Spouses of United States citizens who entered the US without a visa (entered
without inspection EWI) and have been unlawfully present in the United
States for more than six months are subject to a 3-year bar. If they have
been unlawfully present for more than one year, they are subject 10-year
bar before they will be permitted into the US if they depart the county.
However, the 3 or 10-year exclusion may be forgiven if the foreign national
spouse can obtain a "waiver."
Currently, waivers for unlawful presence are filed after the spouse of
the US citizen departs the United States. Once filed, the applicant must
wait abroad until a decision is rendered. This often takes months and
sometimes even years.
In order to avoid this inevitable and possible long separation,
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed an alternative filing process. Under this proposal,
applicants will be able to apply for the waiver while still in the United
States. Then, should the waiver be approved, the applicant will presumably
depart the United States for a short time period, obtain their Immigrant
Visa, and return to their families.
Although the proposed regulation is not in effect, it is believed this
process will be implemented in the very near future. Contact the Winter
Park Immigration Attorneys at Robert Brown LLC to discuss whether you
or a loved one can benefit from the provisional unlawful presence waiver.