Tag Archives: Waiver of unlawful presence

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes changes to expand the provisional stateside waiver process

Today the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed rule change in the Federal Register to streamline and expand the provisional stateside waiver process.  This is part of a multi-step immigration process for eligible individuals to become permanent residents of the United States.

The current provisional waiver process is only available to intending immigrants, now living in the United States, with a six month or longer period of unlawful presence in the US, who have spouses or parents that are United States citizens. Until three years ago, all intending immigrants had to have an interview in their own country first before applying for waivers based on prior violations of the immigration laws.  This caused very long delays and lengthy separations from family members in the United States while the intending immigrant waited outside the US.  The change three years ago allowed some eligible people to file a waiver only for the unlawful presence provisions prior to departing from the United States for consular processing rather than applying for a waiver abroad after the immigrant visa interview. That change enabled a more streamlined and family friendly process – thus significantly shortening the period of separation while completing the process to becoming a resident of the United States.

DHS now proposes to expand the current provisional waiver process in two ways.

First, DHS will eliminate current limitations on the provisional waiver process that restrict eligibility to certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. With the proposed changes, the provisional waiver process will be made available to family-sponsored immigrants, employment-based immigrants, certain special immigrants, and Diversity Visa program selectees, together with their derivative spouses and children.

Second, DHS proposes to expand the provisional waiver process by eliminating the current restriction that limits “extreme hardship” to U.S. citizen spouses or parents. Under this proposed rule, an applicant for a provisional waiver would be permitted to establish the eligibility requirement of showing extreme hardship to lawful permanent resident spouses or parents as well.

For further details on this proposed rule change go to: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-07-22/html/2015-17794.htm

Murphy Law Firm will publish more information such as the date the changes will take effect as soon as the details are announced.

Stateside Waivers for Immediate Relatives of US Citizens

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new process significantly reducing the amount of time for family members of United States citizens to obtain a provisional waiver (I-601A waiver) of their unlawful presence. Previously, immediate relatives were required to depart the United States, attend a consular interview, and be told that a waiver of inadmissibility was required before even applying. Due to long processing times, the United States citizen family members often experienced extreme hardship while waiting for their family members who were out of the country. USCIS now allows immediate family members of United States citizens to remain in the United States while provisional waivers for unlawful presence are filed. Now the filing process can begin upon approval of the family petition (I-130). Because USCIS processes the waiver before the relative departs, time spent out of the country is significantly reduced. Once the waiver is approved, the family member needs to return to their home country for the consular interview to get their immigrant visa and subsequent admission into the United States. Families are reunited far more quickly with this new process than under the old system.
Provisional Waivers start March 4, 2013

An immediate family member of a United States citizen may seek a provisional waiver if they meet the following:

The applicant must be the immediate relative of a United States citizen. Immediate relative includes the spouse or child (under 21) of a U.S. citizen, or the parent of a U.S. citizen 21 years of age or older. It may also include persons protected under the Child Status Protection Act and qualified widowers of U.S. citizens.

The applicant must be physically present in the United States when filing the waiver application.

The applicant must be otherwise admissible to the United States. The provisional waiver is only for unlawful presence in the United States. It will not waive certain criminal or fraudulent acts which may make you inadmissible. The provisional waiver does not apply to the repeat violator bar.

You must still demonstrate extreme hardship to a qualifying relative.

To speak to an immigration attorney about your immigration goals, including obtaining an I-601immigration waiver in, please contact Ted Murphy, immigration attorney, online or call 610-436-7555 or 302-855-1055. Murphy Law Firm represents clients throughout the United States, including Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.

From our offices in West Chester, PA and Georgetown, DE we represent clients throughout the United States, including Chester, Delaware, Berks, Bucks, Lancaster, York, and Adams Counties , as well as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Sussex, Kent, and New Castle Counties in Delaware, and in New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and throughout the entore United States.

read proposed stateside waiver announcement from USCIS