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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawI-601 Waiver After Denial of an IR-1 Visa Application

I-601 Waiver After Denial of an IR-1 Visa Application

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing I-601 waivers specifically in the context of an IR-1 Visa denial.

Now first of all, what is an IR-1 Visa? It is an Immediate Relative Visa. We are specifically talking about this in the context of a spouse of an American citizen. An IR-1 Visa to the person who is conferred such a Visa and enters the United States in such status, they are conferred lawful permanent residence and to be clear they are conferred unconditional lawful permanent residence which is different from the CR-1 Visa and the reason for the unconditionality is based on the length of the marriage in these circumstances. So, we are talking here about a visa application that has been denied and for purposes of this video I am going to draw from my experience dealing primarily with the US Embassy here in Bangkok, Thailand. We do process other cases in the region but that being said, my primary thrust of experience is dealing with these types of denials with respect to the US Embassy here in Thailand.  Now this could also be of interest to those who have had a denial or think they may be denied at another US Embassy, or US Consulate, outside of Thailand, around the world. This can be used as general information but just bear in mind that my primary thrust of experience is dealing with the US Embassy here in Thailand. 

So if one is denied for an IR-1 Visa, they have to be found to be legally inadmissible so there has to be a legal grounds of inadmissibility pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States and the Consular Officer adjudicating the case will make that finding in terms of denying an application for an IR-1 Visa. 

So, what is a legal ground of inadmissibility? Well there are multiple legal grounds of inadmissibility. For example, we see a lot of cases denied for overstay. Somebody has previously overstayed their visa in the United States, certain types of drug offenses, criminal activity, criminal convictions, prostitution, crimes involving moral turpitude, fraud and misrepresentation. Fraud and misrepresentation may only have occurred in the course of the application itself or in some other application that is now coming to light as a result of the adjudication of the IR-1 visa application at hand, but fraud and misrepresentation in and of itself can be viewed as a legal ground of inadmissibility. Any of the above can be viewed as legal grounds of inadmissibility and the application could and will be denied as a result of such a finding.  

The thing to take away from that video is, that denial may not be the end of the road. While getting through the IR-1 process is time-consuming and probably frustrating especially for folks who are doing it on their own, the denial is obviously a bit earth shattering frankly and when one is denied, oftentimes we see people who are very dejected and they believe that that is I; it is over. They have been denied.

That may not be the case depending on the findings, depending on the facts, it may be possible to get that denial waived pursuant to the approval of an I-601 Waiver. Now an I-601 Waiver is adjudicated by Department of Homeland Security as opposed to the denial itself which for purposes of this video we are presuming that is going to be here at the US Embassy in Thailand. The personnel of the US Embassy in Thailand operate under the auspices of the Department of State not the Department of Homeland Security so you are dealing with a different agency but once an I-601 Waiver application would be approved then presumably the IR-1 Visa would be issued and the couple can go ahead and move to the United States or I should say the foreign spouse, in this case we are presuming a Thai spouse, can move to the United States take up their residence with their spouse in the US and move on with their lives.