Persons who are inadmissible to the US under the 3 or 10 year bars for unlawful presence (i.e., overstays) but who are physically present in the US and otherwise admissible, and who qualify for a green card by virtue of their relationship with a US citizen spouse or parent (an "immediate relative" in US immigration law parlance), may be able to benefit significantly by a possible change to US immigration procedures. A proposed change to the way I-601 immigration waivers are processed for such persons would allow these individuals to make the immigration waiver application while still in the US, avoiding the need to leave the country before applying. The person waits to get an answer on their visa waiver application before going abroad to apply for their US visa; the change would help avoid many months of separation of families by allowing individuals to remain in the US while the I-601 application is under consideration. But it is critical that persons seeking an I-601 immigration waiver understand that this change has NOT yet gone into effect – it will likely be several months from the time of this writing (July 8, 2012) before an individual can submit Form I-601 (the immigration waiver application) from within the United States, as opposed to at a US consulate or embassy abroad. To learn more about the Provisional I-601 waiver process or for help applying once the proposed rule actually goes into effect, contact aDallas immigration lawyer with the law firm Heartland Immigration today:
Overview - The Proposed I-601 Provisional Waiver Program
The principal US immigration agency, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), announced in January 2012 its plans to minimize the time certain persons who are subject to the 3 or 10 year bars for unlawful presence have to spend outside of the United States, away from their US citizen spouse or parents, while theirI-601 waiver application is pending. Under current US immigration law and USCIS rules a person subject to the inadmissibility for unlawful presence, and for whom a US citizen spouse or parent is submitting an application for a green card, has to leave the US and file their I-601 visa waiver application at a US embassy or consulate overseas. It can take many months for a decision to be made on their I601 waiver application. Under the proposed change, the individual seeking an immigration waiver and an immigrant visa (which is necessary to get a green card) would still have to depart the country to apply for an immigrant visa, but they could submit the I-601 immigration waiver while still in the United States and get a "provisional" decision on the application; the difference is that under the proposed rule, the months-long processing time of the I601 application can be spent in the US, as opposed to abroad, away from the applicant's US citizen spouse or parents.
It is worth re-stating that this rule has not yet gone into effect, meaning at present immediate relatives (spouses and children) of US citizens who are subject to the three or ten year bars to admissibility due to an overstay cannot apply for their I-601 waiver in the United States – they have to leave the country and apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, and will not be allowed back into the US until the visa waiver application is approved; this can take many months. USCIS has warned that unscrupulous immigration facilitators such as notarios are taking advantage of immigration waiver seekers by accepting their I-601 applications while they are still in the United States, as if the new USCIS rule had already gone into effect. Persons seeking immigration advice are cautioned against relying on non-attorneys. For immigration assistance call an immigration attorney at Heartland Immigration now: 1-855-USA-IMMIGRATE
About the Author
By Brad Menzer - Brad blogs regularly for Heartland Immigration. You can contact him at: email@example.com