Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver – USCIS Accepts Applications Starting March 4th, 2013

January 15, 2013 § 1 Comment

Last April USCIS proposed a rule to amend its regulations to allow certain immediate relatives (i.e. spouses, parents and minor children of US citizens) who are physically present in the United States to request provisional unlawful presence waivers prior to departing from the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications. The proposed rule will go into effect and USCIS will begin accepting waiver applications on March 4th this year. With these changes the government hopes that this new process will increase interagency efficiency while also significantly reducing the length of time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who engage in consular processing abroad.

Individuals considering using this process must understand that the filing or approval of a provisional unlawful presence waiver application will not: Confer any legal status, protect against the accrual of additional periods of unlawful presence, authorize an alien to enter the United States without securing a visa or other appropriate entry document, convey any interim benefits (e.g., employment authorization, parole, or advance parole), or protect an alien from being placed in removal proceedings or removed from the United States in accordance with current policies governing initiation of removal proceedings and the use of prosecutorial discretion.

This new process also applies only to individuals who have unlawful presence but who do not have any other ground of inadmissibility.

For information on whether you might be eligible for this new process, read more on USCIS’s website.

If you are someone who has an approved I-130 Petition and have already begun consular processing at the National Visa Center, you will want to read more about the procedures involved to apply for the waiver under the new process on the Department of State’s website. For the Spanish version, click here.

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