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Revised Unlawful Presence Waiver for Immigration purposes available in March of 2013

Revised Unlawful Presence Waiver for Immigration available in March of 2013

On January 2, 2013, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced the posting of a final rule that reduces the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives (spouse, children and parents), who are in the process of obtaining visas to become lawful permanent residents (green card holders) of the United States under certain circumstances.   The final rule establishes a process that allows certain individuals to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver before they depart the United States to attend immigrant visa interviews in their countries of origin.

The law is designed to avoid extreme hardship to U.S. citizens.  The change will have a significant impact on American families by greatly reducing the time family members are separated due to previously having to wait in their home country for the Unlawful Presence Waiver (I-601) to be approved.  This Waiver allows immediate relative beneficiaries to wait in the U.S. while U.S.C.I.S. adjudicates his or her waiver request. 

In order to obtain a provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, the applicant must be an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, inadmissible only on account of unlawful presence, and demonstrate the denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to his or her U.S. citizen spouse or parent.

Ten Facts about the Provisional Waiver Process

1.         It is not yet available, but should be later this year.

2.         You must be beneficiary of an Immediate Relative APPROVED petition.  Not pending.

3.         You must not be in removal or subject to a removal order.

4.         You must not have an immigrant visa interview setup by the Department of State.

5.         The hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse/parent only can be considered.  So hardship to a U.S. citizen child cannot be considered directly, however it may be indirectly considered based on the effect it has on U.S. citizen spouse or parent.

6.         It only waives the unlawful presence bar that would be triggered upon leaving the U.S., so there is no guarantee of readmission.

7.         You still must apply for a Visa and leave the U.S. to attend that appointment.

8.         It does not provide lawful status.

9.         It does not toll unlawful presence.

10.       It provides no interim benefits like an EAD (employment authorization).


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Immigration Law (in California)
All the services relating to immigration and naturalization provided by the firm or corporation shall be provided by an active member of the State Bar or by a person under the supervision of an active member of the State Bar. Pablo Zamora is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia. Pablo Zamora is not an attorney licensed to practice law in California but is an attorney licensed in another state or territory of the United States and is authorized by federal law to represent persons before the Immigration Courts, Board of Immigration Appeals or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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