out before you complete your waiver application. The inability to mention the details pertaining to your violation of United States immigration law will not be looked upon favorably by adjudicators at the USCIS office.
*Most serious violations under the INA carry a lifetime bar to all immigration benefits. When the State Department finds an applicant to be in violation of the INA, it rules that person ineligible for a visa. When the USCIS finds a violator, it rules the person inadmissible for entry into the USA. For practical purposes, these terms are the same thing.