The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has expanded the existing provisional waiver process to allow certain individuals who are family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) and those who are statutorily eligible for immigrant visas to more easily navigate the immigration process. The new law promotes family unity by reducing the time that eligible individuals are separated from their family members while they complete immigration processing abroad.
“Until now, only the immediate relatives of American citizens were eligible to seek provisional waivers before departing the U.S. for the processing of their immigrant visas,” said attorney Carlos E. Sandoval. “The law now expands eligibility to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility.”
What this means in practical terms is that if an applicant can demonstrate extreme hardship to a United States citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent, that applicant may apply for and receive a provisional waiver, whether the basis for the immigrant visa is a family-based petition or an employment-based petition, or even to diversity lottery or special immigrant classifications.