Illegal immigrants who have family in the United States can now remain on U.S. soil as they wait for their visa interview, thanks to provisional unlawful presence waivers.
Select immigrant visa applicants who are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens can now reduce the amount of time they must spend away from family members as they wait to become lawful citizens themselves. The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that, as of March 4, 2013, applicants can now apply for provisional stateside waivers (provisional unlawful presence waivers) while they are still in the United States.
Immigration Process Changes
Before March 4, applicants who were not able to adjust their status in the U.S. had to travel abroad while waiting for their immigrant visa. This often meant spending years away from their family members in the U.S.
The process of obtaining a visa remains the same, with applicants required to leave the U.S. for their immigrant visa interview in their home country. And, although this process is a convenient opportunity for applicants who are approved, the provisional nature of this waiver means that the process is extremely selective. Many applicants will be denied with no chance to appeal or reconsider. Submitting completed forms is extremely important to decrease the chance of denial. If their application for visa is still pending at the point of their denial, they may submit a new provisional statewide waiver application.
Waiver Eligibility Requirements
- Applicants must be 17 years of age or older and an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (spouses, children and parents)
- Applicants must be able to prove that their immediate family member with U.S. citizenship would experience hardship in the case that they would not be admitted into the U.S.
- As immigration attorneys, we’re here to help with every step of the process
To review all of the eligibility requirements for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. If you would like more information on this process, to find out if it fits your needs or to begin this process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.