I-601 Waiver Rules Updated. Eases Application Process
The I-601 Waiver processing rules are being updated. New rules that would go into effect at the end of the year are bringing hope to many foreign nationals who want to resolve their status.
Many foreign nationals enter the US without inspection or overstay their visa. They live here for some time and decide to resolve their status by applying for a green card. Under the current rules, entry without inspection or overstay of a visa are grounds for ineligibility for a green card. The applicant has to return to their country of origin and await a decision there. If denied the green card they must remain in their home country for up to 10 years before they can reapply. The only recourse is to file for an I-601 waiver which would forgive the 10-yr penalty. Previously the applicant still had to return to their country of origin to apply for an I-601. This created much uncertainty and hardship for US citizens or legal permanent residents who were relatives of the ineligible applicant.
Now the USCIS has proposed new rules regarding the I-601 waiver process. Coming soon an applicant might be able to apply for an I-601 waiver from within the United States. To get an I-601 waiver the applicant has to prove that their absence would cause significant hardship for a relative, spouse, or fiance who is a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States. When approved by USCIS the applicant can then go to a U.S. Consulate in their country of origin to complete the Green Card process routinely—without fear that the waiver will be denied.
Before an applicant can file for the I-601 waiver, he or she has to be approved as an immediate family member of a US citizen or legal permanent resident by the USCIS. In order to be approved the applicant’s family members have to file a Family Petition, or Form I-130, for them.
Jaensch Immigration Law Firm urges all qualified immediate relatives to file the Family Petition as soon as possible. Processing time is still only a few months at the moment, but a huge backlog is foreseen when the Provisional Family Waiver program begins—expected toward the end of the year.
Fiance’s, spouses, parents and children age 17 or younger are qualified to seek the I-601 provisional waiver for their unlawful presence. The only grounds against their case which would be waived are illegal entry and overextension of stay. Other grounds such as conviction for serious crimes or a drug conviction will not be waived by the I-601 wiaver