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Provisional Waiver Program Could Be Expanded

Along with Homeland Security, the United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) has introduced a proposal that could expand the Provisional Waiver Program, which is currently requested by means of Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. The proposal expands the immigrants who could benefit from this program, which seeks to waive unlawful presence and inadmissibility.

Should the proposal be approved and enacted, the immigrants who will benefit from the Provisional Waiver Program will include the children and spouses of green card holders as well as relatives of U.S. citizens and even fiancées who married a different U.S. citizen upon arrival. In some cases, crewmembers who arrive on U.S. shores and jump ship could also be eligible for this benefit. Essentially, the proposal would expand I-601A to all immigrants who qualify to apply for residence, but whose unlawful presence requires them to be separated from their sponsors.

Unlawful presence is an immigration status that ranges from overstayed visas to expired work permits and rejected USCIS applications. One of the most common cases of unlawful presence occurs when an immigrant being sponsored by a U.S. citizen does not follow the residency application process and unlawfully stays in the country for less than six months. Another common case is when someone who entered the U.S. illegally gets married to a citizen who becomes his or her sponsor. If such immigrants leave the country on their own, they could be subject to the 3/10-year bar, which forces them to stay out of the U.S. for up to a decade while their immigration application is processed.

In the past, the Provisional Waiver Program only benefited immigrant children and spouses of U.S. citizens. Expanding the immigrant categories will create fewer family separations causes by the 3/10-year bar. This is one of the immigration initiatives that the Obama administration has been working on for the purpose of keeping immigrant families together.

Although it’s not mandatory to hire an attorney to file immigration paperwork, hiring an experienced San Diego immigration lawyer can ensure your legal rights as well as ensure the forms are filled out and filed correctly and the correct fees are paid on time.

If you would like assistance with your application or are looking for a free consultation immigration lawyer in San Diego, call KS Visa Law at (858) 874-0711. We are here to listen and understand your situation and help guide you through the immigration process.

May 2024