On July 29, 2016, USCIS announced final rule expanding existing provisional waiver process to allow certain individuals who are family members of US citizen or Lawful permanent resident to easily navigate the immigration process. These rules are effective from August 29, 2016. This will encourage individuals who are unlawfully present in the country to seek lawful status after departing the country.
• Provisional waiver is now available to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for a waiver based solely on their unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility.
• Applicants, who are or were in final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion proceedings, are still eligible to apply for Provisional Waiver.
• USCIS will not deny a Provisional waiver based upon reason-to-believe standard as basis for ineligibility.
• The expanded provisional waiver is not limited to Family based petitions but also includes applicants who are eligible to acquire residency via an approved Employment based petitions and have a qualifying relative spouse or parent will be eligible for the Expanded Provisional Waiver.
• The new procedure now allows Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder), in addition to the US citizen, who are parent or citizen, to apply for a waiver of the 3/10 year bar, while still in the US and before they depart the US for immigrant visa processing.
• USCIS has exclusive jurisdiction in these proceedings.
• Applicant still need to establish that their Qualifying Relative will suffer extreme hardship if the waiver were not granted.