On January 2, 2013, USCIS announced the long awaited final rule on Provisional Waivers program that will go into effect starting March 4, 2013. The provisional waiver program is not a substantive change in the immigration law but is instead a procedural change as to when a waiver for a certain ground of inadmissibility is filed. See 78 FR 541.
The Provisional Waiver is a welcome change that many have been waiting on since it was proposed in 2012. Under our current procedure, for many families if their loved one entered the United States without inspection (with no valid entry documents) then they may be subject to many months or years of separation until an I-601 Waiver of Inadmissibility is granted and the loved one is able to return to the United States as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).
Not everyone will benefit from this change in procedure as to when and where the waiver can be filed. Among other requirements in order to qualify to file a provisional waiver one must:
- Be the beneficiary of an approved I-130 Petition for Alien Relative filed by a U.S. citizen spouse or child;
- Only be inadmissible due to unlawful presence and no other ground;
- Be able to show extreme hardship to a qualifying U.S. citizen spouse or parent;
- Have paid the Visa Fee Bill to the National Visa Center;
- Be physically present in the United States; and
- Not been scheduled for their Immigrant Visa Interview at the Consulate in their home country before January 3, 2013.
In order to file your provisional waiver starting March 4, 2013, one must file Form I-601A and filing fee of $585.00 plus $85.00 biometrics fee along with all supporting documentation to USCIS. For more information visit www.uscis.gov.
Note that this is a complex legal process. If you think you or one of your family members may qualify, call (312) 341-9730 to schedule a consultation with one of our qualified attorneys.