I-601A Stateside Provisional Waiver Lawyers in San Jose
Beginning March 4, 2013, certain non-citizens in the United States who
want to apply for permanent residence but are inadmissible because they
have been illegally present in the U.S. will be able to take advantage
of the new stateside "provisional waiver" program. This new
"I-601A" procedure will allow non-citizens to apply for the
extreme hardship waiver here in the United States, and then once approved,
attend their immigrant visa interview in their home country. This is great
news for our clients, because the old process required applicants to wait
many months or years outside the U.S. and other while USCIS considered
the waiver application.
To best assist our clients, our immigration attorneys have been monitoring
the new provisional waiver process closely.
How Do I Qualify for the I-601 Stateside Provisional Waiver?
• spouses, parents of U.S. citizens and their unmarried children under
age 21. Unfortunately, the new I-601A policy leaves out spouses and children
of permanent residents, brothers or sisters of U.S. citizens, and adult
or married children of U.S. citizens. These immigrants must still file
their I-601 waiver application outside the United States.
- must be physically present in the United States when applying
- must be at least 17 years of age (though unlawful presence accrues only
after the age of 18)
- have not been scheduled for an immigrant visa interview at the U.S. consulate
as of January 3, 2013, the date of publication of the new regulations.
Unfortunately, non-citizens who were already scheduled for an interview
date may not take advantage of the provisional waiver.
USCIS will not automatically grant these waivers. Instead, the Applicant
must prove that a U.S. citizen spouse or parent would suffer
extreme hardship if USCIS denies the waiver. These I-601A hardship packets are complicated
to prepare, and should only be handled by an immigration lawyer experienced
in preparing waiver applications. The U.S. consular posts ask applicants
to present extensive evidence of hardship, including medical documentation,
witness declarations, employment and education records, along with a legal
brief that persuasively explains how the non-citizen and her family meets
the extreme hardship legal standard. Applicants should absolutely avoid
immigration form preparers (notarios) who lack experience in preparing these hardship waiver applications.
Who May Not Qualify for the I-601A Stateside Provisional Waiver?
Importantly, the stateside waiver applicant must not be subject to any
other grounds of inadmissibility besides unlawful presence. Non-citizens
for whom there is a "reason to believe" they are inadmissible
on account of past issues for criminal behavior, drugs, deportations,
false claims to U.S. citizenship, or any other immigration violations
will not qualify for a provisional waiver. Not everyone who has had criminal
problems however is inadmissible, and our law firm has developed
winning arguments to qualify our clients with crimes for the I-601A waiver.
Applicants with pending removal proceedings also do not qualify to file
under the provisional waiver program. There is an exception for non-citizens
with administratively closed cases whose cases have been taken off the
immigration court calendar. Once the waiver is granted, the immigration
court must terminate the deportation cases before the non-citizen departs
the United States for the immigrant visa interview.
When Can I Apply for the I-601A Stateside Provisional Waiver?
The Application process begins March 4, 2013. Once that date has been reached,
the Provisional Waiver Application may be submitted only once USCIS has
approved your relative's I-130 or I-360 visa petition. After paying
the immigrant visa processing fee with the U.S. Department of State, the
NVC should be informed that you will be seeking a provisional waiver.
The National Visa Center will then put your visa interview on hold until
the I-601A is granted.
How long does it take for USCIS to Approve the I-601A Stateside Provisional Waiver?
USCIS expects it to take three months to review the waiver.
How much does it cost to apply for the I-601A Stateside Provisional Waiver?
The current USCIS filing fee is $585, plus a biometrics (fingerprint) fee
of $85 for applicants 79 and younger.