I-601A Provisional Waiver Update

Beginning March 4, 2013, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) instituted a new application procedure, the 1-601A Provisional Waiver, for certain individuals who would be subject to the three- or ten-year bars for having accrued unlawful presence when they depart the U.S. These applicants are able to file a provisional waiver of inadmissibility prior to leaving the U.S. for their consular interviews. The option to apply for the waiver before traveling abroad for a consular interview provides tremendous benefits to applicants. This process allows applicants with legal avenues to immigration status to avoid the risk of long-term family separation and uncertainty. 

The benefit of USCIS adjudicating the waiver in advance through this process, applicants avoid having to wait for adjudication of a waiver while abroad, and it allows them to avoid the risk of getting stuck outside the US if the waiver is denied. The provisional waiver is only a change in the administrative process, not a change in the law. This practice advisory will walk you through steps to determine if your client is eligible for the I-601A provisional waiver.

UPDATE: In August 2016, USCIS updated the I-601A Provisional Waiver process. Now, anyone who is statutorily eligible for a waiver of unlawful presence can use the I-601A process to waive the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility found at INA §212(a)(9)(B). The biggest change to the I-601A Provisional Waiver is the expansion to include applications from beneficiaries of all visa categories (not just those with U.S. citizen immediate relatives) who can show hardship 10 an LPR spouse or parent, in addition to U.S. citizen spouse or parent qualifying relatives. The applicant is still required to have an approved immigrant visa petition.

If you have questions regarding a I-601A waiver, please contact the Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC. on 443.352.3201. 

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    Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC.
  • Address: 90 Painters Mill Road Suite 201 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
  • Phone: (443) 352-3201

  • Email: info@elawrencelaw.com

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