If you have a U.S. citizen family member and have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for 180 days or more (approximately six months), you may be eligible for lawful permanent residency through a “provisional waiver.” This means that you may be eligible for residency (a “green card”) even if you entered the U.S. illegally, overstayed a visa, or violated the terms of a visa.
We have successfully handled many provisional waivers since they became available in March 2013. They are a significantly better alternative than following the normal procedure, which requires you to leave the U.S. to attend a consular interview, apply for the waiver, and wait abroad for a decision.
What are the requirements to apply for a provisional waiver?
You may apply for a provisional waiver if you meet all of the following requirements:
* This is because you do not start to accrue unlawful presence in the U.S. until you turn 18, so children do not generally need to seek a waiver.
Will I have to leave the U.S. during the process?
If you meet these requirements, you can stay in the U.S. while your waiver petition is reviewed.
Can I be deported if I apply for a provisional waiver and admit my unlawful presence in the U.S.?
Applying for a provisional waiver does not place you at risk for deportation or removal unless you have a history of prior deportation, criminal activity, or fraudulent behavior, or you are found to be a threat to national security or public safety. If your provisional waiver is denied, you do not have to leave the U.S.
How does the USCIS decide whether to grant the waiver?
In order for the waiver to be granted, you must show that it would create extreme hardship to your qualifying family member – generally your U.S. citizen spouse or parent – if you had to leave the U.S. (Note that U.S. citizen children are not qualifying relatives, regardless of their age. As a result, hardship to them does not count.)
At Lazaro Salazar Law, we take great care to personalize your story and clearly explain to the immigration examiner how your absence will create hardship to your family members. We work closely with our clients to understand and accurately represent their unique circumstances.