For the millions of people who have entered the U.S. without legal documentation, it is impossible to apply for legal status without first obtaining a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence. Up until recently, this meant that if you originally entered the U.S. illegally you would have to leave the country first and return to your original homeland in order to obtain such a waiver and be considered eligible for lawful entry.
In 2013 the law changed this requirement for immigrant visa applicants who are spouses, children and parents of US citizens (immediate relatives). All immediate relatives of a US citizen can now apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver without first leaving the US. This change in the law was made in order to shorten the time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members are obtaining IR immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents of the United States.
The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals, who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence because their only ground of inadmissibility is their illegal entry into the US, to apply for a waiver in the US and before they depart for their immigrant visa interviews at a US embassy or consulate abroad. This simplified and streamlined waiver process is particularly helpful for those people who entered the country illegally and now seek a green card based on marriage or other immediate relative visa petition.
This new 601A waiver has been expanded even further. On July 14, 2015, DHS issued a proposed rule to further expand access to the provisional waiver program to these additional groups: (1)spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (2) adult children of US citizens and lawful permanent residents.
Once the rule was approved, these groups may also be able to apply for and receive their waiver before leaving the US.
The DHS also expanded the extreme hardship requirement. Under the 2013 rule, individuals had to demonstrate extreme hardship to the US citizen spouse or parent. The proposed rule, however, provides that individuals can show extreme hardship to US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents.
Any person who is physically present in the United States who:
Is over the age of 17;
Has any Approved Immigrant Visa (Family Preference, or Employment-based) or is the derivative beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition;
Has USC or LPR parent/spouse (child still not qualifying relative for Hardship);
Is otherwise admissible to the US; and
Can establish Good Moral Character for the exercise of favorable discretion.
SPEAK WITH AN EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION LAWYER
If you believe you may be eligible for a 601A or if you have any other questions about your immigration status please contact us today to speak with an experienced immigration lawyer and find out what options are available to you.