Form I-690 Application Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Form I-690 is a legal document used by certain applicants in the United States seeking to adjust their immigration status despite being deemed inadmissible on specific grounds. This form serves as an application for a waiver of the grounds of inadmissibility, which, if granted, allows an individual to proceed with their application for adjustment of status under sections 245A or 210 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It is an essential component of the immigration process for those who have been identified as inadmissible but are eligible for lawful permanent resident status through specific immigration programs.

The process of applying for a waiver using Form I-690 is tailored to individuals who have entered the United States either as a refugee, been granted asylum, or are applicants under the Special Agricultural Workers (SAW) program. These sections correspond to those who seek to adjust their status due to their work in agriculture or based on having been recognized as refugees or asylees. The successful completion and approval of this form can be pivotal in an individual’s journey towards lawful permanent residence in the U.S., rendering their inadmissibility waived for immigration purposes. It is important for applicants to ensure that Form I-690 is accurately completed and submitted before the expiration date indicated by the issuing authority.

Eligibility Criteria

Before applying for Form I-690, it is critical that applicants understand the specific eligibility criteria. This section outlines the prerequisites that must be met in relation to the grounds of inadmissibility, the classes of applicants who may apply, and the waiver requirements that govern the application process.

Grounds for Inadmissibility

Applicants seeking a waiver on the grounds of inadmissibility may be facing various barriers, such as health-related issues, certain criminal offenses, or security violations. Specifically, health-related grounds include communicable diseases of public significance, as defined by health regulations, including:

  • Class A Tuberculosis
  • Chancroid
  • Gonorrhea
  • Granuloma inguinale

Classes of Applicants

The classes of applicants eligible to use Form I-690 include, but are not limited to, individuals applying for adjustment of status under section 245A or 210 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Furthermore, foreign nationals who have obtained a J-1 or J-2 visa and are subject to the two-year foreign residency requirement may also be eligible to apply for this waiver.

Waiver Requirements

The waiver requirements dictate that applicants must provide evidence to support their claim for inadmissibility. This may include documentation proving the inadmissibility ground and the compelling reasons why a waiver should be granted. The following are essential components of a complete waiver application:

  • Full disclosure of the inadmissibility reason
  • Documentation substantiating the waiver request

Application Process

The application process for Form I-690 requires attention to detail in filing the form, gathering the necessary supporting documents, understanding the fee structure, and complying with any biometric services that may be necessary.

Form Filing

An applicant begins by accurately completing Form I-690. They must type or print in black ink and ensure that every section is complete. Incorrect or missing information can result in delays or the rejection of the application.

Supporting Documents

Applicants must provide supporting documents to substantiate their claims for a waiver of inadmissibility. These documents often include legal paperwork, records of previous immigration statuses, and other relevant personal identification materials. It’s crucial they collate a full suite of necessary paperwork to avoid processing setbacks.

  • Personal Identification
  • Immigration Status Documents
  • Legal Paperwork

Application Fee

Form I-690 requires the payment of an application fee that is subject to change. Applicants should verify the current amount required by consulting the latest information from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure accurate fee submission.

Applicant Category Fee (as of last known update)
Standard Check latest USCIS guidelines
Special Cases Check latest USCIS guidelines

Biometric Services

If applicable, biometric services fees may be required in addition to the application fee. Applicants should be prepared to submit to biometric services, such as fingerprinting and photography, as requested by USCIS.

  • Fingerprinting
  • Photography
  • Possible Additional Biometric Services

Careful adherence to each of these steps is necessary to ensure the timely and successful processing of Form I-690. Applicants are advised to consult the latest form instructions provided by USCIS to guarantee compliance with all requirements.

Adjudication Process

The adjudication process of Form I-690 involves a structured series of steps to ensure a fair and thorough consideration of an applicant’s request for a waiver of inadmissibility.

Review and Investigation

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer will organize all pertinent documents submitted by the applicant into the correct order as part of the Record of Proceedings (ROP). This includes the scrutiny of any evidence provided in response to a Request for Evidence (RFE), to form the basis for a comprehensive review.

Decision Criteria

USCIS officers apply specific criteria to make a decision on the waiver application. They assess whether the applicant meets all eligibility requirements outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and USCIS policies. Circumstances of inadmissibility, the presence of any criminal record, and the individual’s immigration history are key factors in the evaluation process.

Notice of Decision

Upon completion of the adjudication process, USCIS provides the applicant with a formal notice of their decision. It outlines whether the waiver of inadmissibility has been either granted or denied, along with instructions for any further actions that may be required from the applicant.

Post-Decision Procedures

After the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes a decision on Form I-690, the applicant is notified of the result. The procedures following this decision are crucial and vary significantly depending on the outcome.

Approval and Next Steps

If Form I-690 is approved, USCIS will proceed with the adjustment of status application. The applicant should receive an approval notice, and the following necessary steps may include attending a biometrics appointment and an interview. Furthermore, the applicant is typically required to submit additional documentation or evidence if requested by USCIS.

Denial and Appeal Rights

In the event of a denial, the applicant is also notified and provided with the reasons for the denial. They have the right to appeal the decision or to reapply if new information or circumstances come to light. An appeal must be filed within 30 days of the decision and should be directed to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), as specified in the denial notice.

  • Appeal Steps:
    • Review the denial notice for specific reasons.
    • File a Notice of Appeal to the AAO or BIA (Form I-290B).
    • Pay the required appeal fee or request a fee waiver.
    • Submit any new evidence or information that may affect the decision.

It is important for the applicant to adhere to the deadlines and follow the correct procedures to ensure their case is revisited in a timely manner.

Special Considerations

When applying for a waiver of grounds of inadmissibility using Form I-690, applicants need to be aware of certain specific nuances that may affect their submission. These include understanding when exceptional circumstances might allow for a waiver and recognizing how public health provisions are addressed in the application process.

Exceptional Circumstances

In the context of Form I-690, exceptional circumstances may be considered when an applicant demonstrates situations that significantly differ from the norm and may require discretion. For example, if an applicant has been a long-time resident with strong ties to the community or has significant family responsibilities, they can present these circumstances as exceptional to bolster their case for a waiver.

Public Health Provisions

The waiver application must address any public health provisions that the applicant may be inadmissible under. Applicants with certain medical conditions must provide detailed information, which could include the following:

  • Proof of treatment or a treatment plan
  • Documentation of the health condition’s history
  • Statements from public health officials or medical professionals

Applicants must ensure they meet all public health criteria to qualify for the waiver of inadmissibility.

Legal Framework

The legal framework for Form I-690 encompasses specific statutory provisions and regulatory guidelines that govern its use and the eligibility criteria for applicants.

Statutory Provisions

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Sections 210 and 245A: Applicants who are seeking an adjustment of status under INA Section 210 (Special Agricultural Workers) or Section 245A (Legalization, including LIFE Act Legalization) may use Form I-690 to request a waiver for grounds of inadmissibility.

Regulatory Guidelines

OMB No. 1615-0032: The Office of Management and Budget control number for Form I-690 verifies that it meets the necessary regulatory standards for processing requests.

Expiration Date: It is critical that applicants use the current version of Form I-690. The form has an expiration date, after which it may no longer be accepted. For example, some search results indicate an expiration date of 12/31/2023, while others show 12/31/2026. Applicants must verify the correct expiration date before submission.