Exciting News in the World of Immigration Waivers
Posted by: ScottMond Law Firm
November 26, 2012
Topic: U.S. Waivers
There is much exciting news coming down from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (“USCIS”) for our immigration clients with inadmissibility issues. The purpose of this short blog post is to distinguish between two important changes set to take place within the next year.
First, the upcoming change in location from overseas Consular Processing of I-601 Inadmissability waivers to processing and approval of I-601 waivers right here in the U.S. Next, is the long awaited Provisional Waiver which will allow our clients who entered the country without inspection (“EWI”) to be approved for a Green Card along with Waiver in the United States. Especially in the event a EWI individual is not 245i life act eligible to adjust status in the United States.
Centralized Filing and Adjudication for Form I-601, Application for Waiver of
Grounds of Inadmissibility
The I-601 waiver waives various grounds of inadmissibility such as when Foreign Nationals are subject to the 10 year or 3 year bars, criminal issues, misrepresentation problems and many other grounds which are not discussed here as this is not the topic of this short blog.
EXCERPT FROM USCIS.GOV
Beginning June 4, 2012, immigrant visa applicants who are applying for a waiver of a ground of inadmissibility from outside the United States will file the Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, by mail with a USCIS domestic Lockbox facility, rather than with a USCIS international field office, or a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The Lockbox facility will send all Form I-601 applications submitted by international filers to the USCIS Nebraska Service Center (NSC) for adjudication. USCIS international field offices that accept Form I-601 filings by appointment will no longer schedule new appointments for filing Form I-601.
End of Excerpt
Due to long delays in processing I-601 waivers at the international U.S. Consulates, USCIS has decided to centralize processing of I-601 waivers which will reduce the time families are separated due to inadmissibility issues and streamline the process globally.
Provisional Waiver (Not yet law)
In contrast, the Provisional Waiver is a long awaited law that has NOT yet taken effect. The Provisional waiver is clearly distinguished from the I-601 change in policy discussed above. The Provisional Stateside Waiver, as described above, will allow EWI individuals to remain the U.S. while his or her I-601 waiver is being processed to waive inadmissibility issues of entering the U.S. illegally.
The Provisional Waiver would be limited to individuals who are married to U.S. citizens, and who can demonstrate a U.S. citizen would experience extreme hardship if separated from their “qualifying relatives”. The good news here is that although an EWI individual has to travel to an international consulate to pick up their Permanent Visa, they would be already be approved before leave. And there will be little to no risk of not being able to reenter the United States. Finally, wait times are expected to be a few weeks. (Note: The law has not yet taken effect so this is only a legal opinion).
It is essential to contact an experienced U.S. Immigration attorney if you or someone you know could benefit from any of these exciting new and emerging I-601 waiver policies and laws. You may contact our firm at to speak with an attorney at [email protected] or call one of our telephone numbers listed conveniently at www.scottcclaw.com
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