The proposed expansion of the I-601A provisional waiver of inadmissibility due to unlawful presence has finally become a reality. The President announced the expansion of the waiver as part of his November 2014 suite of executive actions designed to ameliorate the harsh results of strict enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. Of course, the heart of those reforms was deferred action for the parents of U.S. citizens, which remains delayed by an injunction imposed by a Texas judge which the Supreme Court punted on.
The Board of Immigration Appeals has finally given in to the overwhelming weight of the opinions of nine circuit courts of appeals (there are only 12 of them) and accepted the proposition that a permanent resident who received his residence through adjustment of status and was later convicted of an aggravated felony may seek a waiver of inadmissibility under Immigration & Nationality Act sec. 212(h). In Matter of J-H-J-, 26 I.&N.
Another positive development included in the President’s administrative reforms to U.S. immigration laws is the proposed expansion of the provisional waiver program, which the President initiated in 2013. The provisional waiver, as initially introduced allowed the spouses and children of U.S. citizens to seek a waiver of inadmissibility for the three and ten year bars due to unlawful presence to seek a waiver in the U.S.
From across the pond comes word now that Nigella Lawson, she of the cookbook and lifestyle empire, has been denied admission to the United States, due to reports of her testimony regarding her use of cocaine and marijuana. Now, Nigella Lawson has never been convicted of illegal drug possession or distribution. So what gives? Well, what appears to have happened is that Ms. Lawson was determined to be inadmissible to the United States because she may have “admitt[ed] to having committed .
We are now days away from the launch of the provisional waiver process, a White House initiative that will permit immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to stay in the country while immigration officials process their waivers for the unlawful presence bars. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting applications on March 4, and will release Form I-601A and its accompanying instructions either today or on Monday.
With all the excitement and buzz about the new I-601A Provisional Waiver process, described in Benach Collopy’s live video chat and our previous posts, it is important to remember that what has changed for certain non-citizens and their family members is the procedure for applying for a waiver of inadmissibility, not the substance of the legal standard. I-601A Provisional Waivers of inadmissibility for unlawful presence in the United States will soon be available to assure family unity for certain eligible applicants who seek permanent resident status.
Over the last few weeks we have answered dozens of questions about the provisional waiver. One group of questions keeps appearing- questions about how people in removal proceedings or with a removal order can qualify for the provisional waiver. Whereas, the initial rule announced by the Department of Homeland Security indicated that the provisional waiver would be unavailable to people in removal proceedings, the final rule is somewhat more forgiving.
The Citizenship & Immigration Service has released more information about the I-601A provisional waiver process set to begin on March 4. The I-601A provisional waiver process is meant to allow the immediate relatives of United States citizens to seek a waiver of inadmissibility due to unlawful presence while in the United States and prior to departing the U.S. for an interview at a U.S. consulate abroad.
Today, the USCIS finally published the much-awaited rule on the unlawful presence waiver (I-601A), which will take effect on March 4, 2013. We previewed this development in this blog in October 2012. This is an enormous development. The so-called stateside waiver process will allow thousands of immigrants to take the steps to regularize their immigration status. The new waiver provisions do nothing to change the substantive requirement that an immigrant demonstrate that the denial of her permanent residence would cause extreme hardship to her U.S.