Individuals are found inadmissible to the United States if they have had an unlawful presence in the country for more than 180 days. This inadmissibility must be waived before an immigrant visa may be obtained.
As long as an individual is not eligible to adjust their status in the U.S., they must travel outside of the country to seek an immigrant visa through consular processing. Traditionally, these individuals with unlawful presence in the U.S. have needed to wait to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility until after they have appeared for their immigrant visa interview abroad and have been determined inadmissible by a Department of State consular officer.
However, the provisional unlawful presence waiver exists for individuals who only need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence before applying for an immigrant visa. This provision allows people to apply for the waiver before leaving the U.S. for their visa interview. The purpose of this process is to shorten the amount of time that families are separated while relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are seeking immigrant visas to become lawful permanent residents themselves.
It is important to remember that being granted a provisional unlawful presence waiver does not qualify you for adjustment of status or change the rest of the immigration process in any way. You still are required to go through consular processing at a U.S Embassy or consulate to seek your immigrant visa. Is it only after you attend your visa interview abroad and a consular officer with the Department of State determines that you are admissible to the U.S. and eligible for an immigrant visa that your approved provisional unlawful presence waiver will take effect.
You may be eligible for the provisional unlawful presence waiver if:
- You are at least 17 years old
- You are physically present in the United States to apply
- You are in the process of obtaining your immigrant visa and have a pending case
- You can prove that being denied admission to the U.S. will result in extreme hardship for your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parents
- You believe that you are inadmissible only because of unlawful presence in the U.S.
If you are already in the process of removal, you are likely not eligible for a provisional unlawful presence waiver. This applies to you if you are in removal proceedings and the proceedings have not been administratively closed or if you have a final order of deportation, exclusion, or removal.
How We Can Help
For help determining if you are eligible to apply for the provisional unlawful presence waiver, contact us at Youngblood & Associates. Our team will assess your specific situation and advise you on the most appropriate path for you and your family. We will assist you in applying for the provisional unlawful presence waiver and guide you through every step in the complex process. The Youngblood & Associates staff will provide outstanding representation to you throughout the process of seeking legal status in the United States.
Not sure what you need?
Call our office today at 931-274-7811 to schedule your FREE first consultation or complete a service inquiry form to get your process started today.