Over a year after publishing its draft rule, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule last Friday that will expand the existing provisional waiver process to include spouses and children of U.S. Permanent Residents. Previously only spouses and children of U.S. citizens were eligible to take advantage of the provisional waiver program, which allows applicants to file for an I-601A waiver prior to departing the United States.
To qualify for a provisional waiver, applicants must establish that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents would experience “extreme hardship” if the applicants are not allowed to return to the United States.
The new rule, which goes into effect on Aug. 29, 2016, expands eligibility for the provisional waiver process to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. Also, according to it press release, USCIS expects to update its Policy Manual to provide guidance on how USCIS makes “extreme hardship” determinations in the coming weeks.
If you think you or a family member may benefit from this new rule, please contact our office to set up an appointment with an attorney.