Before explaining the I-601A provisional waiver, it is important to be aware of the original waiver that was in place and how the new rule directly affects it. The I-601A provisional waiver is a rule change to the original I-601 hardship waiver.
The hardship waiver is available to certain immigrant visa applicants who are the immediate relatives of a US citizen or permanent green card holder (spouses, children and parents), and have been unlawfully present in the United States. The applicant must be able to show that without the waiver, their spouse, child or parent would suffer extreme hardship. If you are looking for information about family petitions or adjustments of status and consulate processing, please click here.
The process of applying for an I-601 hardship waiver requires the applicant to first apply for the immigrate visa at the US consulate. They must then wait for the consulate to deny the visa and then they are able to apply for the I-601 hardship waiver. During this time, the applicant must remain outside of the United States while waiting the decision of the USCIS. This period could last up to a year and if the waiver is denied, the individual must remain outside of the US for the required 3 or 10 year penalty.
The new I-601A provisional waiver began on March 4, 2013 is designed to help shorten the length of time that applicants must remain separated from their family during the application process. It has been determined unfair to require immediate relatives of US citizens to wait outside the US for the period the USCIS needs to rule on the waiver. Immediate relatives of US citizens are now able to apply for a waiver and await the decision while they are in the United States. They will only be required to leave for their immigrant visa interview abroad at a United States Embassy or Consulate after their waiver is approved.
Although it is not required to hire an attorney to prepare the waiver application, it is highly recommended. Demonstrating extreme hardship that one would suffer if separated from their spouse, child or parent is difficult. A San Diego immigration lawyer has experience in filing hardship waivers, knows what the USCIS is looking for when determining hardship, and will ensure all information and fees are in place to create the strongest application possible.
If you would like assistance with filing an I-601A provisional waiver, contact the immigration lawyers at Kazmi and Sakata. Our professional lawyers are experienced in family immigration in San Diego and will carefully listen to your individual situation to help you create a solid application. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 858-874-0711.