Getting I-601 waivers approved is a milestone in the visa process. Obtaining an approval assures you, prior to leaving the U.S., that your illegal entry and/or unlawful presence will not be used as a reason to deny your immigrant visa. The approval also makes the process very quick. After the consular interview, you should receive you permanent visa within 3 weeks. After receiving a grant of a 601A waiver, there is a series of steps that you must still follow.
Once the waiver is approved by the USCIS, you should receive a packet of information from the U.S. Embassy of the country of origin. The packet will explain how to set up a new interview appointment at the consulate. Usually this packet is sent via DHL the day the consulate receives the I-601 approval notice from USCIS. This is usually a few days after the USCIS approval.
On the interview date, the applicant brings all of the requested documents and a current passport. The consulate holds on to the passport until the visa is approved. In about a week, the consulate sends via DHL the passport containing the visa and a sealed packet called the ‘Immigrant Visa Packet’. You will have four months in which to enter the U.S.
Once you enter the US, you will be escorted to a room where the immigration officer will open sealed Immigrant Visa Packet. The officer will stamp the passport. The stamp acts as a temporary green card (I-551) valid for one year. A social security number is assigned automatically and a “Green Card” comes about two to three weeks after entry into the U.S.
Even after the 601A waiver is granted, the U.S. embassy or consulate could deny your immigrant visa because of a reason different than your unlawful presence in the U.S. Usually if there is a denial, it’s due to something else that you did in violation of the immigration laws. Such as past criminal convictions or perhaps you lied to the consulate when you previously applied for a visa. In many such cases, you may apply for another waiver. Also, if you are suspected of marriage fraud or if you are no longer living with your spouse, your visa will be denied.
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