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USCIS Announces Expansion of Provisional Waiver Process

USCIS announced today that the existing provisional waiver process (also known as "stateside waivers") will be expanded to allow family members of U.S. citizens AND lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who are statutorily eligible for immigrant visas to apply.

The provisional waiver process promotes family unity by reducing the time that eligible individuals are separated from their family members while they complete immigration processing abroad.  Previously, only certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens could apply for provisional waivers of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility.  The rule announced today, which goes into effect on Aug. 29, 2016, expands eligibility for the provisional waiver process to all individuals who are statutorily eligible for the waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility.

To qualify for a provisional waiver, applicants must establish that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents would experience "extreme hardship" if the applicants are not allowed to return to the United States.

Applicants should not submit an application for a provisional waiver under the expanded guidelines until the final rule takes effect on Aug. 29, 2016. If you do so before that date, USCIS may deny the application.

Should you need additional information or have any questions, please contact our office.

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