The New Provisional I-601 Waiver Program
The Obama Administration has proposed a new rule regarding how and where I-601 Waivers of Inadmissibility for Unlawful Presence in the United States will be decided. This important development will help hundreds of thousands of families pursue Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Cards) for their undocumented members and avoid months and even years of the separation of families. This means that when a United Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Spouse or Parent files an Immigrant Petition for their Spouse or Son or Daughter, respectively, who came into the United States illegally without inspection by the Border Patrol, the undocumented family member may receive a “waiver” or “pardon” of their illegal time while still inside the United States and not be forced to obtain such a Waiver outside the United States, as is the situation currently, and which currently subjects that person to many months of waiting outside the United States until the Waiver is approved—if ever. Naturally this takes away much of the risk of pursuing a Waiver outside the United States and makes risky cases good cases.
In short, this rule change will allow I-601 Waivers for Inadmissibility for Unlawful Presence to be adjudicated inside the United States. The attorney will file the Waiver on behalf of the client and wait for the approval of the Waiver package before setting an appointment with the overseas Consulate for the Immigrant Visa appointment. Please note that the Beneficiary of the Immigrant Petition will still have to leave the United States to obtain the Immigrant Visa and her Green Card, but after the Waiver is approved, there will be no fear—assuming that there are no other issues of Inadmissibility—the Provisional Waiver only addresses Unlawful Presence.
As always, you must confer with an experienced immigration attorney to assist you in this process. This process is highly technical and Notarios and Immigration Services offices do not have the requisite knowledge of the law to help you. Please call this office if you believe that you may benefit from this new and exciting change in procedure.