As a part of the immigration process, some immigrants may be required to leave the country to attend an interview with a United States consular officer in order to obtain a visa for lawful permanent resident status. These proceedings can take time and often requires families to separate until a visa is granted. In order to help immigrants to California and other parts of the country get back to their families, provisional unlawful presence waivers were made available to speed up the process.
Immigrants who do not qualify to apply for an adjustment of status are required to depart the United States for a visa interview. Those who need a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence are allowed to file for that waiver before they leave the country through the provisional unlawful presence waiver process. If that waiver is approved, the individual is still required to attend an immigrant visa interview abroad, though the process may not take quite as long to complete.
Certain eligibility requirements apply for those wishing to obtain a provisional unlawful presence waiver. These requirements include the following among many others, the individual must be at least 17 years old, must be an immediate relative of a United States citizen, must have an immigrant visa case currently pending and must be able to show that the denial of admission into the country would cause severe hardship on family members. When submitting an application, it is imperative to follow all instructions and provide the necessary supporting documentation in order to prevent any delays in processing.
Provisional unlawful presence waivers, if approved, do not a guarantee that visas will be issued, but can help speed up the visa application and interview process. The road to permanent residence status, and ultimately citizenship, can be complex and confusing. Assistance is available to immigrants in California as they work through the legalities of the immigration process.
Source: uscis.gov, “Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers“, , sept. 8, 2014