Above, is a comparison table of the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (I-601A) and the U-Visa (I-918). The U Visa and Provisional Waiver present different requirements but fairly similar benefits for the main (principal) applicant. If an individual has both options available to them, he or she might choose to apply for the U Visa rather than a Provisional Waiver because of several main reasons.
First, the provisional waiver requires that the qualifying immediate relative (U.S. Citizen spouse or parent) would suffer extreme hardship if the immigrant were to be refused the waiver. This standard is difficult to prove because it requires more than mere financial strain and separation.
While the extreme hardship standard is difficult to satisfy, it is not impossible
Immigration case law provides a list of factors that are considered in a waiver application: health, financial considerations, education, personal considerations, and special factors. Generally, these types of applications are denied when not enough evidence is submitted to prove that there would be extreme hardship. The U Visa also has several requirements, including a certification process; however, comparing the two, the Provisional Waiver’s standard of extreme hardship is much more difficult to prove.
Secondly, the Provisional Waiver can only be used to forgive “unlawful presence”, which is accrued generally after an unlawful entry. If a person has more than one unlawful entry, they do not qualify. On the other hand, the U Visa is very forgiving-even of multiple unlawful entries, working without authorization, and sometimes even criminal convictions.
A third main reason why an individual would choose the U Visa over the waiver is that the U Visa does not require leaving the country. After an individual’s wavier is approved, he or she is required to attend an interview at the U.S. consulate abroad. This can be expensive and also can take several months to get an interview scheduled.
In summary, although both the U Visa and Provisional Waiver have benefits that are similar, the U Visa is far more forgiving, and can be less difficult to get approved.
This blog entry is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. This blog is for educational purposes only. Remember that each case is unique. If you have questions about your own immigration case, please contact our Sacramento or San Francisco office at (916) 613-3553 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.
Published by: Ranchod Law Group