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 Department of State (DOS) has informed the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that DOS will need to approve any potential I-193 waiver applicant before he or she can apply at a U.S. port of entry. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is accepting I-193 Applications for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa for urgent travel to the U.S. for travelers affected by the DOS technical difficulties preventing visa issuance. Applicants will now be required to contact the embassy or consulate where they would have applied for the visa, or where the application is pending in cases where the interview has already taken place, and explain why they need to urgently travel without the visa. If the embassy or consulate agrees that the reason for travel is sufficiently urgent and the applicant is eligible (no criminal issues, immigration issues, etc.), the post will issue a travel letter, which then must be presented to CBP with the I-193 application.
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) Bureau of Consular Affairs is reporting that they are again experiencing technical problems with the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD). This is the same database that crashed last summer causing the U.S. passport and visa system to go down worldwide. The Department of State has said, however, that the current problems with the CCD are not the same as those previously experienced.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new policy clarifying the definition of "mother" and "parent" under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The revised definitions will now include gestational mothers using asisted reproductive technology (ART) regardless of whether they are the genetic mothers.
We are getting updates from the U.S. Department of State and from other sources that the global database used by the Department of State to process U.S. visa applications and passports has crashed, resulting in delays for millions of people around the world waiting for travel documents. The problems with the Consular Consolidated Database have resulted in "significant performance issues, including outages" in the processing of applications for passports, visas and reports of Americans born abroad since Saturday. State Department spokesman Marie Harf said that the crash has resulted in an "extensive backlog" of applications.