USCIS Announces Sua Sponte Reopening of Denied I-601A Waivers

Posted by on in Immigration and Firm News
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 1712
  • Subscribe to this entry

On March 18, 2014, USCIS announced that, on its own motion, it would reopen and review I-601A waivers that were denied prior to January 24, 2014 and review the reasons for denial. This affects spouses of United States citizens who have had their provisional waivers denied.

The I-601A provisional waiver went into effect in early 2013, allowing those who required a waiver for unlawful presence only to have their inadmissibility waiver provisionally approved, prior to traveling to their home country to secure their immigrant visa. Only immediate relatives of United States citizens are permitted to apply. Applicants for this waiver should be otherwise admissible to the United States and not be ineligible for serious criminal reasons or other reasons.

Prior to January 24, 2014, USCIS had taken a very strict approach to language in the relevant regulations. That language, found at 8 C.F.R. § 212.7(e)(4)(i), states that USCIS will deny a provisional waiver if they have a “reason to believe that the alien may be subject to the grounds of inadmissibility other than unlawful presence…” The practical result of this language during the first year of the provisional waiver program essentially resulted in large numbers of denials resulting from relatively minor law enforcement interactions. Such interactions typically would not trigger a ground of inadmissibility under the law, but USCIS’s approach was overly-cautious. These denials would then result in an immigrant needing to depart the United States and apply through the more traditional waiver application route, a step that would leave an immigrant spending several months or more waiting in their home country and separated from their family.

USCIS’s announcement that they would reopen and review previously denied provisional waivers is welcome news to immigrants and advocates alike. A large number of people had been caught in a web of denials for offenses that would not make them ineligible for an immigrant visa. These denials added to the expense and hardship of trying to navigate the very complex immigration system. USCIS is reopening these cases automatically and no additional fees will be required for this process.

If you have questions regarding your previously denied I-601 provisional waiver, please contact our office at (303) 371-1822.

Bryon M. Large, Sr. is a Senior Associate Attorney at Kolko & Associates, P.C., a Denver-based full service immigration law firm. He is licensed to practice law by the Colorado Supreme Court and has also been admitted by the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver and his undergraduate degree from the University of New Mexico. Bryon actively practices removal defense, federal litigation, family-based and employment-based immigration, asylum and naturalization.


Bryon is a past Chapter Chair for the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), as well as a Past Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association. He currently serves as the President of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, an Elected Director on the AILA Board of Governors, and is a member of the National LGBT Bar Association.


Bryon’s true passion in life is being a father to his two children.

K & A Monthly Newsletter

Please sign up for our monthly Email Newsletter.

Office Location and Directions

Kolko & Associates, P.C.
303 East 17th Avenue
Suite 585
Denver, Colorado 80203

Call us today:
303-371-1822
Fax:
303-373-1822

Connect with us

© 2016 Kolko & Associates
Disclaimer | Sitemap
Attorney Website Design by Legal Web Design

Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.