Immigration: Expanded Provisional Waiver – I-601A

The Obama Administration has finally provided the rules under the expanded Provisional Waiver – I-601A – for unlawful presence in the U.S.

Individuals in the United States wanting to become a resident or a green card holder, must either obtain an immigrant visa abroad or apply for a green card if they have legally entered the country. Those who have entered the country without documentation are typically not eligible to apply for a green card outright and have to apply for a waiver of their unlawful presence in the U.S.

As part of their waiver application, they will have to prove that their removal from the U.S. would cause extreme hardship to their U.S. citizen spouses and parents.  The new rule has expands the definition of qualifying relatives to include  legal permanent resident spouses and parents of immigrant visa applicants.

The following provides a list of new changes to the provisional waiver – I-601A process.

  1. All individuals seeking provisional waivers, including those in removal proceedings before Immigration court, must file applications for provisional waivers with USCIS;
  2. Allowing individuals to apply for provisional waivers even if USCIS has a reason to believe that they may be subject to other grounds of inadmissibility;
  3. Allowing individuals with final orders of removal, exclusion, or deportation to be eligible for provisional waivers provided that they have already applied for, and USCIS has approved, an Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal, Form I-212;
  4. Clarifying that DHS must have actually reinstated a removal, deportation, or exclusion order in order for an individual who has returned to the United States unlawfully after removal to be ineligible for a provisional waiver on that basis.

These are big changes.  Together with the upcoming elections and the DACA/DAPA uncertainties, the immigration world is going through massive changes.  If you have an immigration issue – please feel free to call our office in Los Angeles (323-857-0034) for a free consultation.