I-601 Waiver for INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) Bar + Immigrant Visa = A True Success Story

Five years after being found inadmissible under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), our client finally received her Immigrant Visa to join her U.S. citizen spouse in the United States. Consistent with normal processing time, USCIS took 10 months to approve her Form I-601 application for waiver of inadmissibility, which we prepared and filed on her behalf. But due to the U.S. Consulate’s administrative delays and a Presidential Proclamation suspending entries from the client’s home country, it took almost three more years for her to get the visa.

Five years after being found inadmissible under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), our client finally received her Immigrant Visa to join her U.S. citizen spouse in the United States. Consistent with normal processing time, USCIS took 10 months to approve her Form I-601 application for waiver of inadmissibility, which we prepared and filed on her behalf. But due to the U.S. Consulate’s administrative delays and a Presidential Proclamation suspending entries from the client’s home country, it took almost three more years for her to get the visa.

This is episode 13. I-601 Waiver for INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) Bar + Immigrant Visa = A True Success Story

Hello and welcome to The Legal Immigrant. Through success stories and Q&A formats, this show covers U.S. immigration problems that I solve. My name is Dyan Williams and I’m a U.S. immigration attorney at Dyan Williams Law.

Problem: Permanent Bar Under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i)

A person who is found inadmissible under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the Immigration & Nationality Act is barred from the U.S. for a lifetime. Unless the person has a factual basis, legal ground and procedural means to get the bar removed, she must receive a Form I-601 waiver from USCIS before an Immigrant Visa may be issued to her.

To reach an INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) finding, the U.S. immigration agency must have facts and evidence showing the person used fraud or willfully misrepresented a material fact to obtain a U.S. immigration benefit.

The U.S. Consulate found that our client previously married a Diversity Visa (DV1) applicant solely to apply for a DV2 visa as his derivative beneficiary. She explained to the U.S. Consulate the marriage was real, but ended in divorce because the relationship did not work out.

The DV1 applicant was found to be ineligible for the visa, and the client never received the DV2 visa. An INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) bar does not require the applicant to actually receive the U.S. immigration benefit, but only that she attempted to get it by fraud or willful misrepresentation of a relevant fact.

Years after her prior marriage ended, our client married the U.S. citizen who then filed an I-130 petition for her. They had been college sweethearts. They met up again at a college reunion during the U.S. citizen’s visit to his native country. From then on, they continued to communicate and develop their relationship before they decided to marry.

After USCIS approved the Form I-130 petition, the beneficiary submitted her Immigrant Visa application and attended her visa interview at the U.S. Consulate. Following the visa refusal under 212(a)(6)(C)(i), the U.S. citizen petitioner contacted me for guidance on next steps.

Solution: Form I-601 Waiver Under INA 212(i)

We decided to first submit a letter to the U.S. Consulate requesting clarification on the factual basis for the section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) bar. Upon receiving a response from the U.S. Consulate, I counseled the client and her U.S. citizen spouse to request a Form I-601 waiver instead of challenge the bar.

Because the prior marriage to the DV1 applicant had long ended and the client did not have objective evidence to demonstrate the marriage was bona fide, it was less likely the U.S. Embassy would rescind the bar.

We determined that time, effort and legal fees were better spent on getting the waiver.
Section 212(i) of the INA provides a waiver of the fraud or willful misrepresentation bar if there is a qualifying relative who will suffer extreme hardship if the applicant does not immigrate to the United States.

A qualifying relative is the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent of the applicant. Extreme hardship must result to that person if he stays in the U.S. without the applicant or relocates to another country to be with the applicant.

In this case, the U.S. citizen had compelling reasons for needing his wife to join him in the United States. His life-threatening kidney disease required him to get regular dialysis and, eventually, a kidney transplant.

After agreeing to represent the applicant in her Form I-601 - with her U.S. citizen spouse as my main contact person - I advised them on the documentary evidence and written explanations to submit to USCIS. These included their detailed affidavits describing the extreme hardships, the U.S. citizen’s medical records, and reports on the lack of medical resources in the applicant’s home country.

I further provided a legal memorandum explaining why the applicant’s reunification with the U.S. citizen petitioner in the United States was the only viable option that would not inflict extreme hardships.

We also demonstrated the applicant’s good moral character, such as her devotion to her U.S. citizen spouse, family responsibilities, and no criminal record. Such favorable factors are important because USCIS may deny the waiver, as a matter of discretion, even if the extreme hardship requirement is met.

Outcome: Waiver Approval + Immigrant Visa Grant

After notifying the client and her U.S. citizen spouse of the Form I-601 approval, I did not hear back from them. As time went on, I assumed the Immigrant Visa had been issued and they were together in the United States. My representation ended because it was limited to the I-601 waiver, which was granted by USCIS.

Eighteen months later, the U.S. citizen sent me an email, out of the blue, stating the U.S. Consulate had placed the case under 221(g) administrative processing for months. And in response to his most recent follow-up inquiry, the U.S. Consulate informed him the visa could not be issued due to Trump’s Presidential Proclamation suspending entry under INA 212(f).

I explained to him that either the travel suspension had to be lifted by the President or a 212(f) waiver of the travel ban may be requested. He and his wife decided to wait for changes in the Administration.
After the Biden Administration took office in January 2021, the travel suspension was lifted and the 212(f) waiver was no longer needed.

Without additional legal fee, I sent a follow-up letter to the U.S. Consulate requesting expedited processing of the Immigrant Visa. I pointed out the Form I-601 waiver had been approved, the additional 221(g) documents had been submitted, and the Presidential Proclamation had been lifted.
Several months later, the U.S. citizen informed me that his wife had received the Immigrant Visa and she was now in the United States with him.

The couple remained committed to one another despite their separate residences and long-distance relationship. Our client finally became a permanent resident after she was initially refused the visa under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i). Although it took several years for her to complete the Immigrant Visa process, the Form I-601 approval was critical to the favorable outcome.

This is a true success story at Dyan Williams Law.

The Legal Immigrant provides general information only from Dyan Williams Law. Do not consider it as legal advice. Each case is different. Even cases that seem similar can have different outcomes.

Have you been charged with fraud or misrepresentation? If you’re applying for an immigrant visa or permanent residence and have this lifetime bar, you need an I-601 waiver. Otherwise, if the bar was made in error, you might be able to get it removed through a motion to reconsider.

To receive advice on fraud or misrepresentation issues, contact us through our website at dyanwilliamslaw.com or send us an email at info@dyanwilliamslaw.com

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