DHS Rule on Expansion of Eligibility for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiverby Stephanie DiPietro

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Department-of-Homeland-Security-Logo-HRToday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule [FR DOC# 2016-17934]  expanding eligibility for I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers.  In order to qualify for a provisional waiver, this expanded rule requires applicants to establish that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents would experience “extreme hardship” if the applicants are prevented from returning to the United States.

Based upon comments received to the proposed rule, DHS adopted some additional changes to who is eligible for a provisional waiver.  For example, previously applicants with a final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion were prohibited from applying for a provisional waiver unless the order had been reopened and terminated.

Under the expanded regulation, those with a final order should file an I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal first and once that has been approved then file an I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver.

Applicants should note the expanded guidelines for a provisional waivers do not take effect until Aug. 29, 2016.  Applying prior to this date may result in denial from USCIS.

We expect these changes to have a huge impact on who now qualifies for a provisional unlawful presence waiver. For a full explanation of the new expanded rule and to see whether you may qualify for an I-601A Waiver please call our office to schedule a consultation.

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