Difference between I-601 and I-601A

What’s the difference between I-601 and I-601A?

Form I-601 is the Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. Form I-601A is the Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. Here is the main difference between the two: One is filed outside of the U.S., I-601, and the other is filed while in the U.S., I-601A.

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Waiver of Inadmissibility

Any person who is not eligible to be admitted into the United States is said to be inadmissible. When a person is inadmissible, he or she must seek a waiver and get it approved in order to be able to enter the U.S. The following people can file Form I-601.

  • Someone applying for a Green Card who is outside of the U.S. and had a Green Card interview in which he or she was found inadmissible
  • Someone in the U.S. applying for adjustment of status
  • Someone who is a K-1 or K-2 nonimmigrant applicant who is outside the U.S. and had a Green Card interview in which he or she was found inadmissible
  • Someone who is a K-3, K-4, V nonimmigrant applicant who is outside the U.S. and had a Green Card interview in which he or she was found inadmissible
  • Someone who is a Temporary Protected Status applicant
  • Someone who is a Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American act applicant
  • Someone who is a Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act applicant
  • Someone who is a Violence Against Women Act applicant
  • Someone who is a T nonimmigrant applicant for adjustment of status inadmissible on a ground not waived through T nonimmigrant status

The grounds of inadmissibility must be the following:

  • Health-related issues
  • Criminal issues
  • Immigrant Membership in Totalitarian Party
  • Immigration fraud
  • Smugglers subject to civil penalty
  • 3-year or 10-year bar for unlawful presence
  • Issues with Temporary Protected Status applicant
  • Unlawful presence by NACARA or HRIFA applicant
  • Unlawful presence by VAWA applicant
  • Issues with T nonimmigrant applicant

Provisional Waiver

Form I-601A is a special form designed to waive unlawful presence. This form reduces the time an applicant has to be outside the U.S. by allowing filing prior to departure to a foreign country. The following people can file Form I-601A:

  • Someone applying for a Green Card who has an approved I-130 and is having a Green Card interview outside the U.S

The only ground of inadmissibility must be the following:

  • 3-year or 10-year bar for unlawful presence