I-601: Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

What is I-601 Form?

Prior or during the immigration process, applicant are subject to be labeled as inadmissible while being outside the United States. Applicants seeking immigrant visas or adjustment of status must petition to waive the grounds of inadmissibility.

Below describes the application submission and review lifecycle.

  • Applicant attends an U.S. embassy or consulate to receive a immigrant or non-immigrant visa (e.g., K-1: Fiance Visa)
  • The consular officer determines the applicant is inadmissible to the U.S.
  • The consular officer informs the applicant he/she is eligible to seek a waiver of grounds of inadmissibility
  • Applicant files Form I-601 and other accompanying forms.
  • USCIS adjudicates the application and communicates the decision to the applicant and the consular officer

In order to file, applicants must have eligible grounds to file. Applicants must fall into one of the following categories.

Applicants for an immigrant, K, or V nonimmigrant visa

  • Health-related grounds of inadmissibility (INA section 212(a)(1))
  • Certain criminal grounds of inadmissibility (INA section 212(a)(2))
  • Immigration fraud and misrepresentation (INA section 212(a)(6)(c))
  • Immigrant membership in totalitarian party (INA section 212(a)(3))
  • Alien smuggler (INA section 212(a)(6)(E))
  • Being subject to civil penalty (INA section 212(a)(6)(F))
  • The 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence in the United States (INA section 212(a)(9)(B))

Applicants for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

  • Most grounds of inadmissibility listed in INA section 212(a)

Applicants for adjustment of status under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) 202 or Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (HRIFA) 902

  • All grounds listed for the adjustment of status applicants except the 3-year or 10-year bar due to previously unlawful
  • presence in the United States
  • Aliens previously removed (INA section 212(a)(9)(A))
  • Unlawfully present after previous immigration violations (INA section 212(a)(9)(C))

Applicants for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status as a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioner or the child of a VAWA self-petitioner

  • All grounds listed for the adjustment of status applicants
  • Unlawfully present after previous immigration violations (INA section 212(a)(9)(C))

Applicants for adjustment of status based on T nonimmigrant status

  • Most grounds listed in INA section 212(a)

Applicants for adjustment of status as a Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) based on an approved Form I-360

  • Most grounds listed in INA section 212(a)

What are I-601 Instructions?

Filing instructions and address vary based on the applicant’s status. Use the chart below to figure out where to file the application.

Applicant StatusMailing Instructions & Address
A Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioner seeking an immigrant visa or adjustment of status
OR A T nonimmigrant seeking adjustment of status.
USCIS Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479-0001
Seeking an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant K or V visa and I have been found inadmissible by a consular officer after my visa interview.USCIS Phoenix Lockbox

For U.S. Postal Service:
USCIS
P.O. Box 21600
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
ATTN: 601/212 Foreign Filers
1820 E. Skyharbor, Circle S, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034

  • Applicants residing in Cuba may choose to file at the USCIS Havana Field Office or at the address above.
  • To request processing by a USCIS international office due to exceptional and compelling humanitarian reasons, please review the information about the exceptions to domestic filing is located on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov/i601centralizationexceptions
Filing Form I-601 together with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.Follow the Form I-485 Instructions.
Filing Form I-601 and myForm I-485 is pending.If your Form I-485 receipt number (located on the I-797C Notice of Action) begins with “MSC” or does not have a 3-letter code at the beginning of the receipt number, then mail to:

USCIS Chicago Lockbox

For U.S. Postal Service:
USCIS
P.O Box 805887
Chicago, IL 60680-4120

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
Attn: FBAS
131 S. Dearborn-3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517

If your Form I-485 receipt number (located on the I-797C Notice of Action) begins with “EAC” or “SRC”, then mail to:

USCIS Dallas Lockbox

For U.S. Postal Service:
USCIS
PO Box 660867
Dallas, TX 75266

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
2501 S. State Hwy. 121 Business
Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75067

If your Form I-485 receipt number (located on the I-797C Notice of Action) begins with “LIN” or “WAC”, then mail to:

USCIS Phoenix Lockbox Facility

For U.S. Postal Service:
USCIS
P.O. Box 21281
Phoenix, AZ 85036

For FedEx, UPS, and DHL deliveries:
USCIS
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S
Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Filing Form I-601 with Form I-821, Application for Temporary Protected Status.Mail your forms according to the instructions in the recently published Federal Register notice for your country’s TPS designation.
In removal proceedingsFile Form I-601 with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) according to the instructions provided to you in court. For information about EOIR, visit EOIR’s Web site at www.usdoj.gov/eoir

What is the Difference between I-601 and I-601A Forms?

Similar to I- 601, I-601A: Application For Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver is to waive the potential penalty for entering the United States without proper visas. However, there are few key differences between two forms. Applicants attempting the remove inadmissible status must use the correct petition form.

I-601: Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility

  • Applicants must submit the form from outside of the United States.
  • Applicants must wait for an approval outside of the U.S. Applicants are prohibited from entering the country. Those who enter the country without an approval may be subject to a deportation.
  • Both U.S. citizens or permanent residents may be qualifying residents.
  • Applicants may submit accompanying waivers with I-601. An example is a fee waiver form (I-912).

I-601A: Application For Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

  • Applicants must submit the form while staying in the United States.
  • Applicants are permitted to reside in the U.S. during the decision process.
  • Only U.S. citizens may be qualifying residents.
  • Applicants must submit I-601A alone.