More than eight months after President Obama announced his intention to expand the provisional waiver program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued proposed regulations on the expansion of the I-601A provisional waiver program. I-601A provisional waivers allow an applicant to waive a ground of inadmissibility triggered by unlawful presence if they are statutorily eligible for a waiver, are seeking such a waiver in connection with an immigrant visa application, and meet other conditions.
The provisional waiver process currently allows a qualifying applicant to get his inadmissibility waived prior to leaving the United States, saving the applicant from many months or even years outside of the country waiting for his waiver to be adjudicated.
The new regulations would expand the provisional waiver process (1) by eliminating the requirement that provisional waiver applicants be certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and instead opening the process to all who qualify for the unlawful presence waiver under the applicable statute and meet certain other conditions; and (2) by allowing the requisite “extreme hardship” be shown to any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent instead of limiting the extreme hardship to U.S. citizen spouses.
The proposed regulations are not final yet and are open for written comment by interested parties until September 21, 2015. If the proposed regulations are implemented, they will greatly expand the number of applicants who can consular process with a provisional waiver.
• Proposed Regulations
Previous Posts on Provisional Waivers:
• Provisional Waivers Mean Less Family Separation During Consular Processing (8/27/2013)
• USCIS Officially Begins Accepting I-601A Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence (3/4/2013)
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