As per immigration laws of the United States, an alien who did fraud or intentionally misrepresented a material fact to enter the United States to procure any immigration benefit, such an immigrant alien will be banned from entering the United States as either (an immigrant or non-immigrant visa) for life. Applicant found to have done fraud is declared to be inadmissible to be United States Citizen for life.
This particular type of inadmissibility is severe and bounds the alien from applying to enter the United States again. However, it is possible to file for a waiver of inadmissibility that resulted from fraud or willful misrepresentation of a material fact.
The article focuses on the minimal circumstances where an extreme hardship waiver for fraud or misrepresentation is available and the procedure to apply for one.
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If you are ineligible to enter the United States, under certain circumstances, you can apply for a waiver on certain grounds of inadmissibility. To check out whether you are eligible to file for a waiver form I-601 for fraud or misrepresentation, check out the US Government Website.
As per the Immigration and Nationality Act ( 212(a)(6)(C)(I))
”Any alien who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this Act is inadmissible.”
Why does a waiver for fraud or misrepresentation exist?
The severe penalty of inadmissibility of life for fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact was soon recognized by Congress after its establishment and, therefore, left a very limited set of waivers of inadmissibility in Section 212(a)(6)(C)(I).
A Policy Manual [PDF version] has been released by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which includes why under 212(I), a waiver of inadmissibility for fraud or misrepresentation for applicants exists. Some of the reasons are;
”Provide humanitarian relief and promote family unity; Ensure the applicant merits favorable discretion based on positive factors outweighing the applicant’s fraud or willful misrepresentation and any other negative factors; and allow the applicant to overcome the inadmissibility or removability ground.”
Eligibility to File a Waiver
To file a waiver, the following conditions must be met.
- The visa applicant who committed fraud is not a citizen of the United States.
- The reason for inadmissibility must be fraud or misrepresentation to gain immigration benefits.
- The misrepresentation was willful.
- The fraud or misrepresentation must have been of material facts
- Such a person misrepresented to procure a benefit under the INA.
Applying for an I-601 form for immigration can only be applied if fraud or misrepresentation is found of a material fact to benefit from immigration grants. If it is applied on the basis of any other grounds, this inadmissibility ground can not be triggered.
The waiver of inadmissibility on grounds of fraud or misrepresentation can be found under Section 212(i), which states that:
”The Attorney General may, in the discretion of the Attorney General, waive the application of clause (i) of subsection (a)(6)(C) in the case of an immigrant who is the spouse, son, or daughter of a United States citizen or of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, if it is established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the refusal of admission to the United States of such immigrant alien would result in extreme hardship to the citizen or lawfully permanent resident spouse or parent of such an alien or, in the case of a VAWA self-petitioner, the alien demonstrates extreme hardship to the alien or the alien’s United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or qualified alien parent or child.’‘
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Documentation Required as Evidence For Form I-601
Evidence is an essential key to qualifying for an inadmissibility waiver. It is important to indicate the struggle and hardship being faced by you and your US citizen fiancé and prove how unfavorable factors are outweighed by favorable factors in your case.
You and your US citizen fiancé should prepare a written application persuading the consular officer/ relevant authorities to approve your application as a matter of discretion and attach it along with your Form I-601.
- Affidavits from you, your citizen fiancée, or other individuals;
- The police report from any country you lived in ( Homeland Security);
- Complete court records about previous convictions or charges from all countries you were convicted;
- If applicable, evidence of rehabilitation;
- Any other evidence that establishes that your admission to the United States would not be against the national welfare or national security;
- Medical reports
- ‘Extreme Hardship’ documentation requirements are mentioned below if you are applying on that basis.
Extreme Hardship requirement
One of the key factors that are taken into account in whether a waiver should be granted is proving that extreme hardship exists. Section 212(i) of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA’s) decision in 1999, Matter of Cervantes, is a critical precedent as far as the ‘Extreme Hardship’ requirement is concerned. A non-exhaustive list of factors should be considered to determine whether an applicant is facing extreme hardship due to the initial decision given by the consular officer. These include;
”Presence of qualifying relative’s family ties to the United States;qualifying relative’s ties outside of the United States;condition(s) in the country or countries to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties to those countries;
financial impact of departure on the qualifying relative;significant health conditions of the qualifying relative, especially when tied to the unsuitability of medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate( physical or mental disorder).”
A VAWA self-petitioner may further rely on the following factors for the ‘extreme cruelty or hardship waiver;
1. The nature and extend of the physical or psychological consequences of abuse;
2. The impact of loss of access to the United States courts and criminal justice system (including, but not limited to, the ability to obtain and enforce orders of protection, criminal investigations and prosecutions, and family law proceedings or court orders regarding child support, maintenance, child custody, and visitation);
3. The likelihood that the batterer’s family, friends, or others acting on behalf of the batterer in the home country would physically or psychologically harm the applicant or the applicant’s child(ren);
4. The applicant’s needs and/or needs of the applicant’s child(ren) for social, medical, mental health or other supportive services for victims of domestic violence that are unavailable or not reasonably accessible in the home country;
5. The existence of laws and social practices in the home country that punish the applicant or the applicant’s child(ren) because they have been victims of domestic violence or have taken steps to leave an abusive household; and
6. The abuser’s ability to travel to the home country and the ability and willingness of authorities in the home country to protect the applicant and/or the applicant’s children from future abuse.
A waiver granted for extreme hardship is not guaranteed even if you fall in any of the factors mentioned above. It is a discretionary power held by the Attorney General, and it is exercised according to the nature and severity of the fraud or misrepresentation that took place.
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Ineligible grounds For I-601 Form
We will be discussing certain types of immigration fraud mentioned by the INA, which if an applicant is guilty of, such an alien cannot be waived off under this exemption.
The INA’s Section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) outlines the grounds for refusal for aliens who falsely identify themselves as citizens of the United States. There are a few circumstances in which a waiver of inadmissibility for fraud or deliberate misrepresentation of a material fact is permissible, but they are unrelated to the waiver we will be discussing.
Additionally, the exemptions we’ll be talking about don’t cover the inadmissibility under section 212(a)(6)(F), which makes an alien inadmissible if they face a final order of removal for document fraud in violation of section 274C [PDF version]. 3 According to Section 274C(a)(1)–(6), it is prohibited for any person or organization to knowingly
”(1) to forge, counterfeit, alter, or falsely make any document for the purpose of satisfying a requirement of this Act or to obtain a benefit under this Act,
(2) to use, attempt to use, possess, obtain, accept, or receive or to provide any forged, counterfeit, altered, or falsely made document in order to satisfy any requirement of this Act or to obtain a benefit under this Act,
(3) to use or attempt to use or to provide or attempt to provide any document lawfully issued to or with respect to a person other than the possessor (including a deceased individual) for the purpose of satisfying a requirement of this Act or obtaining a benefit under this Act(crime involving moral turpitude) ,
(4) to accept or receive or to provide any document lawfully issued to or with respect to a person other than the possessor (including a deceased individual) for the purpose of complying with section 274A(b) or obtaining a benefit under this Act,
(5) to prepare, file, or assist another in preparing or filing, any application for benefits under this Act, or any document required under this Act, or any document submitted in connection with such application or document, with knowledge or in reckless disregard of the fact that such application or document was falsely made or, in whole or in part, does not relate to the person on whose behalf it was or is being submitted, or
(6) (A) to present before boarding a common carrier for the purpose of coming to the United States a document which relates to the alien’s eligibility to enter the United States, and (B) to fail to present such document to an immigration officer upon arrival at a United States port of entry.
You need the steady hand of an experienced immigration lawyer to navigate the
rough waters of U.S. immigration law. Seek out counsel from the Herman Legal Group, a U.S. immigration law firm with over 25 years of experience in representing individuals, families, and companies in all aspects of immigration law, in all 50 states and around the world.
Documentation Required to Prove ‘Extreme Hardship’
Some of the documentation that can help you prove
- Affidavits from qualifying relatives or other individuals with knowledge of the extreme hardship you faced.
- Any expert opinion as supporting documents
- Employment trail, such as tax statements or payroll.
- Monthly mortgage rental payments, bills, and invoices
- Any medical documentation to support your extreme hardship claim as public health significance is undoubted. ( include prescription and doctor’s reports).
- Records of membership in community organizations, volunteer confirmation, and evidence of cultural affiliations;
- To support claimed family ties (if any) included Birth, marriage, or adoption certificates (family unity)
- Reports containing your home country ( foreign country) circumstances; and
- Any other evidence that supports your claimed hardships stance.
How Long is a Waiver Valid?
If an alien lawfully is admitted into the US after a waiver on grounds of inadmissibility, the waiver is valid permanently. This is the case even if you fail to obtain an immigrant admission, adjustment of status, immigrant visa, or If you lose your lawful permanent resident status.
As far as applications for a K-1 nonimmigrant status visa are concerned, the approval and validity of your waiver are subject to actually marrying the United States Citizen spouse after being admitted into the United States.
What is The Filing Fee For an I-601 Waiver?
The filing fee for Form I-601 is $930.
It is important to note that the filing fee is non-refundable, even if a judicial review comes against you. The filing fee of 930 exact should be submitted, and cash that has been mailed by the applicant, their lawfully resident spouse, or parent will not be accepted.
Follow the guidelines given below to prepare either a money order or a check to pay for Form- I-601
- The money order or check drawn should be in US currency.
- The bank or any other financial institution the money order or check was drawn must be located in the US.
- The check or money order in question must be addressed to the U.S Department of Homeland Security. Note- Do not use the initials “USDHS” or “DHS.”
- In case you are based outside of the United States, for instructions on the method of payment for your waiver, the US Embassy or US Consulate in your country may be reached.
Fee Waiver for Fraud or Misrepresentation Waiver
As per CFR 103.7 (c), you or your foreign country citizen fiance may be, under certain conditions, eligible to apply for a fee waiver for fraud or misrepresentation.
If you are interested in filing a fee waiver, fill out Form- I-912 and attach evidence to prove your inability to pay the fee for the waiver application. Review the fee waiver guidance at www.uscis.gov/feewaiver for further guidance.
Sit down with the Herman Legal Group, experienced immigration lawyers, and let them analyze the facts and come up with the best legal strategy.
Processing Steps for Form I-601
It is mandatory for you to have an address within the United States to file for this application.
Once an application is submitted, it is checked for completeness. In complete form will be harmful to your application and may result in the USCIS denying or rejecting your application
#Requests for More Information.
A request can be issued by the USCIS asking for more information and evidence to support your application if required. Furthermore, original certificates of documentation attached can be requested to be provided by the application.
#Requests for Interview (for USCIS applicants)
USCIS, if required, can request an interview session before deciding on your application. Moreover, during the interview, you can be required to provide your photographs, signature, security check, fingerprints, or any other documentation or proof for verification.
Once your application has been processed, and an outcome has been decided, USCIS will notify you whether you are eligible for the immigration benefit you applied for. You could be notified in writing or through an electronic notice.
Why Hire a Law Firm?
Immigration processes are difficult to navigate, and even a minor error could result in the rejection of your application, which costs time and money. Let us put our skills to work for you. We can analyze your case, identify the available options, and help you decide the safest, most cost-effective, and quickest route to success.
Seek out counsel from the Herman Legal Group, a U.S. immigration law firm with over 25 years of experience in representing individuals, families, and companies in all aspects of immigration law, in all 50 states and around the world.