As of September 2012, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has not instituted a provisional unlawful presence waiver. This waiver would allow applicants for immigrant visas to remain in the United States while waiting for a determination on Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. USCIS opened a formal comment period on the provisional waiver between March 30, 2012 and June 1, 2012. In the coming months, USCIS plans to publish a final rule on the matter in the Federal Register. At that time, USCIS will announce an effective date for the rule.
Do not send an application, fee, or related paperwork requesting a provisional waiver at this time. Do not skip scheduled immigrant visa interviews with the U.S. Department of State.
USCIS proposed the waiver primarily to benefit U.S. citizens. The waiver is specifically intended for applicants who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens: spouses, children, and parents. Current immigration regulations require immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who stayed in the U.S. unlawfully to wait 3 to 10 years before returning to the U.S. This means that U.S. citizens are separated from their family members for long periods of time while consulate offices process their relatives’ visa applications. USCIS intends to adjudicate a provisional waiver application before an immediate relative leaves to attend his or her visa interview abroad.
The proposed process would involve an applicant filing a new document, Form I-601A. This form would be titled Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. The applicant would file this form before leaving the U.S. At this time, USCIS is proposing the waiver for applicants who are physically present in the U.S.; are at least 17 years old; are actively attempting to get an immigrant visa and have already paid the Department of State processing fee; have had their I-130 petition approved (the petition which classifies the applicant as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen); can demonstrate that extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent would result if the applicant was refused entry; and would not be rejected for any reason other than unlawful presence.
Please visit our website www.hardshipwaiverattorney.com for more information regarding Provisional I-601 Hardship Waivers.