Yes, getting a waiver does place you into the qualified candidate category. But that only gets you as close to an appointment as all the others who are qualified and didn't need a waiver. Usually, a waiver is for medical reasons. Consider the following.
10,000-12,000 initially show interest in the air force academy
6,000-7,000 will actually show enough interest to go through the application process
5,000 or so will receive a nomination
3,000 or so of those with a nomination will actually be a fully qualified candidate
The 2 previous numbers are very complicated, because there's plenty who receive a nomination that aren't qualified, but there's also quite a few who are qualified that don't receive a nomination. And you have to have both.
Of the 3,000 or so that have both, a nomination and are qualified; approximately 1,200 will receive an appointment. Well; to be honest, about 1,500 will receive an appointment, but approximately 300 of them will TURN IT DOWN. Yes, with all the talk of making sure people have their "PLAN-B" school lined up, there's actually a lot of people whereby the ACADEMY is their "PLAN-B" school. Not everyone who applies to the academies have it as their 1st choice.
Of the 1,500 or so of the 3,000 who didn't receive an appointment; and the 2,000-3,000 of the 6,000 who weren't 100% qualified, (Usually academics), approximately 230-400 will be offered a Prep-School slot. (This number isn't exact. About 235 will get a prep school slot at the academy, but there's also other prep schools that some may get an offer to).
So, there's the break down. So yes, getting a waiver gets you closer to an appointment, but only because it helped towards being qualified. This is assuming you're qualified in the other 2 areas also. 3Q Qualified means qualified 1)Academically; 2)Physically; and 3)Medically. Usually, the only waiver would be for medical. Best of luck.