Important Immigration News for Families Needing Waivers of Unlawful Presence : A final rule announced by the Secretary of Homeland Security on January 3, 2013 will allow immediate family members of U.S. citizens to apply for unlawful presence waivers in the United States. The procedure will allow individuals to seek a “provisional waiver” of the unlawful presence bar while still in the U.S., prior to their departure to apply for the immigrant visa abroad. Without a waiver, such an applicant will be barred from re-entering the U.S. for three or ten years, depending on the period of prior unlawful presence. If the waiver is approved, the individual can then return to his or her country of origin and complete the consular process to return to the United States as a legal immigrant (green card recipient).
According to the Department of Homeland Security this new rule “reduces the amount of time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who are in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa.” The new procedure also of course reduces the risk that a family member who is processing for a visa abroad might not be able to re-enter the U.S. if his or her waiver request is rejected. The final rule went into effect on March 4th, 2013. The procedure applies to applicants who can prove that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent would suffer extreme hardship if the applicant is not readmitted. Applicants will need to have an approved I-130 visa petition and have begun consular immigrant visa processing through the National Visa Center. The Woog Law Office can help you prepare the waiver application now. Call us for more information or to schedule a consultation to see if you or a family member will qualify for a stateside waiver.