Since June 4, 2012, individuals outside the U.S. who have been found inadmissible for certain visas by a U.S. consular officer and seek to waive an inadmissibility ground should no longer apply for a waiver at their foreign location, but should file requests directly to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by mailing the application to a USCIS Lockbox facility in the United States. This change only affects situations where individuals outside the U.S., who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a nonimmigrant K or V visa, must file their waiver applications. These waiver applications are adjudicated at the USCIS Nebraska Service Center (NSC).
The change affects filings for:
- Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility,
- Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (if filed together with a Form I-601), and
- Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion (if filed after a denial of a Form I-601 or Form I-212 by the NSC).
Individuals in Mexico who seek to file a waiver application continue to have the option to file with the local USCIS Field Office in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in addition to the Lockbox, during a transition period until Dec. 4, 2012. However, those who choose to file their waiver applications at the Lockbox will experience certain advantages, such as:
Faster filing: Applicants can file a waiver application immediately after the consular interview. An applicant who files with the Lockbox does not need to wait for an appointment at a USCIS Field Office to file the waiver application and will not need to travel to the USCIS office.
Shorter processing time: The NSC’s goal is to process the waiver applications within 3 months.
Ability to track the progress of an application: Applicants who file waiver applications through the Lockbox can view the progress of their application online. This service is not available to applicants who file their waiver applications at USCIS international field offices