US Visas and Waivers of Ineligibility
A US visa denial may create traumatic situations for the people involved, especially when the US visa denial leads to separation of family members. Waivers of ineligibility—also known as a waiver of inadmissibility or excludability—may allow the visa applicant to receive the US visa even though it was initially denied by US immigration officials. Our US immigration lawyers in Thailand specialize in obtaining US visa waivers and reuniting families separated as a result of visa ineligibility.
In what circumstances are foreign nationals ineligible for a US visa?
Some of the most common grounds upon which foreign nationals are ineligible for a United States visa include compiling inadequate visa applications with missing documents or information, health related grounds (i.e. being infected with a communicable disease deemed by the US government to be of "public health significance", including HIV/AIDs or having certain mental or physical disorders) and having been unlawfully present in the US (as a result of overstaying a visa or entering unlawfully). Other reasons that foreign nationals may be denied a US visa include committing or being convicted of certain criminal offenses including prostitution, trafficking, drug offenses terrorist activities or other criminal convictions.
After one’s US visa is denied, in what circumstances are US visa applicants able to apply for a waiver of ineligibility?
In the event that a US visa applicant is denied a visa, they may be granted the right to apply for a waiver of ineligibility (also known as a waiver of inadmissibility) or waiver of excludability, referred to as an I-601 application. The waiver can be granted on the grounds of humanitarian purposes, family unity or in the promotion of public interest. In some circumstances, fiancé(e)s, spouses, children and parents of US citizens or permanent residents applying for K1, K3, CR-1 or IR-1 family based visas qualify under the family unity provision. In other cases, a waiver may only be granted in certain narrowly defined situations.
Qualifying for specific waivers may require a professionally drafted petition with citations to specific sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act, case law and other laws. In simpler cases, the granting the US waiver of ineligibility is more routine.
If the original visa lacked supporting documentation, the applicant may be permitted to correct the original application without applying for a I-601 waiver.
Where should I submit an application for a waiver of ineligibility?
After your US visa has been denied, waivers of ineligibility should normally be submitted to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the jurisdiction that issued the visa denial. For those in Thailand, a US immigration lawyer in Bangkok can assist you with compiling an effective I-601 waiver application.
Can an I-601 waiver application be submitted concurrently with a visa application if the visa applicant suspects that the visa will be denied?
No, in general, visa applications and grounds of ineligibility waivers cannot be submitted concurrently because you cannot request a waiver until you have been officially denied. Also, visa denials are issued from the US Embassy in Bangkok, whereas I-601 waivers are normally filed at the USCIS office, a different administrative body in a different location than the US Embassy.
Upon a visa denial the US Embassy in Bangkok will provide a document that explicitly states the grounds of the denial, the applicable section of law and requirements for additional documentation. If a visa denial on grounds of ineligibility is anticipated, the initial steps of a waiver petition can be prepared in advance. But without the actual order of denial, filing an 1-601 waiver of inadmissibility petition is not possible.
Related Topics: US fiancée visa, US marriage visa, US visa denials, HIV/AIDs waivers, US Lawyer Bangkok
Related Documents: US Visa Denials and Waivers in Thailand