The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has created a new process that will allow certain spouses, children, and parents of a U.S. citizen (immediate relatives) to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver while they are still in the United States and before departing for their immigrant visa interviews abroad.

Traditionally certain immediate relatives must travel abroad to obtain an immigrant visa from the Department of State (DOS) before they can return to the United States and be admitted as lawful permanent residents. In many cases, these immediate relatives also must request a waiver of inadmissibility of their unlawful presence
in the United States. As a result, they must remain outside of the U.S., separated from their U.S. citizen
spouses, parents, or children, while U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicates their waiver applications. In some cases, the waiver application processing time can be months requiring the separation of these immediate relatives from their U.S. citizen spouses, parents, and children.

USCIS anticipates that this new provisional unlawful presence waiver process will significantly reduce the time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives. USCIS approval of a provisional unlawful presence waiver prior to departure also will allow the DOS consular officer to issue an immigrant visa without
delay, as long as there are no other grounds of inadmissibility and the immediate relative is otherwise eligible for an immigrant visa.

Contact our office to see if you or your loved one qualifies for this new program.