Established by President Obama in 2013, the provisional waiver process allows certain individuals who are subject to the 3 or 10-year unlawful presence bars to request a waiver or “pardon” from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before departing the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visas. Throughout the past 3 years, the provisional waiver process has spared countless individuals from experiencing a long and painful separation from their spouses and/or parents while awaiting the months or even years it can take for USCIS to reach a decision on a waiver application.
Previously, provisional waivers were only available to individuals who sought to immigrate as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen and who could establish that denial of their admission would result in extreme hardship to a U.S. CITIZEN spouse or parent.
EXPANDED PROVISIONAL WAIVER:
On July 29, 2016, DHS published a final rule expanding eligibility for these provisional, stateside waivers and thus increasing the number of people who could be spared an unnecessary, long-term separation from their loved ones.
Due to this new expansion, provisional waivers are now available to ALL individuals who are statutorily eligible for a waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility (regardless of the type of immigrant visa available to them) and who can establish that denial of admission would result in extreme hardship to a U.S. CITIZEN OR LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENT spouse or parent.
AM I NOW ELIGIBLE FOR A PROVISIONAL WAIVER?
This final rule went into effect on August 29, 2016, and USCIS is currently accepting applications of individuals who qualify under the newly expanded program.
If you believe that you may now be eligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver due to the expansion of this program, please contact our office and schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at 312-782-1804.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.