New York Provisional Waiver Attorney: I-601A
Persons who have accumulated 180 days or more of unlawful presence after April 1, 1997, and have then left the country, cannot return to the U.S. for 3 years. Persons who have accumulated one year or more of unlawful presence after April 1, 1997, and have then left the country, cannot return to the U.S. for 10 years. Persons who illegally return to the U.S. without seeking a waiver must wait outside the U.S. for a period of 10 years before they can apply for a waiver. The same rule applies to persons who illegally reenter the U.S. after being deported. Persons who commit fraud or a material misrepresentation are barred from the U.S. for life unless they obtain a waiver. A waiver may be obtained by submitting Form I-601 to the USCIS and demonstrating that the person’s U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent(s) would suffer “extreme hardship” unless the person was granted a waiver.
On January 3, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security published a regulation allowing immediate family members of U.S. citizens who entered the U.S. without inspection, or are otherwise ineligible to adjust their status in the U.S. due to unlawful presence, to apply for “form I-601A provisional waivers” in the United States. Once their waivers are approved by the USCIS, they will be eligible to attend their appointments for immigrant visas (green cards) in their countries of origin. The aim of this new program, which became effective on March 4, 2013, is to avoid having spouses and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens be separated from their families for months or even years while their waivers are pending. Now, these family members will obtain their waivers before departing the U.S., will be interviewed abroad, and will then return to their families in the U.S. within just a few days or weeks.