Effective August 29, 2016, USCIS will expand the existing provisional waiver process for individuals who are seeking to waive the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. Prior to this, only certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens could apply for provisional waivers. This waiver now includes certain individuals who are family members of lawful permanent residents (LPRs). To qualify for a provisional waiver, applicants must establish that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents would experience “extreme hardship” if the applicants are not allowed to return to the United States.
USCIS expects to update its Policy Manual to provide guidance on how USCIS makes “extreme hardship” determinations in the coming weeks. Applicants should not submit a request for a provisional waiver under the expanded guidelines until the final rule takes effect on Aug. 29, 2016. Updated forms of the I-601A will also not be available until that date. Therefore, do not apply before August 29, otherwise USCIS may deny the application.
For more information about how this new rule may create an opportunity for you or someone you know, please contact our office.