Provisional waivers of unlawful presence
- Undocumented individuals who have resided unlawfully in the United States for at least 180 days and who are:
- The sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and
- The spouse and sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents.
- Expands the provisional waiver program announced in 2013 by allowing the spouses, sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens to get a waiver if a visa is available. There may be instances when the qualifying relative is not the petitioner.
- Clarifies the meaning of the “extreme hardship” standard that must be met to obtain a waiver.
Notes: Currently, only spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens are allowed to apply to obtain a provisional waiver if a visa is available. For more information about the waivers program, go to the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers page which will be updated over the next several months.
- Upon issuing of new guidelines and regulations.
Even though a person may have someone to sponsor them for a green card, or have a legitimate reason to come for a visit, some aspects of a person’s background may require them to obtain an immigration waiver before even starting the immigration process. Immigration waivers are difficult to obtain and most often require an immigration attorney.
Who needs an immigration waiver ?
If a person is inadmissible to the United States, their visa application will be denied. Specific inadmissibility grounds can be waived by an immigration officer. When visa applicants consult with an immigration attorney prior to submitting the visa application, they can be prepared with an appropriate immigration waiver before the initial visa interview.
Types of immigration waivers
Identifying which type of immigration waiver a visa applicant needs depends on:
– whether they plan to move permanently to the US or just coming to visit or work for a brief time.
– the ground of inadmissibility for the visa denial (prior immigration violation or deportation, criminal history, medical issues, etc.) will determine which type of immigrant waiver or nonimmigrant waiver must be filed.
- inadmissibility waiver for a potential immigrant– Some criminal grounds of inadmissibility that can be waived include a crime involving moral turpitude and/or multiple criminal convictions. Applying for a visa or for admission at the border using fraud or misrepresentation also makes someone inadmissible. A waiver is available for misrepresentation.
- Inadmissibility waiver for a temporary worker or visitor – Although non-immigrants are subject to the same grounds of inadmissibility that intending immigrants are subject to (see above), they file on a different form.
- Deportation Waiver–Depending on the length of time that has passed, a prior deportation order may make a person inadmissible.
- Mexico Waiver – immigration waiver cases for citizens from Mexico are handled at the US Consulate in Ciudad de Juarez, Mexico.
- J1 Waiver – Generally, J1 visa holders must return to their home country for at least 2 years after the J1 program ends. Some individuals might be able to obtain a J1 Waiver, which would eliminate the 2 year foreign residency requirement and allow them to remain in or return to the United States.