The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) permits those who are eligible per U.S. statute for an immigrant visa to seek a “provisional unlawful presence waiver” prior to leaving the U.S. to attend their consular interview. This is a positive move for those who are not eligible for an adjustment of status and must leave the U.S. to obtain an individual visa. The goal of the waiver is to reduce the amount of time families are separated. The following is a brief overview of these waivers and who is eligible for one.
The basics on provisional unlawful presence waivers
First, it is important to understand that even if you obtain a provisional waiver, you still must leave the U.S. to process your visa at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. Provisional waivers also do not make you automatically eligible for adjustment of status. These waivers only become effective once you leave the U.S., attend your immigrant visa interview and a Department of State (DOS) officer determines that you are eligible for an immigrant visa. Those who are currently in removal proceedings cannot obtain a provisional waiver unless their proceedings were administratively closed and have not been rescheduled.
Who is eligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver?
Those who are seeking a provisional waiver must meet all the following elements. They must be physically present in the U.S. when their application is filed. They must be age 17 or above. They must be in the process of seeking an immigrant visa and have a case pending with DOS based on certain factors. You must be able to show that your U.S. citizen sponsor would suffer extreme hardship if you are refused admission to the U.S. In addition, you must believe that you were deemed inadmissible based only on certain periods of unlawful presence. Finally, you must meet all other provisional waiver requirements as stated in U.S. regulations.
Learn more about immigration in the U.S.
If you are seeking a U.S. visa or U.S. citizenship, you will want to make sure you understand all that is required of you. Many people do not know what their rights and options are when pursuing a visa or citizenship. Fortunately, help is available. Our firm’s website on immigration and naturalization may be of interest to those in Florida who want to learn more about this topic.