Beginning March 4, 2013 a new waiver process starts principally for foreign
nationals in the US that have entered the US without a visa and who are
related to a US citizen by birth, marriage or parentage. Before this process
those who have accumulated unlawful presence in the US and were not permitted to
adjust their status to permanent resident in the US had to leave the US for a waiver after
an interview at the US consulate. The new process permits those qualified
to apply for a
provisional waiver in the US before leaving the US. The new rule should reduce the
time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives. Again
immediate relatives are the spouse, children under 21 years of age and
parents of US citizens.
This change is for those in the process of seeking visas to become 'green
card' holders in the United States. Qualified persons will now apply for a
provisional unlawful presence waiver before leaving the US to obtain their permanent
resident status US consulate. The change will affect those who had entered
the US without a visa (EWI) and are not allowed to obtain permanent resident
status 'green card' in the US. Currently, many persons who enter
the US without a visa are required to depart the US to obtain resident
status at a US consulate outside the US. Once the foreign national departs
the US they may have a bar to return if they have been in the US for more
than six months without authorization. Either a 3 or 10-year bar on returning
to the US may be triggered. Before being permitted to return they must
either comply with the bar or obtain a waiver of the bar before being
permitted to return to the US.
The new waiver process will allow the filing of a waiver application before
going for an immigrant visa interview at the consulate and before being
found inadmissible by the US consulate. A provisional unlawful presence
waiver for immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen may be submitted and
adjudicated provisionally before leaving the US. The new rule is available
only immediate relatives who are inadmissible only for unlawful presence.
The old process remains available for those that are not immediate relatives
as well as for immediate relatives. Both processes require the applicant
to demonstrate extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse or parent.
A new form is being developed for the new provisional waiver process.