Individuals who are not legally entitled to enter or remain in the United States are deemed inadmissible. The Immigration and Nationality Act overlooks grounds for inadmissibility. There are different categories of inadmissibility.

The general categories of inadmissibility are:

  • Health
  • Criminal Reasons
  • National Security Reasons
  • Lack of Labor Certification
  • Unlawful Presence or Prior Removal
  • Likelihood of Becoming a Public Charge
  • Miscellaneous Grounds

However, don’t lose all hopes of staying in the country if you’re deemed inadmissible to the U.S. You can still get your visa or green card by applying for a waiver. The U.S government allows you to apply for a waiver on many grounds of inadmissibility.

In layman’s terms, a waiver is like a forgiveness given by the U.S government and convincing them to legally let you enter or remain in the U.S. Waivers of inadmissibility vary depending on the different grounds of inadmissibility.

Form I-601

You can waive off your inadmissibility by filing Form I-601 – Petition for Waiver of Ground of Inadmissibility. However, before filing the form, check your waiver requirements on the ground of inadmissibility you’re applicable.

This is important as you have to meet different criteria to submit an application. Form I-601 enables you to immigrate to the United States, get permanent residence status, or seek admission to the U.S in a nonimmigrant status if certain grounds of inadmissibility are preventing you from entering or staying in the country.

The entire process is time-consuming, extremely invasive and document-heavy. Make sure to submit all documents properly for successful processing of Waivers of Inadmissibility.

Who can File Form I-601?

There are restrictions on who can file Form I-601. You can file this form if you are:

  • An applicant for adjustment of status,
  • Outside the U.S, have had a visa interview, and found inadmissible
  • K-2 or K-1nonimmigrant visa applicant.
  • An applicant for K-4 or K-3 nonimmigrant visa
  • An applicant for Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • An applicant for V nonimmigrant visa,
  • An applicant for Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA)
  • An applicant for Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)
  • A self-petitioner for Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
  • A T nonimmigrant visa holder filed for adjustment of status and are inadmissible because of a ground that has not been waived regarding the T nonimmigrant status.

Which Grounds of Inadmissibility is Form I-601 Applicable for?

Form I-601 is not applicable on all grounds of inadmissibility. The applicable grounds of inadmissibility are:

  • Specific criminal grounds
  • Health-related grounds
  • Immigration misrepresentation or fraud excluding false claims to U.S. citizens
  • Immigrant Membership in the Totalitarian Party
  • Smugglers subject of a civil penalty
  • Certain grounds of inadmissibility, if you have filed for TPS
  • If you are barred for 3 years or 10 years for being unlawfully present in the United States
  • If you have violated previous immigration proceedings and are unlawfully present in the country. It is applicable if you have filed a VAWA self-petitioner
  • If you are removed or unlawfully present in the country after violating previous immigration proceedings. This is applicable if you have filed a NACARA or HRIFA adjustment.


The entire process approximately takes 12 months. It can be delayed further due to lack of documentation and evidence, or delays caused by the National Visa Center, which processes hundreds of Waivers of Inadmissibility applications every day.