UPDATE: Be sure to read how the 2014 Executive Action will impact the Provisional Waiver Program.

The wait for the release of the new I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver Form is finally over!  As of March 4, 2013, you can now file Form I-601A with USCIS.

This new waiver allows foreign nationals to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver while they are still in the United States, and before they depart for their immigrant visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad.  Prior to this waiver, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who were not eligible to adjust status in the United States had to travel abroad and be found inadmissible at their immigrant visa interview before they could apply for an inadmissibility waiver of their unlawful presence.  Under this old process, families were separated for years waiting for a waiver, now at least; families can remain together in the United States while they wait for approval of the waiver.  

A few reminders as you consider whether to apply for the new Provisional Waiver:

If you are already in removal proceedings, you can still file a Provisional Waiver once your proceedings have been administratively closed and as long as your case has not been placed back on the Immigration Court calendar.  While it may seem like a long shot to ask a judge to close your case, judges are more likely to administratively close your case if they know that you are eligible to file for a Provisional Waiver.

The filing or approval of an application for a provisional waiver DOES NOT give you any lawful status in the United States or protect you from being placed in removal proceedings.  

Also, the provisional waiver ONLY waives unlawful presence; it does not waive any other grounds of inadmissibility.  Therefore, do not apply for the provisional waiver if the government will find you inadmissible for other things, such as criminal convictions or prior immigration fraud.  USCIS will reject your provisional waiver application if they believe there are other grounds of inadmissibility besides just unlawful presence in your case.

We previously blogged about the provisional waiver when the Department of Homeland Security announced in January 2013 that they were approving the new waiver, and also back in April 2012 when DHS first published a draft form of the rule regulating the waiver, and back in January 2012 when it was first announced.  

Here’s a review of the Provisional Waiver application process from our January post:

Who Can Apply?

What Is The Process?

As you can see, it can be complicated to decide whether you can or should apply for the new provisional waiver.  How to prove that you can qualify is also a complicated matter.   But if you need to know now whether you qualify –  fill out the form to the right and we will contact you within 1 business day with some advice.

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