An Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility is filed by an alien in the event that an alien has been denied admission to the United States. Different sections of INA § 212 allow for the application of a waiver of inadmissibility. Waivers must establish that a qualifying relative will suffer “extreme hardship” if the alien is not admitted. So who is the qualifying relative? It depends on the ground of inadmissibility. A waiver for prior unlawful presence (INA 212(a)(9)(B)(v)) or misrepresentation (INA 212(i)) requires it to be established that “the refusal of admission to such immigrant alien would result in extreme hardship to the citizen or lawfully resident spouse or parent of such alien,” whereas a waiver for criminal history (INA 212(h)) requires it to be established “that the alien’s denial of admission would result in extreme hardship to the United States citizen or lawfully resident spouse, parent, son, or daughter of such alien.” A US citizen fiancé(e) may also be a qualifying relative [9 FAM 41.81 N9.3(a) and 8 CFR 212.7(a)(1)(i)]. For the purposes of this memo the Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility will be referred to as an I-601.
USCIS 5/9/11 policy memo on how USCIS processes requests to expedite the adjudication of Forms I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, filed by individuals outside of the U.S. The receipt notice template, Appendix 41-5, is attached following the memo.
It has been USCIS’s longstanding policy to accept requests to expedite processing of petitions or applications where the applicant or the petitioner demonstrates reasons that merit expedited processing of a petition or application. Consistent with this policy, an applicant may request that the adjudication of a Form I-601 be expedited. Requests to expedite in the Form I-601 adjudication context present unique challenges.
Almost all Form I-601 applicants outside the United States have an interest in expeditious processing given that most are required to establish extreme hardship to a qualifying family member in order for USCIS to consider whether to exercise its discretion to waive the bar to an applicant’s entry into the United States. However, some applicants may be experiencing extraordinary circumstances that present the kind of compelling and urgent, time-sensitive reasons that merit expedited processing of a Form I-601. This memorandum provides guidelines on responding to requests to expedite Forms I-601 filed by applicants overseas.
See memo below