What is a "provisional waiver" and who is it for?

About a year ago, we posted about the I-601 Hardship Waiver. In that post, we described the biggest problem with the waiver -- that the applicant is not allowed to request the waiver until he or she has already departed the United States. This often causes long family absences while the applicant waits abroad, hoping that their waiver will be approved so that they can rejoin their family in the United States. Moreover, if the waiver is denied, the applicant would be unable to re-enter the country at all. That problem may soon be greatly alleviated.

Earlier this month, the final rule for a "provisional waiver" process was published by the Department of Homeland Security. The rule will take effect March 4, 2013. The provisional waiver process will allow certain applicants to request a waiver while they remain in the United States in order to prevent the need for prolonged separation from their families and to avoid the uncertainty of leaving the United States with no guarantee that they would be allowed to re-enter. Only spouses, parents, or children (17 years or older) of United States citizens are eligible for a provisional waiver. The normal requirements for approval of an I-601 hardship waiver remain as well. If approved, they will then still need to depart the United States to apply for their visa, but the process will be much quicker, and with much less uncertainty than before.

Anderson Immigration Law can help determine whether you are eligible for the new provisional waiver, guide you through the process, and prepare your waiver application for a flat fee. To speak to us about your immigration options, please contact us immediately.