Navigating the Challenges of Obtaining Police Certificates for Immigration Interviews: I-601A

Immigration processes are often complex and fraught with numerous requirements and challenges. One such challenge that many applicants face involves the procurement of police certificates, a crucial step in the immigration process. This blog post aims to provide clarity and guidance on how to navigate this issue of obtaining police certificates, particularly for those who find themselves in a catch-22 situation due to the I-601A waiver approval.

 Understanding the Requirement

The National Visa Center (NVC) plays a pivotal role in the U.S. immigration process, acting as a bridge between the applicant and the consular office where the interview will take place. One of the critical documents required by the NVC is a police certificate. This document serves as a background check, indicating whether the applicant has a criminal record in the country of residence or any other country where they have lived for a certain period.

The challenge arises when applicants, especially those living in the U.S. with an approved I-601A waiver (Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver), need to obtain a police certificate from their home country. Often, obtaining this certificate requires the applicant’s physical presence in the country, for fingerprinting or other procedures, creating a significant hurdle for those already in the U.S.

The Dilemma

The requirement for a police certificate before scheduling the interview can significantly delay the immigration process, compounding the existing hardships many applicants face. Recognizing this, many wonder if there’s a workaround or flexibility in the system to accommodate such scenarios.

A Solution

Fortunately, there is a pathway for applicants caught in this predicament. The NVC allows for a letter to be submitted in lieu of the police certificate at the time of submitting other civil documents. This letter should explain the inability to obtain the police certificate due to the complications arising from the I-601A approval. It should clearly state the applicant’s commitment to procure and submit the police certificate at the time of the interview.


The immigration journey is undoubtedly challenging, filled with various hurdles that test the patience and resilience of applicants. The requirement for police certificates is one such obstacle, particularly for those within the confines of the I-601A approval. However, understanding the flexibility offered by the NVC through the submission of a letter can alleviate some of these challenges, ensuring that applicants can move forward in their journey without unnecessary delays. Always stay informed, seek professional advice, and communicate effectively with the NVC to navigate the complexities of the immigration process.