Immigration Attorney Tips: Facts About the Provisional Waiver for Unlawful Presence

So you have been found inadmissible to the U.S.  This is no ground for despair ad it may not be the end of your hopes for a U.S. visa or green card. As any specialized immigration attorney will tell, there are many inadmissibility situations that actually allow applicants to apply for a waiver. So what is a waiver? It is basically forgiveness of the ground by the U.S. government. You should know that different grounds of inadmissibility have different waiver requirements so you need to make sure you meet the basic criteria to submit an application.  A very important thing is the application itself. This will need to be carefully prepared and documented so enlist help from a specialized immigration attorney.

Long story short, if you are an undocumented immigrant who has been living on US ground for several years, can you get a green card due to the new provisional waiver? Below are a few clarifications from an immigration attorney.

Fact: The new waiver of unlawful presence is basically a change in procedure, not an immigration law change. So, you won’t get a green card or work permit if you have been living illegally in the US.

Actually, if the Immigration Services decide that you are eligible for the provisional waiver, you will need to travel back to your home country to interview for an immigrant visa at a local consulate or embassy office. Meanwhile, your green card may still get denied.

Who is this waiver for? This is basically for immediate relatives, including spouses, parents or children under the age of 21of U.S. citizens. These people, because of their family relationship, may have already met basic eligibility criteria for a green card – but they might have a hard time actually getting it. These are people who are forced to apply for their green card in their home country, through a process of consular interviews. Some of these people may however face a three- or ten-year bar on returning to the U.S. because of their unlawful presence of 180 days or more. According to legal experts, a provisional waiver will however guarantee you can get a definite “yes” or “no” answer from USCIS as to whether your returning to the US will be blocked.

If you have family members in the U.S. through whom you qualify for a green card, but you aren’t eligible to adjust status here (most likely because you entered the U.S. illegally); and if you believe you might be eligible for a provisional waiver of unlawful presence in order to safely leave the U.S. and obtain that green card, you should consult an experienced immigration attorney for help.


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