Skip to main content

7 Ways to Prepare for Your I-601A Provisional Waiver (While the I-130 is Still Pending)

One of the questions I'm most often asked by clients these days is, "What's going on with my I-130?" Up until about a month or two ago, I-130's (even those filed by US citizen spouses) were taking a year, or sometimes longer, for USCIS to process. Things are finally moving a little quicker now but we're still looking at 7-8 months processing time.

The next question I'm inevitably asked is usually, "What will happen after the I-130 is approved?" Most, but not all, of my I-130 clients will be filing a Form I-601A Provisional Waiver and then Consular Processing. 

It's important to know that USCIS focuses on certain types of hardship to the qualifying relative (US citizen spouse or parent) when considering whether a Form I-601A Provisional Waiver meets the extreme hardship requirement. The main types of hardship are financial, emotional, psychological, medical and physical. While the main focus is on direct hardship to the qualifying relative, we also discuss hardship to the qualifying relative as it relates to other family members such as parents or children.  

If you will be filing a Form I-601A Provisional Waiver after your I-130 is approved, there are a few things that you can do now to prepare for the waiver process.  
1. Make sure your taxes are filed correctly. Consult a qualified and informed tax professional. Married couples should not be filing as Single or Head of Household. Married Filing Joint or Married Filing Separately are both fine.  
2. Start saving joint documents such as leases, utility bills, insurance policies, credit card bills and checking account statements. If you and your spouse do not have many joint documents, start adding one another to accounts now. 
3. Start saving money for the psychological hardship evaluation that the qualifying relative will need to have performed by a mental health professional. It is time consuming, and unfortunately not cheap, but is the psychological hardship evaluation is an invaluable part of the overall waiver. 
4. Gather medical records and doctor’s letters to document past and present medical conditions of you, the qualifying relative and your children. 
5. Make a list of friends and family members who you think might be willing to submit a hardship affidavit on your behalf.
6. If children are involved, start gathering school records such as progress reports, award certificates and report cards. 
7. Start writing your own hardship affidavit and ask the qualifying relative to start writing his or hers. Details are important. The affidavits should be heartfelt and emotional. Share special moments and memories that might allow the adjudicating officer to connect with you and your situation. Do not underestimate the power of honesty and humility! This is your opportunity to plead your case.

Remember that the quality of the waiver produced on your behalf depends largely on the quality of information you provide to your legal professional. Waiver preparation can be stressful and overwhelming but hopefully these few tips will help make the process a little easier for everyone involved. 

By Amy Forrest, Senior Waiver Paralegal


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…
Si usted es inmigrante (incluso un ciudadano de los EE.UU.), aquí hay 9 cosas que usted debe saber.

¿Es usted un ciudadano estadounidense naturalizado, residente legal permanente, titular de una visa o inmigrante indocumentado? Le recomendamos que tome los siguientes pasos para protegerse de nuestra versión actual de América.
Las últimas semanas hemos recordado a los inmigrantes, incluso a los ciudadanos estadounidenses naturalizados, que no nacieron en los Estados Unidos. Nuestra oficina ha recibido innumerables llamadas telefónicas, mensajes de correo electrónico y mensajes de medios sociales de personas preocupadas por el futuro de su familia en los Estados Unidos.
La mayoría de gente quiere saber qué puede hacer ahora para protegerse de lo que promete ser una ola de actividad anti-inmigración por parte del gobierno federal. La orden ejecutiva de Trump sobre la aplicación de la ley interior tiene algunas disposiciones que deberían hacer temblar a la mayoría de los estadounidenses. …

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…