Sorting Fact from Fiction: The New Unlawful Presence Waiver
In March of this year the USCIS (U.S. Immigration) released a provisional unlawful presence waiver (form I-601a).
With this waiver, individuals who are inadmissible to the U.S. for unlawful presence (for example, in the U.S. illegally after entering illegally) can apply for a waiver of the three and ten year bar (bars to reentry as a result of illegal presence in the U.S.), and, after the waiver is approved, travel to their home country to return with their immigrant visa (a greencard in the U.S.)
Previously, individuals had to wait in their home country, separated from their families and lives in the U.S. for long periods of time and risk not being able to return to the U.S. for three to ten year periods. With this new waiver, available as of March 2013, your departure from the U.S. can be minimal!
Because the unlawful presence waiver has only been around a short time, we have seen many clients with misconceptions about the waiver – here are the top five common misconceptions we’ve encountered thus far:
- I can get a work permit while my waiver is pending
- I can leave the U.S. while my waiver is pending
- I am in lawful status while my waiver is pending
- I can get my greencard without leaving the U.S.
- I cannot contact an attorney until I have an approved immigrant visa (I-130) petition
FALSE. Your pending unlawful presence waiver does not provide you with any interim benefits. You cannot get employment authorization (a work permit) on the basis of your pending waiver. After approval of your waiver and return from your home country with your immigrant visa, as a lawful permanent resident (greencard holder) you will be able to work legally in the U.S.
FALSE. You should not leave the U.S. while your unlawful presence waiver is pending. Departure from the U.S. after a period of illegal presence will result in a bar to reentry of three or ten years depending on how long you were in the U.S. illegally. There are waivers for individuals who are outside of the U.S. Please contact one of our offices if you are already abroad to discuss your options.
FALSE. You are not considered to be in lawful status while your unlawful presence waiver is pending. After approval of your waiver and return from your home country with your immigrant visa, as a lawful permanent resident (greencard holder) you will then be in lawful status.
FALSE. After your unlawful presence waiver is approved you must leave the U.S. to obtain your immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
FALSE. Although you must have an approved immediate relative immigrant visa (form I-130) petition approved in order to FILE your unlawful presence waiver, you can still contact our offices while the petition is pending or even before the immediate relative petition is filed.
Word of mouth isn’t enough
There are many myths circulating around this new unlawful presence waiver but we at Ranchod Law have the knowledge to help you separate fact from fiction. We’ve already filed numerous unlawful presence waivers and we look forward to helping you on your case.
Let us prepare your Waiver Case
We can work on preparing your waiver case while your immediate relative petition is pending or actually help you with the filing of your immediate relative petition.
A Detailed list of other information on I-601A Waivers
- Keeping Families Together Through The I-601A Waiver Process
- I-601A Waiver Approval and Success Story for a Mexican National
- I-601A Waiver for National from Guatemala
- An I-601A Success Story: Waiver approval for medical extreme hardship
- Examples of Successful I-601A Waiver Applications
- i-601a Waiver Approval for Client who remained in the U.S. for 15 years
- I-601a Hardship Waiver Approval Notice
- I-601a Approval Document, Client Entered the U.S. Illegally from Mexico
- I-601a Waiver Approvals, Waiver for El Salvadorian Client Who Entered the U.S. Illegally
- i-601a Unlawful Presence Waiver APPROVED for Client from Central America
- i-601a Waiver Approved for Client Who Entered the U.S. Illegally
- Our Latest I-601a Success Story » Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver
- I-601A Waivers, Client from Mexico entered and resided illegally in the U.S.
- I-601A Waiver Approved for Mexican Client, Unlawful Entry and Unlawful Presence in the U.S.
- I-601A Waiver Approval, Illegal Entry and Illegal Presence
- I-601A Hardship Waiver Approval, Nov. 11, 2016
- I-601A: How Psychological and Financial Hardship affect an approval
- I-601a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver Approval 2016-08-30
- I-601A Hardship Waiver Available to Spouses and Children of Lawful Permanent Residents
- I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver Approval
- I-601A Waiver Approved for Client by The Ranchod Law Group
- I-601A Waiver Approval from Mexico
- Success Story: Approval of I-601A for Client Brought to U.S. as a Child
- Form I-601a: Common Misconceptions about the New Unlawful Presence Waiver
- Filing Unlawful Presence Waivers (form I-601A), Demonstration of Extreme Hardship
- Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (Form I-601A)
- Defects With I-601A Applications
- 5 Reasons Why You Should have an Immigration Attorney Assist You With the I-601A Waiver
- Can I Apply for an I-601A Waiver If Under an Order of Voluntary Departure?
- What you need to know about Form I-601A
- Tips for Completing Form I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers
- Eligibility for the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver
- Will I Be Subject to Removal Proceedings If My I-601A Application is Denied?
- How to Prove “Extreme Hardship” for an I-601A Hardship Waiver