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The I-130/601A process is the procedure of applying for Legal Permanent Resident status through a U.S. embassy or consulate in a foreign country if the beneficiary is inadmissible solely due to unlawful presence in the United States. The beneficiary will remain in the United States while the family-based petition and the 601A waiver are approved. Thereafter, the beneficiary will have to attend an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their native country to complete to consular process.  


The following is brief summary: 


1. Submit Family Based Petition (I-130):  

The entire process begins when the United States citizen or Legal Permanent Resident files a family based petition (Form I-130) on behalf of the beneficiary. The purpose of Form I-130 is to establish a qualifying relationship so that the relative may apply for a green card. In other words, USCIS must be convinced that a real or bona fide relationship exists between the petitioner and the beneficiary. To obtain a green card based on a family relationship, the beneficiary must be in either the immediate relative or family preference categories.  

2. I-130 Decision:  

USCIS will notify the petitioner of a decision via by mail on Form I-797, Notice of Action. If the petition is approved, USCIS will send the approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), where it will remain until an immigrant visa is available. If USCIS denies the petition, the notice will include the reasons for denying the petition and any rights to appeal the decision. 


3. The National Visa Center (NVC): 

The NVC is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and supporting documents. The NVC will send notifications when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa is about to become available. The NVC will also notify when the beneficiary must submit immigrant visa processing fees, the visa application and supporting documentation.  


4. I-601A Waiver: 

The Department of Homeland Security allows family members of U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents who are otherwise ineligible to adjust their status in the U.S. due to unlawful presence, to apply for an I-601A provisional waiver in the United States without having to depart. The I-601A provisional waiver provides the applicant the ability to request a waiver of a multi-year bar for unlawful presence. Once the applicant’s waiver is approved, the applicant will be eligible to attend their consular interview appointment in their native country. The 601A provisional waiver solely deals with the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility.  


5. Consular Interview:  

Once a visa is available and the NVC has received all applications, documents, and fees, the consular office will schedule the beneficiary for an interview. The consular officer will complete processing of the applicant’s case and decide if the beneficiary is eligible for an immigrant visa. If the beneficiary is granted an immigrant visa, the consular officer will give the beneficiary a packet of information, also known as a Visa Packet. 


6. Entry to the United States:  

Upon arrival to a port of entry of the United States, the beneficiary will be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. If found admissible, the new immigrant will be admitted as a Legal Permanent Resident of the United States of America.  


7. Receiving the Green Card:  

The beneficiary should receive their green card via mail once they enter the United States. If the green card is not received in a couple of months, the beneficiary should schedule an “Info Pass” appointment with USCIS to inquire or request their green card.  

I-130/601A cases are complicated and often require the help of knowledgeable professionals to obtain a successful outcome. At the Jurado Firm, we have the experience you need in handling I-130/601A cases to ensure that you obtain the best possible outcome in your I-130/601A case. Give us a call, our initial consultations are free of cost.

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