March 4, 2013 - The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) has made the much awaited application form for the new provisional waiver available on its site.
Following Obama's victory in November, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acted quickly to published a final Rule for the much awaited application for a Provisional Waiver for undocumented immigrants. This Provisional Waiver is a Godsent to the Spouse or Parent of a US citizen that are unable to adjust their status to a legal resident while in the U.S. because they either entered illegally or have remained out of status for more than six months. The rule covers the process of fiing the Provisional Waiver on new form I-601A .
In the U.S. there are spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) who are in the United States are not eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status while in the United States. Instead, these immediate relatives must travel abroad to obtain an immigrant visa from the Department of State (DOS) to return to the United States to request admission as an LPR, and, in many cases, also must request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a waiver of inadmissibility as a result of their unlawful presence in the United States. Currently, these immediate relatives cannot apply for the waiver until after their immigrant visa interviews abroad. As a result, these immediate relatives must remain outside of the United States, separated from their U.S. citizen spouses, parents, or children, while USCIS adjudicates their waiver applications. In some cases, waiver application processing can take well over one year, prolonging the separation of these immediate relatives from their U.S. citizen spouses, parents, and children. In addition, the action required for these immediate relatives to obtain LPR status in the United States—departure from the United States to apply for an immigrant visa at a DOS consulate abroad—is the very action that triggers the unlawful presence inadmissibility grounds under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)(i). As a result of the often lengthy processing times and uncertainty about whether they qualify for a waiver of the unlawful presence inadmissibility grounds, many immediate relatives who may qualify for an immigrant visa are reluctant to proceed abroad to seek an immigrant visa.
The goal of the provisional unlawful presence waiver process is to facilitate immigrant visa issuance for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are otherwise admissible to the United States except for the 3-year and 10-year unlawful presence bars, which are triggered upon departure from the United States.
This final rule is expected to result in a reduction of the time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives, thus reducing the financial and emotional hardship for these families.
The new waiver process will allow eligible immediate relatives to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver while they are still in the United States and before they leave to attend their immigrant visa interview abroad. DHS anticipates that this new provisional unlawful presence waiver process will significantly reduce the time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives. USCIS's approval of an applicant's provisional unlawful presence waiver prior to departure also will allow the DOS consular officer to issue the immigrant visa without further delay, if there are no other grounds of inadmissibility and if the immediate relative is otherwise eligible to be issued an immigrant visa.
For more information on the Provisiional Waiver see
To obtain a copy of the Provisional Waiver: