On January 2nd, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that qualifying immediate relatives of U.S. citizens currently present in the United States may apply for and potentially receive a provisional unlawful presence waiver before departing the United States to attend their immigrant visa interviews.
Under the current process, immediate relatives must apply for the waiver at a U.S. consulate abroad and remain outside of the U.S. while the waiver is processed.
Per USCIS, in order to obtain a provisional unlawful presence waiver, the applicant must:
- be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen;
- be inadmissible only on account of unlawful presence;
- and demonstrate the denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to his or her U.S. citizen spouse or parent.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said, “This final rule facilitates the legal immigration process and 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.”
USCIS will begin accepting applications for provisional unlawful presence waivers on March 4th, 2013.
Please contact Allott Immigration Law Firm for more information about the provisional waiver process.