Provisional Waiver (601A)

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stated on March 4, 2013, that certain immigrant visa applicants of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents may apply for a Provisional Waiver BEFORE the foreign national leaves the United States for their consular interview. The purpose of the provisional waiver is to "waive" the 3-year or 10-year ban that comes with unlawful presence. If a foreign national is unlawfully present in the United States for 180 days, and then departs, the foreign national is subject to a three year bar. If a foreign national has been in the United States, for an aggregate, of over one year, and then departs the United States, that foreign national will be subject to a ten year bar.

The Good
The benefit of a provisional waiver is that the foreign national is allowed to remain in the United States during the pendency of the adjudication of the waiver. The waiver usually takes anywhere from five to ten months to process, so that is time that the foreign national can spend with his or her immediate relative and family.

The Bad
A provisional waiver ONLY waives one type of inadmissibility: unlawful presence triggering the 3 or 10 year bars. If a foreign national is subject to any other type of inadmissibility, he or she will not be able to stay in the United States while those inadmissibilities are cured. As such, a provisional waiver is very limited in what it can cure for a foreign national.

The Ugly
USCIS has implemented a policy stating that any applicant to which the provisional waiver is denied, will be referred to the closest immigration court. Said action means that the foreign national will then be forced to go through removal proceedings and take his or her case to an immigration judge. If the immigration judge determines that a foreign national is not eligible for any relief, the foreign national will then be removed to his or her country of origin.

Further, and likely the most troublesome, even though your provisional waiver may be approved, if a foreign national is found to be inadmissible under any other provision in immigration law, the foreign national will be forced to stay in his or her country of origin until the inadmissibility is cured. If the inadmissibility cannot be cured, the foreign national will have no choice but to stay in his or her country of origin. Even if the inadmissibility can be cured, this process is usually extremely lengthy and will usually take at least a year to cure the inadmissibility and get another interview at the consulate.


If you or a loved one needs assistance with a provisional waiver, it is very important to contact the immigration attorneys at Hall & Dixon as soon as possible. A provisional waiver is a complex process that could have lasting negative effects on a foreign national. Let Hall & Dixon immigration attorneys fight for your rights and ensure that you get the best results as possible. Call or text Hall & Dixon immigration attorneys today at 704-993-6825 for a FREE consultation.

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