I- 601A Provisional Waiver
In March, 2013 USCIS started to accept applications for I- 601A Provisional waiver that can be used by certain immediate relatives of the US citizen to waive unlawful presence bar during the green card process.
The I-601A provisional waiver is likely to be utilized by spouses of the US citizens who entered the country illegally. Such spouses may not adjust their status in the US and have to leave the country to get an immigrant visa.
However, despite the wide-spread announcement and special messages from the USCIS about the waiver and general impression that is it easy to file and get it, this relief is not so easy to get, and the application must be prepared flawlessly in order for it to be successful.
Most common mistakes come from misunderstanding that the waiver will forgive only unlawful presence. Notably, the unlawful presence bar kicks in only when the person leaves the U.S.; but the person cannot get his/her green card without leaving if he/she came to the US by crossing the border at the first place. As such, the I-601A waiver does not waive any other possible bars to admissibility in the U.S.: any Immigration issues based on criminal grounds; misrepresentation; prior deportation, etc.
One of the things that the filer must do prior to applying for the waiver is to obtain a full copy of his/her immigration file from the USCIS, ICE, Immigration and CBP. It is important to have the whole picture and have the same documents that the government will have while making a decision on the application. Further, isolated records that are kept by the persons are usually not sufficient to establish the eligibility for the I-601A waiver and the records’ requests must be filed anyway. Finally, a background check should be performed as well: this will allow eliminating any inadmissibility grounds based on criminal convictions.
If you have questions regarding I-601A provisional waiver, call New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova at 917-885-2261.