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Grounds of Inadmissibility Waiver

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Grounds of Inadmissibility Waiver

Notice Regarding USCIS Centralized Filing for Waivers of Inadmissibility - USCIS

Since June 4, 2012, individuals outside the U.S. who have been found inadmissible for certain visas by a U.S. consular officer and seek to waive an inadmissibility ground should no longer apply for a waiver at their foreign location, but should file requests directly to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by mailing the application to a USCIS Lockbox facility in the United States. This change only affects situations where individuals outside the U.S., who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant K or V visa, must file their waiver applications. These waiver applications are adjudicated at the USCIS Nebraska Service Center (NSC).

The change 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 (if filed together with a Form I-601), and

· Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion (if filed after a denial of a Form I-601 or Form I-212 by the NSC).

 

Individuals in Mexico who seek to file a waiver application continue to have the option to file with the local USCIS Field Office in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in addition to the Lockbox, during a transition period until Dec. 4, 2012. However, those who choose to file their waiver applications at the Lockbox will experience certain advantages, such as:

 

§ Faster filing: Applicants can file a waiver application immediately after the consular interview. An applicant who files with the Lockbox does not need to wait for an appointment at a USCIS Field Office to file the waiver application and will not need to travel to the USCIS office.

 

§ Shorter processing time: The NSC’s goal is to process the waiver applications within 3 months.

 

§ Ability to track the progress of an application: Applicants who file waiver applications through the Lockbox can view the progress of their application online. This service is not available to applicants who file their waiver applications at USCIS international field offices.

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Centralized Filing and Adjudication for Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility - USCIS

Beginning June 4, 2012, immigrant visa applicants who are applying for a waiver of a ground of inadmissibility from outside the United States will file the Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, by mail with a USCIS domestic Lockbox facility, rather than with a USCIS international field office, or a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The Lockbox facility will send all Form I-601 applications submitted by international filers to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center (NSC) for adjudication.

USCIS international field offices that accept Form I-601 filings by appointment will no longer schedule new appointments for filing Form I-601.

The following information should answer questions and concerns about how this change will affect you.

 

Filing Form I-601

When to File a Form I-601 with a Lockbox Facility

If you are seeking to obtain a waiver for a ground of inadmissibility, you must file with the USCIS Lockbox facility. There are certain exceptions, please see "Exceptions to Filing with a Lockbox Facility" below.

If you are outside the United States and a Department of State consular officer has already interviewed you at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and determined that you are ineligible for an immigrant visa based on a ground of inadmissibility, the consulate will give you a refusal notice. The refusal notice indicates the ground of visa ineligibility and whether you may be eligible to apply for a waiver. If the notice indicates you are eligible to apply for a waiver, you may apply for a waiver by filing Form I-601 with the Lockbox.

See the Direct Filing Addresses for Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility page for information on where to file.

 

Exceptions to Filing with a Lockbox Facility

The following exceptions apply to filing Form I-601 with the Lockbox facility:

Until December 4, 2012, individuals who are processing their immigrant visa applications through the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, may file their I-601 applications with the Lockbox facility or at the USCIS Ciudad Juarez Field Office.

Individuals in Cuba will continue to file their Form I-601 applications at the USCIS Havana Field Office due to mailing restrictions.

USCIS international offices may allow applicants to file directly with a USCIS office outside the United States in certain cases for exceptional and compelling circumstances.

Additional information about the exceptions to domestic filing is located on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/i601centralizationexceptions.

 

If You Already Have an Appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to File a Form I-601

Recognizing that some Form I-601 filings are already in various stages of the process, USCIS and the Department of State are implementing specific procedures for a transition period through July 5, 2012.

If your appointment is scheduled for June 4, 2012, through July 3, 2012, you have two options:

  • Keep the appointment as originally scheduled and file the waiver at that time; or
  • Cancel the appointment and mail the Form I-601 directly to the Lockbox.

If your appointment is scheduled for July 4, 2012, or later, you will receive notification from USCIS or the Department of State that your appointment was cancelled, as well as instructions for filing with the Lockbox.

 

If You Already Filed a Form I-601 in Person at a USCIS International Field Office

If you already filed a Form I-601 at a USCIS international office, you do not need to file a new Form I-601 at the Lockbox facility. However, if you choose to file a new Form I-601 at the Lockbox facility and you still have a Form I-601 pending with a USCIS international field office, USCIS will transfer the application pending with the international office to the Nebraska Service Center (NSC). The NSC will combine the two applications and process them. Filing a new application with the Lockbox will not necessarily result in faster processing for an application that is pending with an international office.

If you file duplicate applications with a USCIS international field office and the Lockbox facility USCIS will transfer the application pending with the international office to the Nebraska Service Center, where the two applications will be combined for processing.

 

If You Already Filed a Form I-601 by Mail with a USCIS International Field Office

Applications received by mail at international field offices from June 4, 2012, through July 3, 2012, will be accepted and processed by the international offices.

Applications received by mail at international field offices July 4, 2012, or later will be returned, along with instructions on how to file by mail at the Lockbox.

If you file duplicate applications with a USCIS international field office and the Lockbox facility, USCIS will transfer the application pending with the international office to the Nebraska Service Center, where the two applications will be combined for processing.

 

If a Period of Time of a Year or Longer Has Elapsed since a Consular Officer Found You Inadmissible

You should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to make sure that your visa application is still open before you file a Form I-601 at the Lockbox facility. If your visa application is still open and your Form I-601 is approved, you may need to update certain documents associated with your visa processing if they have expired.

 

Evidence to Submit for Form I-601

Depending on the type of waiver, the type of evidence you submit will vary. The Form I-601 is used to request waivers for a number of different visa ineligibility grounds. In support of your application, you should provide evidence that shows why you may qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility.

If your medical exam or police clearance letter are outdated, USCIS does not require you to present an updated medical exam or police clearance letter before filing your Form I-601 with the Lockbox. However, if the U.S. Embassy or Consulate requires you to resubmit certain documents to show visa eligibility, you must comply with the consulate’s request before the U.S. Embassy or Consulate will issue your visa.

Please refer to the form instructions for specific requirements for each waiver. The form and instructions are available at www.uscis.gov/i-601.

 

If You Already Have a Pending Appeal Regarding a Previously Denied Form I-601

If your previously filed Form I-601 was denied and you have an appeal pending review by the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), you are not required to file a new Form I-601 with the Lockbox. However, you are also not prohibited from filing a new Form I-601 with the Lockbox if you wish to do so.

 

Filing a Form I-601 with the Lockbox if Your Previously Filed Form I-601 is Denied

USCIS does not place a restriction on the number of times you may file a Form I-601. When you submit those documents, you should present a copy of your waiver approval as evidence that USCIS waived the prior visa ineligibility.

 

Form I-601 Processing

The USCIS Lockbox facility will transfer all Form I-601 applications submitted by international filers to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center (NSC) for adjudication.

You will receive a receipt notice that contains a USCIS receipt number associated with your Form I-601 application. You may check the status of your Form I-601 application online by entering the USCIS receipt number into the “Case Status” field located on the USCIS home page. Also, when the NSC makes a decision on your application, the NSC will send you a decision notice at the address you provided on your Form I-601 application.

 

If Your Form I-601 Application is Approved

If your Form I-601 application is approved, the NSC will notify Department of State consular staff at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate of the decision, and provide the specific visa ineligibility ground(s) that have been waived. Once the consular staff receive this notification, they will contact you regarding issuance of the visa.

If it has been a long time since your visa interview, the consulate may require you to resubmit certain documents or reappear for another interview to verify that you are still eligible for a visa.

 

If Your Form I-601 Application is Denied

If your Form I-601 application is denied, you will receive a denial notice at the address you provided on your Form I-601 application. You may appeal the decision within 30 days by filing Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion. The denial notice will provide instructions for submitting Form I-290B.

 

Requests to Expedite Form I-601 Processing

If you are sending your application to the USCIS Lockbox and believe you have urgent and compelling reasons, at the time of filing you may attach a written request to have your application expedited. If you have already submitted your application to the Lockbox, you can make an expedite request by either contacting the Nebraska Service Center directly by email or by contacting the USCIS National Customer Service Center by phone. See information on how to contact us at the Nebraska Service Center or the USCIS National Customer Service Center.

 

If your application was filed at the USCIS Ciudad Juarez Field Office, you may make the request to expedite processing at the time that you file your Form I-601 application. If the application has already been submitted, you may send your request to the office by post office or email. If your application is pending with an international USCIS office, you may contact that office directly by post office or electronic mail. See information on how to reach USCIS international offices.

 

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USCIS to Centralize Filing and Adjudication for Certain Waivers of Inadmissibility in the United States

New System Will Standardize Process for Immigrant Visa Applicants Worldwide

Released May 23, 2012

WASHINGTON—Beginning June 4, 2012, individuals abroad who have applied for certain visas and have been found ineligible by a U.S. Consular Officer, will be able to mail requests to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility directly to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Lockbox facility. This change affects where individuals abroad, who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant K or V visa, must send their waiver applications.

Currently, applicants experience processing times from one-month to more than a year depending on their filing location. This centralization will provide customers with faster and more efficient application processing and consistent adjudication. It is part of a broader agency effort to transition to domestic filing and adjudication; it does not reflect a change in policy or the standards by which the applications are adjudicated. Individuals filing waiver applications with a USCIS Lockbox will now be able to track the status of their case online.

 

The change 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.

During a limited six-month transition period, immigrant visa waiver applicants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, will have the option to either mail their waiver applications to the USCIS Lockbox in the United States or file in-person at the USCIS office in Ciudad Juarez. USCIS is aware of the pending caseload for applicants in Ciudad Juarez and is taking proactive steps to work through these cases. USCIS will significantly increase the number of officers assigned to adjudicate the residual cases filed before June 4, and those filed during the interim six-month transition period. USCIS has already begun to test this process and has transferred applications from Ciudad Juarez to other USCIS offices in the United States.

This change is separate and distinct from the provisional waiver proposal published in the Federal Register on Mar. 30, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

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