In The United States
WAIVERS IN THE CONTEXT OF APPLICATION FOR ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS
Generally, all immigrant applicants, whether filing abroad with the U.S. Consular Office or in the U.S. with the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS), may file an Extreme Hardship Waiver. Family-based or Employment-based applicants for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident who have committed a waivable crime or have misrepresented on a visa application in the past, may file an I-601 in conjunction with their application for Permanent Residency. In other words, if youre are otherwise eligible to file for adjustment of status, but are inadmissible because of a prior criminal act or misrepresentation, you are permitted to submit an I-601 Waiver to "waive" these grounds to USCIS.
Foreign nationals who entered the country without inspection that qualify for Temporary Protected Status may file an I-601 Inadmissibility Waiver. Also a waiver is available for those that are qualified for the Nicaragua Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). In addition, those who arrive in the U.S. fleeing persecution may file an extrem hardship waiver upon entering the U.S. along with their I-539 Application for Asylum. Furthermore, juveniles under Special Immigration applications may file for I-601 Extreme Hardship Waivers.
WAIVERS IN THE CONTEXT OF REMOVAL/DEPORTATION HEARINGS In-Court Adjustment of Status with an I-601 Waiver of grounds of inadmissibility
Waivers are available as relief from removal for individuals who are eligible to adjust status, but who have a ground of inadmissibility that needs to be "waived" before the adjustment of status application can be approved by the Immigration Judge (or by USCIS).
One common scenario happens when a foreign national is picked up by ICE and is placed in deportation proceedings. The government alleges that the foreign national is deportable or inadmissible because he has comitted a crime. If, for example, you are married to a US Citizen and a visa number is readily available to you, you can apply for Adjustment of Status before the Immigration Court. As part of that application, you can also apply for an I-601 Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (to waive the criminal conduct) under INA Section 212(h). The applicant is required to demonstrate that denial will cause extreme hardship to the US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, parent, or child. This waiver is not available if the crime is classififed as an aggravated felony or for most drug offenses.
Another waiver that is frequently used in the adjustment process is the waiver for prior acts of fraud or misrepresentation under INA Section 212(i). As with the foreign-filed-I-601, to qualify for the 212(i) waiver the applicant must prove extreme hardship to the US Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse or parent.