In the U.S. there are spouses and children of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives) and legal residents who are in the United States are not eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status while in the United States due to their illegal entry. Under prior law, these immediate relatives must travel abroad to obtain an immigrant visa from the Department of State (DOS) to return to the United States to request admission as an LPR (Lawful Permanent Resident), and, must request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a waiver of inadmissibility as a result of their unlawful presence in the United States.
Without such a waiver the applicant would not be able to return to the U.S. for a period of not less than 3 years. In other words, under the prior regulations, these immediate relatives and spouse and child of a Lawful Permanent resident cannot apply for the waiver in the United Sates and would not receive their Green Card until after their immigrant visa interviews abroad. As a result of their unlawful presence in the U.S., these relatives had to remain outside of the United States, separated from their spouses, parents, or children, while USCIS adjudicates their waiver applications. In some cases, waiver application processing took well over one year, prolonging the separation of these immediate relatives from their U.S. citizen spouses, parents, and children.
The new provisional unlawful presence waiver (I-601A) process facilitates the issuance of immigrant visa for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and spouse and children of Lawful Permanent Residents, who are otherwise admissible to the United States except for the 3-year and 10-year unlawful presence bars, which are triggered upon departure from the United States.
The waiver process allows eligible immediate relatives to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver while they are still in the United States and before they leave to attend their immigrant visa interview abroad.
Once abroad the process take only 3 weeks. You may remain in your country for up to 4 weeks to visit family and take care of business.
Entering the U.S. is simple and about 30 days later you receive the Green Card in the mail.
Aliens in removal proceedings are allowed to participate in this new provisional unlawful presence waiver process if their removal proceedings are administratively closed and have not been re-calendared at the time of filing the Form I-601A. Aliens whose removal proceedings are terminated or dismissed are covered in the general population of aliens who are eligible to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver.
If you have been ordered Deported or Removed, you will also qualify. However you will need to apply for 2 different waivers, one for being ordered deported (i-212) and the other for having remained in the U.S. illegally.(I-601A)
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