Some people, based upon certain factors, may be classified as “inadmissable” for immigration purposes, and thus not eligible for a visa or lawful permanent resident status or a green card. Fortunately, relief is available for people who obtain a “waiver” of the grounds for inadmissability.
The U.S. Congress has created various grounds of inadmissibility, and allows waivers for some of those grounds. Some of these waivers are often referred to as “Extreme Hardship Waivers” or “Hardship Waivers” or sometimes you may hear them referred to as “601 Waivers”. Certain grounds for inadmissability are eligible for a waiver, while others are not.
Grounds for inadmissability can include unlawful presence in the United States, criminal convictions, misrepresentations, and fraud.
To qualify for this type of waiver, it will need to be proven that the applying immigrant has a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, fiance, or parent who will experience “extreme hardship"if the immigrant is denied admission. The standard of “extreme hardship” is a legal standard and its determination is discretionary. The grounds for extreme hardship must be proven. Extreme hardship is determined on a case-by-case basis. Although proving extreme hardship can be complicated, with the appropriate facts, and proper presentation, extreme hardship can be proven, and people can obtain their green cards, even though they have lived in the U.S. for years without status.
In January 2013, a final rule for a new program, known as the Provisional Waiver Program, was issued by the government. The provisional waiver program does not change the law, but it introduces new procedures for requesting and obtaining the waiver.
Under the provisional waiver program, people who entered the U.S. without inspection (EWI) may seek a provisional waiver to excuse their unlawful presence in the U.S. Once the provisional waiver is approved by the USCIS, they are eligible to attend their interview for their immigrant visa application (green card interview) at the U.S. embassy consulate in their home country.
The great benefit of the this provisional waiver program is that it eliminates the requirement that the applicant submit the waiver application abroad and then be separated from their family for months or even years while their waiver application remains pending. Instead, if they qualify for the provisional waiver before leaving the U.S., they then be interviewed abroad, and then return to the U.S. and their family in as little as a few days.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS AS TO WHETHER YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR A WAIVER AND OBTAIN A GREEN CARD, CONSULT A QUALIFIED ATTORNEY.
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