WHAT IS A PROVISIONAL I601 HARDSHIP WAIVER?
The unlawful presence waiver application, once granted, will “forgive” the fact that you were out of status when you were in the United States and entered without a visa. If you meet the I601 provisional waiver requirements you could go ahead and take the steps to get legal status as spouse of a US citizen by applying for the waiver within the United States and attending the immigrant visa interview outside of the United States.
Under the NEW REGULATIONS, you (the foreign national) may be allowed to file for the waiver from within the U.S., and if approved, depart the U.S. with a “provisional waiver” that you would take abroad to your visa interview. That could mean completing this process in a matter of weeks, not months or years.
The New Rule currently sets forth these limits:
- Only available for spouses of US citizens not spouses of permanent residents;
- Only available for unlawful presence (entered illegally and has been here for more than six months) [NOTE: if the person entered legally and overstayed, they DO NOT NEED an unlawful presence waiver because the law considers marriage to US citizen as qualified basis for issuing Green Card];
- Only available once and if denied has consequences with no appeal
Find out if you as a U.S. citizen and your spouse, as someone who needs a waiver for unlawful presence may be eligible for either the old or new procedure.