Snapshot: I-601 Waiver in Juarez, Mexico – Pilot Program – Mexican Pilot Program

The Mexican Pilot Program provides a process for the rapid adjucation of waiver applications by USCIS. The process can be broken down into four distinct steps:

1. Inadmissibility

The process begins at the IV consular interview when an alien is deemed inadmissible on awaivable ground by a consular official. The applicant can then schedule a waiver appointment by calling the Call Center.

2. Waiver Appointment

At the waiver appointment, the consular official handling the case will pass the waiver to the adjudicating USCIS officer in the neighboring room. The USCIS officer will then make a 5-minute review and conduct immediate judgment on the waiver. If the USCIS officer approves the waiver, then the file is returned to the consular official and the official then grants the immigrant visa either in approximately 1-3 weeks. If the officer determines that the waiver is not clearly approvable it is referred to the original adjudication process.

3. Original Process

If the applicant has been referred to the original adjudicating process, then the applicant must wait until the USCIS office has reviewed their file. Due to a backlog, this review can take up to a year. The USCIS officer in charge of reviewing their file will either approve their waiver or deny it. If approved, the waiver is sent to the consular office where the official will grant the immigrant visa in approximately1-3 weeks. If denied, the applicant can either  appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) or apply again with new evidence and circumstances.***

4. AAO – Administrative Appeals Office 

If the applicant is denied and chooses to appeal, they are presented with two options. They may either choose to appeal directly to the AAO, in which case the consular office will give one final review of the file before sending it to the AAO, or they may request that the case be reopened and the decision reconsidered by the consular office. In the case of the former, if the AAO denies their appeal, then the applicant must submit a new waiver and restart the process to receive further consideration. In the case of the latter, the consular office will give a final verdict on the file with no further referral or adjucation. As with the AAO option, if the applicant is denied then they must restart the process to receive further consideration. If the applicant is approved through either one of the options then the immigrat visa is granted.

*** The Law Office of Ruby L. Powers has assisted several waiver denials in which the client either: 1. hired a ‘notario,’ 2.  filed the waiver application themselves, or 3. hired another immigration attorney, and Firm was able to get the waiver approved on the second try.


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