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 atBrown Immigration Law to discuss whether you or a loved one can benefit from the provisional unlawful presence waiver.