Instructions for Submission of Waivers from Abroad

Submission of Applications for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility and Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission to the U.S. After Deportation or Removal.

Recently, US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has changed the filing procedures for waivers required from some visa applicants. Previously the waivers were filed in person by the applicant at the designated embassy. These waivers included Waivers of Inadmissibility (Form I-601) and the Application to Reapply for Admission to the U.S. (Form I-212). After the waivers were filed, the consulate or embassy would forward to USCIS for processing.

In June 2012, USCIS changed the procedures for waivers filed by applicants outside the United States. Waivers are now filed at a central location in the U.S., at the USCIS Lockbox in Lincoln, Nebraska. From June through December 5, 2012, applicants filing waivers from Mexico had the option of filing either at the US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez or at the USCIS Lockbox. Beginning on December 5, 2012, all I-601 and I-212 applications must be filed at the USCIS Lockbox in Lincoln, Nebraska.

There are limited exceptions to the requirement of filing in the United States. For example, when there is no direct mail to the U.S. from Cuba, and cases that involve exceptional and compelling circumstances and due to urgent circumstances immediate attention is required.

These exceptions include: 1) medical emergencies; 2) threats to safety; 3) aging out of applicant/beneficiary; 4) adoption. The applicant must provide evidence to demonstrate necessity and exceptional and compelling circumstances. The USCIS Office abroad may also accept Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, associated with the denial of an I-601 or I-212. If the I-290B Is filed as a motion it will be decided abroad. If the I-290B is filed as an appeal it will be forwarded to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO). Additionally, applicants residing in Cuba may continue to submit their waivers directly to the USCIS Havana Field Office.

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