us immigration application and consular visa interviewAn immigrant who entered the United States illegally can still be eligible for a green card because of family ties, or other reasons. But the application for a green card poses a problem because the applicant usually has to leave the United States for an interview at an American consulate in their home country. If the applicant entered the U.S. illegally, once the applicant leaves the United States they are not entitled to a visa to re-enter, and their application gets barred for either three or ten years, because of the original illegal entry into the United States.

An immigration provisional waiver from the  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) gives the applicant a determination of their re-entry status before they leave the United States for the visa interview.

visa waiver program is shown using a text

Applications for immigration provisional waivers can always get complicated. A lot depends on having a good outcome. If you believe you could benefit from an application for a waiver, contact the immigration law firm Esani and Momin, P.C. to help you with the process.

Who Qualifies for an Immigration Provisional Waiver?

An immigration provisional waiver qualifies any individual who is eligible for an immigrant visa, whether based on the visa lottery, family ties, work, or a special classification status. There is a provisional waiver checklist that you need to be mindful of in applying. To qualify for a waiver, an applicant must:

  1. Be older than age 17;
  2. Actually in the United States at the time of applying;
  3. Otherwise eligible for admission to the United States. This means the applicant can’t have a criminal record or committed any immigration fraud;
  4. Able to show that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident will suffer extreme hardship if the waiver is not granted. Usually, this is a spouse.

How Can Someone Apply for an Immigration Provisional Waiver?

The USCIS determines whether an application gets approved or disapproved, and has considerable discretion in its decisions. Applications for a waiver need filling out of the I-601a form, the “Application for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver.”

“Unlawful presence” can mean more than simply entering the United States illegally without a visa. Overstaying the time limit on a visa, even for one day, creates an unlawful presence situation.

Some visas, like student visas, are open-ended with no particular deadline for departure. Instead, the duration of the visa depends on maintaining a status, like enrollment at a school.  Since there is no precise time limit, if the student drops out of school, then they may be present in the United States unlawfully. In such cases, consultation with an immigration attorney is usually a wise choice.

How an Attorney Can Help

American immigration law is a complex field. Lots of procedures and the stakes for failure are quite high, since an unsuccessful applicant may have to leave the United States. Using a skilled advocate, or expert in the field can help an applicant navigate the system.

The Sugar Land immigration attorneys of Esani & Momin P.C. can help you with all your immigration law needs, including your application for an immigration provisional waiver. Our professional and friendly staff can assist you by explaining the I-601A requirements, and completing the I 601A waiver form.

Applying for a provisional waiver to allow you to remain in the United States is too important to handle alone. Attentive legal help can guide you through a complicated process. Call us today for an appointment!


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