WHAT ARE THE BASIC ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS AND NEXT STEPS IN THE PROVISIONAL WAIVER PROCESS?
Under the new provisional waiver process, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who would need a waiver of unlawful presence in order to obtain an immigrant visa could file a new Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, before leaving the United States to obtain an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. All individuals eligible for this streamlined process are still required to depart the United States and must meet all legal requirements for issuance of an immigrant visa and admission to the United States.
An individual may seek a provisional unlawful presence waiver if he or she:
- Is physically present in the United States;
- Is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition (I-130) classifying him or her as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen;
- Is actively pursuing the immigrant visa process and has already paid the Department of State immigrant visa processing fee;
- Is not subject to any other grounds of inadmissibility other than unlawful presence; and
- Can demonstrate that the refusal of admission would result in extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent.
Allowing immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to receive provisional waivers in the United States before departure for their immigrant visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate means that:
- Immigrant visa processing times will improve because of greater capacity in the United States and fewer case transfers between USCIS and the Department of State;
- Immigrant visas will be issued without unnecessary delay (if the individual is otherwise eligible); and
- The period of separation and hardship many U.S. citizens would face due to prolonged separation from their family members will be minimized.
Contact our office at 916-613-3553 to discuss your unlawful presence waiver questions or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.