Client Approval: I-601 Waiver Approved in 1.5 Months for Membership in Communist Party

Client Approval: I-601 Waiver Approved in 1.5 Months for Membership in Communist Party

We recently obtained approval for the I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility for a Chinese national deemed inadmissible pursuant to INA Section 212(a)(3)(D).  Our client is the spouse of a U.S. citizen who was found inadmissible at her I-485 adjustment of status interview due to prior membership in the Chinese Community Party.

Our office was contacted by the client due to our extensive experience handling I-601 waiver cases, including obtaining waiver approvals for those deemed inadmissible due to membership in a communist party pursuant to INA Section 212(a)(3)(D).

INA Section 212(a)(3)(D) deems inadmissible any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Community or any other totalitarian party, domestic, or foreign:

(i) In general. Any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate thereof), domestic or foreign, is inadmissible.

Three exceptions apply:

INA Section 212 (a)(D)(ii) Exception for involuntary membership. – Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien because of membership or affiliation if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer when applying for a visa (or to the satisfaction of the Attorney General when applying for admission) that the membership or affiliation is or was involuntary, or is or was solely when under 16 years of age, by operation of law, or for purposes of obtaining employment, food rations, or other essentials of living and whether necessary for such purposes.

INA Section 212 (a)(D)(iii) Exception for past membership. – Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien because of membership or affiliation if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer when applying for a visa (or to the satisfaction of the Attorney General when applying for admission) that-

(I) the membership or affiliation terminated at least-

(aa) 2 years before the date of such application, or

(bb) 5 years before the date of such application, in the case of an alien whose membership or affiliation was with the party controlling the government of a foreign state that is a totalitarian dictatorship as of such date, and

(II) the alien is not a threat to the security of the United States.

INA Section 212 (a)(D)(iv) Exception for close family members. – The Attorney General may, in the Attorney General’s discretion, waive the application of clause (i) in the case of an immigrant who is the parent, spouse, son, daughter, brother, or sister of a citizen of the United States or a spouse, son, or daughter of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest if the immigrant is not a threat to the security of the United States.

There is also a judicially created exception that states that an alien is admissible if his or her membership is “not meaningful.” The U.S. Supreme Court elaborates that membership is “not meaningful” if the alien lacks “commitment to the political and ideological convictions of communism.” Rowoldt v. Perfetto355 U.S. 115 (1957).

As we do with all of our waiver cases in which more than one exception or waiver applies, we presented evidence that our client meets the legal standard for every relevant and applicable exception and waiver.  While this is significantly more work for us and not standard practice for some attorneys, we always do our utmost to maximize the probability of approval for our clients at no additional cost.

Specifically, we presented compelling evidence that our client’s membership in the Chinese Community Party was involuntary and “not meaningful.”  We discussed how our client held no leadership positions; never attended a Chinese Communist Party meeting; neither advocated for nor endorsed any part of the Chinese Communist Party ideology; and at no time in her life participated in activities promoting Chinese Communist Party principles or advocating against US interests.

We also presented evidence that our client agreed to join the Chinese Community Party due to the scholarship and post-graduate job opportunities it might offer.  We then cited objective academic research that found that membership in the Communist Party had a significant impact on increasing upward mobility in employment, and on decreasing the risk of downward mobility or discharge.  According to the research we cited, overall, Party Membership accounted for a swing of 30% in the likelihood of a party member experiencing upward or downward mobility, compared to a non-party member (with the non-party member bearing the greater risk of negative employment outcome).

We engaged in an in-depth discussion of how the admission of our client serves the humanitarian purposes of the United States government; promotes the principle of family unity with her U.S. citizen husband; and that it is in the public interest of the United States to allow our client to be admitted for U.S. lawful permanent residence based on her academic background and professional contributions thus far.

This discussion also included a comprehensive illustration of the extreme hardships that our client’s U.S. citizen husband would suffer should he be separated from his wife (or alternatively, forced to return to China).  Specifically, we cited the suspicion, monitoring, and possible censure the U.S. citizen is likely to experience should he re-locate back to China, due to politically sensitive topics he brought up at international conferences as part of his professional duties as an academic.  We also conducted a financial analysis of the couple’s situation and demonstrated the dependency of the U.S. citizen husband on his wife’s substantial legal income.

Based on our expedited preparation of the waiver and filing, the I-601 waiver was approved within 1.5 month of submission to the USCIS.  Our client will now be approved for lawful permanent residence and be able to continue her life in the United States with her husband.

Requests for Evidence (RFEs) Commonly Issued by USCIS on Waiver Applications

Requests for Evidence (RFEs) Commonly Issued by USCIS on Waiver Applications

I am often contacted by applicants who have received a Request for Evidence from the USCIS and are understandably concerned and unsure how to respond.

While some Requests for Evidence are procedural and relatively simple to handle (e.g. a request for a copy of a marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.), others are more serious and accompanied by a Notice of Intent to Deny as well.  This typically occurs because the adjudicating USCIS officer believes that the applicant failed to meet the legal threshold of the waiver being applied for.

Below are Requests for Evidence commonly issued by the USCIS to waiver applicants.  Our office has successfully responded to such requests from the USCIS on behalf of our clients for the past 12+ years.  Should such a request be issued, I recommend contacting an experienced I-601 and I-212 waiver attorney and get guidance on how to proceed.  It is extremely important that such requests be carefully and fully complied with to ensure successful approval of your waiver application.

100 RFE 601- Waiver Requirements for Unlawful Presence – INA 212(a)(9)(B)(v)
You have been found inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because you had previously been unlawfully present in the United States in excess of either 180 days, or for one year or more.

To be eligible for a waiver under section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) of the INA, you must show that:

• You have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent, or a U.S. citizen fiance( e) who petitioned for your K visa, who would experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission, and
• Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.

101 RFE 601- Waiver Requirements for Criminal & Related Grounds – INA 212(h)
You have been found inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because of your involvement in: [ISO inserts applicable basis for inadmissibility finding]

• A crime involving moral turpitude (other than purely political offense).
• A controlled substance violation according to the laws and regulations of any country related to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.
• Two or more convictions, other than purely political ones, for which you received sentences of confinement amounting to 5 years or more.
• Prostitution, including having procured others for prostitution or having received the proceeds of prostitution.
• Unlawful commercialized vice whether or not related to prostitution.
• Serious criminal activity but you asserted immunity from prosecution.

This office may approve a waiver of the inadmissibility ground(s) under section 212(h) of the INA, if you can show that either:

You are only inadmissible for participation in prostitution; and

• You have been rehabilitated; and
• Your admission to the United States will not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States; and
• Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.

The criminal activities for which you are inadmissible occurred more than 15 years ago; and

• You have been rehabilitated; and
• Your admission to the United States will not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States;
• Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.

You have a qualifying relative who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States; and

• Your qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship on account of your ineligibility to immigrate; and
• Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.

You are the fiance( e) of a K visa petitioner; and

• The K visa petitioner would suffer extreme hardship on account of your ineligibility to immigrate; and
• Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.

You are a VA WA self-petitioner

In addition to the above requirements, if an applicant has been convicted of a violent or dangerous crime, USCIS will not waive the inadmissibility as a matter of discretion unless the individual can show an extraordinary circumstance, such as:

  • One involving national security or policy considerations; or
  • If the denial of your admission would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.

102 RFE 601 – Waiver Requirements for Fraud/Misrepresentation – INA 212(i)
You have been found inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because you sought to procure an immigration benefit by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact.

To be eligible for a waiver under section 212(i) of the INA, you must show that:

• You have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent, or a U.S. citizen fiance( e) who petitioned for your K visa, who would experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission, or
• You are a VA WA self-petitioner, and that you or your U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or qualified parent or child would experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission; and ‘
• Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.

103 RFE 601 – Waiver Requirements for Communicable Disease – INA 212(g)(1)
You have been found inadmissible to the United States under section 212( a)(1)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because you have a medical condition that will not allow you to enter or remain in the United States. USCIS may waive this inadmissibility ground under section 212(g)(1) of the INA as a matter of discretion after consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To be eligible for this waiver, you must show that you are one of the following:

  • The spouse, parent, unmarried son or daughter, or minor unmarried lawfully adopted child of
    • A U.S. citizen; or
    • An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence; or
    • An alien who has been issued an immigrant visa
  • A self petitioner under the Violence Against Women Act (VA WA)
  • The fiance( e) of a U.S. citizen or the fiance(e)’s child.

104 RFE 601 – Waiver Requirements for Missing Vaccinations – INA 212(g)(2)(C)
You have been found inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(1)(A)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because you have not received the vaccines required for entry into the United States. USCIS may waive this inadmissibility ground under section 212(g)(2)(C) of the INA as a matter of discretion if you can establish that:

  • You are opposing vaccinations in any form (that is, you are not just opposed to one vaccine but that you oppose the practice of vaccination in general); and
  • Your objection is based on religious beliefs or your moral convictions; and
  • Your belief or conviction is sincere (that you actually live according to your belief and conviction, and that you do not just have the belief or conviction because you do not want to be vaccinated).

105VWR – Waiver Requirements for Physical or Mental Disorder- INA 212(g)(3) 

You have been found inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(1)(A)(iii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because you were determined to have a mental or physical disorder that poses or may pose a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of you or others; or because you have a history of a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior that poses or may pose a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of you or others because the disorder is likely to reoccur.

After consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USCIS may waive this inadmissibility ground under section 212(g)(3) of the INA as a matter of discretion to ensure that you have arranged for suitable health care in the United States so that your condition will no longer pose a threat to you or others.

106 RFE 601- Waiver Requirements for Membership in a Totalitarian Party – INA 212(a)(3)(D)(iv)
You have been found inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(3)(D) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because you had been a member of the Communist Party or another totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate thereof).

To be eligible for a waiver under section 212(a)(3)(D)(iv) of the INA, you must show that:

  • You are:
    • A parent, spouse, son, daughter, brother, or sister of a citizen of the United States, or
    • A spouse, son, or daughter of a lawful permanent resident of the United States; and
  • Your application should be granted to serve humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or because it is otherwise in the public interest; and
  • You are not a threat to the security of the United States; and
  • Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.

107 RFE 601 – Waiver Requirements for Smuggling-INA 212(d)(11)
You have been found inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(6)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because you had engaged in alien smuggling.

To be eligible for a waiver under section 212(d)(11) of the INA, you must show that:

  • You are:
    • An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence who temporarily proceeded abroad voluntarily and not under an order of removal, and are otherwise admissible to the United States as a returning resident under section 211(b) of the INA, or
    • Seeking admission or adjustment of status as an immediate relative under section INA 201(b)(2)(A) or as an immigrant under section 203(a) of the INA (first, second, and third family-based preference, but not fourth preference) or as the fiance(e) (or child of the fiance(e))’of a U.S citizen; and
    • You have encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided only an individual who at the time of such action was your spouse, parent, son, or daughter (and no other individual) to enter the United States in violation of the law; and
    • Your application should be granted to serve humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or because it is otherwise in the public interest; and

Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.

108 RFE 601- Waiver Requirements for Subject of Civil Penalty- INA 212(d)(12)
You have been found inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(6)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because you have been the subject of a final order for violation of section 274C of the INA (Document Fraud).

To be eligible for a waiver under section 212(d)(12) of the INA, you must show that:

  • You are
    • An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence who temporarily proceeded abroad voluntarily and not under an order of deportation or removal and who is otherwise admissible to the United States as a returning resident under section 211(b) of the INA, or
    • Seeking admission or adjustment of status as an immediate relative under section 201(b)(2)(A) of the INA or as an immigrant under section 203(a) of the INA (first, second, and third family-based preference, but not fourth preference) or as the fiance(e) (or child of the fiance(e)) of a U.S. citizen; and
    • This is the only civil money penalty order against you under INA 274C; and
    • You committed the offense only to assist, aid, or support your spouse or child (and not another individual); and
    • Your application should be granted to serve humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or because it is otherwise in the public interest; and

Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.

109 RFE 601 – Applicant Previously Removed – INA 212(a)(9)(A)(iii)
The record indicates that in addition to the inadmissibility ground for which you have filed Form I-601, you are also inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) due to a previous removal or deportation.

An individual who is inadmissible under section 212(a)(9)(A) of the INA may file an Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission to the United States After Deportation or Removal (Form I-212).

Your application is missing evidence that you have filed Form I-212 with USCIS. Please submit a USCIS receipt notice for Form I-212 as evidence that you have filed the required application.

110 RFE 601-No Evidence of Visa Refusal or Pending I-485/I-821
An individual who is outside the United States may file Form I-601 if he or she has been found inadmissible by a U.S. Consular Officer after having applied for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant K or V visa.

An individual who is inside the United States may file Form I-601 along with an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) or an Application for Temporary Protected Status (Form I-821 ), or while the Form I-485 or Form I-821 is pending.

Your application is missing evidence that your waiver application is based on either:

  • An immigrant visa application (or nonimmigrant K or V visa application) filed with the Department of State (DOS), for which you were found ineligible due to an inadmissibility ground; or
  • A pending Form I-485 or Form I-821.

Please provide the following evidence to support your application:

  • If you are outside the United States, submit evidence that you have a pending immigrant visa application (or nonimmigrant K or V visa application), such as a copy of a DOS notice identifying your Consular Case Number.
  • If you are inside the United States and have a pending Form I-485 or Form I-821, submit evidence that you have a pending application, such as a copy of your USCIS receipt notice (Form I-797).

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Client Approval: I-601 Waiver Approved under INA 212(a)(3)(D)(iv) for Community Party Membership

Client Approval: I-601 Waiver Approved under INA 212(a)(3)(D)(iv) for Community Party Membership

Our office recently received approval for the I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility for a Chinese national deemed inadmissible pursuant to INA Section 212(a)(3)(D).  Our client is the Chinese father of a U.S. citizen daughter who was found inadmissible at his adjustment of status interview due to membership in a Community Party. His wife, on the other hand, was subsequently approved for U.S. lawful permanent residence.

Our office was then contacted by his U.S. citizen daughter to prepare an urgently needed I-601 waiver so that her father could be allowed to remain in the United States and stay united with his wife and family.

INA Section 212(a)(3)(D) deems inadmissible any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Community or any other totalitarian party, domestic, or foreign.

Three exceptions apply:

INA Section 212 (a)(D)(ii) Exception for involuntary membership. – Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien because of membership or affiliation if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer when applying for a visa (or to the satisfaction of the Attorney General when applying for admission) that the membership or affiliation is or was involuntary, or is or was solely when under 16 years of age, by operation of law, or for purposes of obtaining employment, food rations, or other essentials of living and whether necessary for such purposes.

INA Section 212 (a)(D)(iii) Exception for past membership. – Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien because of membership or affiliation if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer when applying for a visa (or to the satisfaction of the Attorney General when applying for admission) that-

(I) the membership or affiliation terminated at least-

(aa) 2 years before the date of such application, or

(bb) 5 years before the date of such application, in the case of an alien whose membership or affiliation was with the party controlling the government of a foreign state that is a totalitarian dictatorship as of such date, and

(II) the alien is not a threat to the security of the United States.

INA Section 212 (a)(D)(iv) Exception for close family members. – The Attorney General may, in the Attorney General’s discretion, waive the application of clause (i) in the case of an immigrant who is the parent, spouse, son, daughter, brother, or sister of a citizen of the United States or a spouse, son, or daughter of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest if the immigrant is not a threat to the security of the United States.

There is also a judicially created exception that states that an alien is admissible if his or her membership is “not meaningful.” The U.S. Supreme Court elaborates that membership is “not meaningful” if the alien lacks “commitment to the political and ideological convictions of communism.” Rowoldt v. Perfetto, 355 U.S. 115 (1957).

As we do with all of our waiver cases in which more than one exception or waiver applies, we presented evidence that our applicant meets the legal standard for every relevant and applicable exception and waiver.  While this is significantly more work for us and not standard practice for some attorneys, we always do our utmost to maximize the probability of approval for our clients at no additional cost.

Specifically, we presented compelling evidence that our client’s membership in the Community Party was involuntary and “not meaningful.”  Such evidence included affidavits from former colleagues corroborating how meaningless our client’s membership in the Community Party was.

We also stressed that our client’s membership in the Communist Party was primarily maintained to ensure job security.  We cited objective academic research that found that membership in the Communist Party had a significant impact on increasing upward mobility in employment, and on decreasing the risk of downward mobility or discharge.  According to the research we cited, overall, Party Membership accounted for a swing of 30% in the likelihood of a party member experiencing upward or downward mobility, compared to a non-party member (with the non-party member bearing the greater risk of negative employment outcome).

We also engaged in an in-depth discussion of how the admission of our client serves the humanitarian purposes of the United States government; promotes the principle of family unity with his U.S. lawful permanent resident wife and U.S. citizen daughter (and U.S. citizen grand-daughter); and that it is in the public interest of the United States to allow our client to be admitted for U.S. lawful permanent residence.

This discussion also included a comprehensive illustration of the extreme hardships that our client’s lawful permanent resident wife would suffer should she be separated from her husband of 41+ years (or alternatively, forced to return to China and be separated from her U.S. citizen daughter and grand-daughter).

Based on our expedited preparation of the waiver and filing, the I-601 waiver was approved within 1 month of submission to the USCIS.  This tight-knit family will now be allowed to lawfully settle together in the United States.