The forgiveness application or application for “pardon” or what is legally called an “application for unlawful presence waiver” or I-601A waiver (see an image of the first page) is an application that makes it possible for you to remain in the U.S. during your green card process.  Here are the requirements for the forgiveness application:

  • Be physically present in the U.S.
  • Be 17 years of age or older.
  • Be in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa or have one already pending with the National Visa Center (NVC).
  • You are not in removal proceedings, or your removal proceedings have been administratively closed.
  • You do not have a final order of removal or deportation.
  • You do not have other inadmissibility issues, such as having a conviction of convictions amounting to a crime of moral turpitude.
  • Finally, you must show that your parents or spouse, who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, will suffer if you are refused admission to the U.S.

This is a delicate process and must be handled with care because the process can be long and requires cooperation from you, the client.  Evidence to include in this application are as follows:

  • Medical documents if your parents or spouse are experiencing health-related issues.
  • Financial documents to show the contribution your contribution to your family.
  • School records to show proof that your children are indeed in school and to demonstrate the amount of work your spouse or parents will undertake in your absence.
  • Any emotional factors or issues you would like the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) to consider.
  • Special factors such as cultural, language, religious, and ethnic obstacles; valid fears of persecution, physical harm, or injury; social ostracism or stigma; access (or lack of access) to social institutions or structures (official or unofficial) for support, guidance, or protection.

The above list is not exhaustive and could include many other types of evidence.  Once your legal team begins meeting with you to work on your case, more information will surface, which could lend evidentiary support to your application.

A review of past cases demonstrates that CIS can deny even very strong waiver cases.  With years of experience, we can attest that inconsistent adjudications of hardship exist at all levels.  However, the first step in preparing a winning waiver application requires understanding and familiarity with how the agency has defined and interpreted this term.



Konare Law was successful in the month of October in winning a difficult case for a gay Salvadoran.  The case was very difficult because when the client entered the U.S., he was interviewed by an asylum officer.  During the interview, the client never mentioned that he was gay.  He discussed all the other reasons for coming to the US, such as threats he and his family endured, but he never mentioned being gay.  He was ultimately successful in his interview.

But during his court proceedings, the prosecutor insinuated that the client was lying as he never mentioned being gay, or at the least, he did not fear returning to El Salvador as a gay guy.  But with strong preparation from his legal team, the client was able to overcome any credibility issues and he testified well.  With strong evidence submitted for his case, the immigration judge in Baltimore approved his case.  He is now an asylee.  After one year from the date the judge approved his case, he could apply to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and thereafter for his citizenship after being a resident for 5 years.  We wish him well in the U.S.


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