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Waiver application

In order to protect the health, welfare, and security of the U.S., certain applicants are not eligible for the issuance of a visa even if they qualify in other ways. There are specific ineligibilities written in U.S. immigration law. For example applicants must be refused visas when they have a communicable disease, or a dangerous physical or mental disorder; have committed serious criminal acts; are members of terrorists groups; or have used illegal means to enter the U.S.

If you are found to be ineligible, the Consular Officer will advise you regarding your ineligibilities and whether there is a possibility to seek for a waiver from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  In some cases, the applicant will not be eligible to apply for a waiver.

If a waiver is available, the Consular Officer will provide you a letter on your interview date with instructions on how to apply for a waiver.  Be assured to read the I-601 instructions posted in USCIS website before submitting it.

Effective June 4, 2012, this office will no longer accept I-212 or I-601 waiver applications from individuals abroad who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant K visa by a U.S. Consular Officer.  IV, K and V applicants will be required to mail their I-601 and any supporting documentation to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Lockbox facility at:

For U.S. Postal Service:

P.O. Box 21600
Phoenix, AZ, 85036

For Express mail or Courier deliveries:

ATTN: 601-212 Foreign Filers
1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ, 85034

Immigrant visa applicants requiring consent to reapply for admission in addition to an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility must file their Form I-212 along with the I-601 with the Lockbox.  However, immigrant visa applicants should not file stand-alone I-212s with the USCIS Lockbox.  Such individuals should file stand-alone I-212s according to the form instructions available at USCIS website.

Note that Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility, requires that the petitioner provide an “extreme hardship” statement. 


The Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability is provided to applicants under Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  Approval of such application requires a finding that the refusal of admission to the United States of such immigrant alien would result in extreme hardship to the United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent of the applicant. Approval also requires a favorable exercise of discretion from the Attorney General.  This requires a weighing of all facts, both the favorable and unfavorable, in each case.

All claims of extreme hardship must be supported by documentary evidence or explanation specifying the nature of the extreme hardship. Family separation and financial inconvenience, in and of themselves, do not necessarily constitute extreme hardship. Therefore, it is important for the spouse or parent of the applicant to describe and document any other claim that might be an extreme hardship. The above-requested information is necessary to render an equitable and fair decision on your Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability (I-601).

A waiver of section 212 of the INA is dependent first upon a showing that the bar imposes an extreme hardship on a qualifying family member. Congress provided this waiver but limited its application. By such limitation it is evident that it did not intend that a waiver be granted merely due to the fact that a qualifying relationship existed. The key term in the provision is "extreme" and thus only in cases of real actual or prospective injury to the United States national or lawful permanent resident will the bar be removed. Common results of the bar, such as separation, financial difficulties, etc., in themselves are insufficient to warrant approval of an application unless combined with much more extreme impacts. (Matter of Ngai, 19 I & N Dec. 245). With this qualification in mind, the petitioner must provide documentary evidence proving that denial of the waiver requested would result in extreme hardship to the US citizen spouse or parent.

Extreme hardship can be demonstrated in many aspects of the spouse or parent’s life such as:

  • Health - Ongoing or specialized treatment requirements for a physical or mental condition; availability and quality of such treatment in your country, anticipated duration of the treatment; whether a condition is chronic or acute, or long-or short-term.
  • Financial Considerations - Future employability; loss due to sale of home or business or termination of a professional practice; decline in standard of living; ability to recoup short-term losses; cost of extraordinary needs such as special education or training for children; cost of care for family members (i.e., elderly and infirm parents).
  • Education - Loss of opportunity for higher education; lower quality or limited scope of education options; disruption of current program; requirement to be educated in a foreign language or culture with ensuing loss of time for grade; availability of special requirements, such as training programs or internships in specific fields.
  • Personal Considerations - Close relatives in the United States and /or your country; separation from spouse/children; ages of involved parties; length of residence and community ties in the United States.
  • Special Factors - Cultural, language, religious, and ethnic obstacles; valid fears of persecution, physical harm, or injury; social ostracism or stigma; access to social institutions or structures.
  •  Any other situation that you feel may help you meet the burden of extreme hardship.

Applicants should provide very detailed information as to how their spouse or parent meets the "extreme hardship" burden.

Keep in mind that the hardship must be to the qualifying family member - not to the applicant.


  • I-601 (Application for waiver)
  • I-212 (Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. after Deportation/Removal)

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