USCIS is considering changes that would allow certain immediate relatives (the spouse, children or parents of a U.S. citizen) who can demonstrate extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent to receive a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence bars before leaving the United States.

These procedures are not in effect and will not be available to potential applicants until USCIS publishes a final rule in the Federal Register specifying the effective date. USCIS plans to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the coming months and will consider all comments received as part of that process before publishing a final rule.

  • Do not send an application requesting a provisional waiver at this time. USCIS will reject any application requesting this new process and we will return the application package and any related fees to the applicant. USCIS cannot accept applications until a final rule is issued and the process change becomes effective.
  • Be aware that some unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may wrongly claim they can currently file a provisional waiver application (Form I-601) for you. These same individuals may ask you to pay them to file such forms although the process is not yet in place. Please avoid such scams. USCIS wants you to learn the facts about protecting yourself and your family against scammers by visiting

If you already have an immigrant visa interview with the U.S. Department of State, we strongly encourage you to attend. The Department of State may cancel your immigrant visa registration if you fail to appear at this interview.

I-601 Waivers of Grounds of Inadmissibility

The Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility, is used by applicants for immigrant visas, non-immigrant fiancé visas, V visas, and adjustment of status to request a waiver of the following grounds of inadmissibility in the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA):

  • Section 212(a)(1)

health-related grounds;

  • Section 212(a)(2)

criminal and related grounds,

  • Section 212(a)(3)(D)

immigrant membership in a totalitarian party;

  • Section 212(a)(6)(C)

misrepresentation in immigration matters;

  • Section 212(a)(6)(E)


  • Section 212(a)(6)(F)

subject to civil penalty;

  • Section 212(a)(9)(B)

unlawful presence in theU.S. for at least 180 days, beginning on or after April 1, 1997, followed by departure from the U.S.

Form I-601 is also used to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility when an applicant is seeking immigration benefits under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), the Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act of 1998 (HRIFA), and under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) program. Because officers at international USCIS offices are not likely to encounter these types of waiver applications, this SOP will only briefly address them.

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I-612 Waivers of 2-year Foreign Residence Requirement

If an individual is subject to the INA 212(e) but does not wish to comply with the two-year foreign residence requirement, he or she may want to apply for a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement. There are five grounds for a waiver:

  • No Objection Statement (NOS)
  • Request by an interested government agency (IGA)
  • Persecution
  • Exceptional hardship to a United States citizen (or legal permanent resident) spouse or child of an exchange visitor
  • Request by a designated State Department of Public Health or its equivalent, CONRAD.

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The immigration attorneys of NPZ Law Group are skilled at helping businesses of all types and sizes meet their workforce needs by hiring skilled foreign workers. To discuss your Waiver needs with an experienced immigration lawyer, please contact our law firm today.

NPZ Law Group: Global Mobility Attorneys 
Call Toll Free: 866-599-3625