When I consulted young people about immigration law, I saw unfortunate reality that many people do not street their wings in the United States because they do not have legal status. Many of them came to the U.S. with their parents when they were young, and have lost their status because their parents failed to maintain their status, or they couldn’t receive permanent residence because they were over 21 years old when their parents received their permanent residence. This is also the case if they do not have legal status because they entered with their parents who entered the United States without going through legal entry procedures. In these cases, people often give up or misunderstand that marriage with a citizen is the only way to resolve their status.

Of course, if you are legally in the United States, marrying a citizen may be the fastest and safest way. However, if your spouse is not a US citizen, or if you haven’t legally entered the country, there are ways to get permanent residency. If you meet the following requirements, you will be able to get permanent residence through the 601A waiver.


  • First of all, the 601A waiver only applies to people in the United States who are 17 or older.
  • The immigration petition must first be approved, whether by family invitation, employment, or religious immigration.
  • Except for illegal residence records, you must have all other requirements to apply for permanent residence.
  • You must have a spouse or parent who is a permanent resident or citizen.
  • And finally, you must prove that there will be extreme hardships for your spouse or parent who is a permanent resident or citizen, if you do not get a green card.

It is hard to define extreme hardships in one word. It is not clearly defined by law. But there is plenty of potential for approval. Here’s a summary of some of our recent successful cases in our office.

Success Case 1:In the case of a newlywed couple, the husband was a US citizen, physically healthy and economically capable, but his wife had to leave the United States because he did not receive a green card. He demonstrated that if his wife left the United States, he would suffer mentally severe depression and  normal life would be impossible for the rest of his life, and he proved “extremely hardships” and his wife eventually got approval.


Success Case 2:In a case of a young single woman, her mother was a U.S. citizen and had no special illnesses except for the common symptoms of diabetes and high blood pressure. She proved her “extreme hardship” and received approval by maximizing the fact that her mother’s age may be at risk of complications and her health may be dramatically worse if her daughter could not receive a green card.