NEW: Expansion of Provisional Waivers for Immigrants
Since 2013, certain immigrants have been eligible to benefit from a provisional waiver. A provisional waiver, if granted, will waive the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility for those who are consular processing. If one receives an approved provisional waiver before their visa interview at a consulate abroad, they will not be subject to the 10-year bar for unlawful presence and they will not have to remain outside the U.S. for ten years on account of unlawful presence.
Effective August 29, 2016, more immigrants will become eligible for the provisional waiver process under a final agency rule, Expansion of Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility. Before, only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens could seek provisional waivers. Now, all others in family immigrant categories, including children and spouses of lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders), can seek a provisional waiver.
Provisional waivers must be sought from inside the United States. One must be present in the U.S. at the time of filing, and they must attend a biometrics appointment with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). They must have an approved visa petition (or selection into the diversity visa program) and a case pending with the National Visa Center. Other special rules apply to those who are in removal or deportation court proceedings.
All foreign nationals seeking a provisional waiver must have a qualifying relationship to a family member. They must have a parent or spouse who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. They must demonstrate that this qualifying family member will suffer extreme hardship if they are refused admission to the U.S. Proving extreme hardship involves complex legal arguments and extensive evidence. Anyone interested in seeking a provisional waiver should consult with a qualified and experienced immigration attorney before beginning their case.
The team of immigration attorneys at Morales & Sparks is ready to help in your case. Contact us today to speak with one of our immigration lawyers.