I-601A STATESIDE PROVISIONAL WAIVER – IN EFFECT AS OF MARCH 4, 2013
Starting March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa beneficiaries who are the spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens (i.e. immediate relatives under the Immigration and Nationality Act), and who have been unlawfully present in the United States, can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers. This is known as Stateside Provisional Waiver. It is filed using Form I-601A. The Stateside Provisional Waiver only applies to individuals who need a waiver of inadmissiblity only for unlawful presence. Unlawful presence is commonly associated with the 3 and 10 year bars. For example, when a person has more than one year of unlawful presence in the United States, and then leaves the United States, they trigger the 10 year unlawful presence bar. The bar essentially prohibits a person from legally coming back to the United States for 10 years. One way to overcome the 10 year bar is to prove an extreme hardship to a qualifying U.S. citizen relative – spouse or parent. Prior to March 4, 2013, persons would need to file an ‘extreme hardship waiver’ outside the United States and wait for it to be approved before being reunited with family. This is where the stateside unlawful presence waiver comes into play. It allows persons to file the extreme hardship waiver while remaining in the United States (i.e. stateside) to wait for its adjudication. If approved, the beneficiary travels abroad to the appropriate U.S. Embassy to attend an immigrant visa interview. Assuming the person is otherwise admissible to the United States, their next entry into the United States will be with an immigrant visa (i.e. green card). This information is not intended to be legal advice. It is intended to be very general in nature. It would be wise to contact the best immigration attorney you can find who can provide you with expert legal advice in this complicated green card process.