By Susan E. Hill, August 29, 2016
Effective today, August 29, 2016, the 601A Provisional Waiver is expanded to cover many more immigrants! This waiver is a great convenience and it eliminates the need to spend lengthy time outside the United States. It is for people who must return to their home country to pick up a green card, and it waives the 3- and 10-year bars for unlawful presence in the U.S.
Applicants apply while still inside the U.S., once a green card petition has been approved and is current and ready to use. Applicants must show hardship to an expanded category of potential relatives: a spouse or a parent who is a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident.
Expansion of the 601A Provisional Waiver makes it available for any family category, any employment category, or the Diversity Lottery. And now it is available despite the presence of a criminal record or a deportation/removal record. Applicants with removal orders on their record may have to obtain a separate I-212 waiver, and those in removal proceedings will have to obtain administrative closure.
Once the 601A Provisional Waiver is granted, the applicant can leave the U.S. and pick up the green card, and return in a matter of days or weeks.
Because the 601A Provisional Waiver process is streamlined, and because you may still encounter admissibility issues when getting the green card, you should confer with an experienced attorney to make sure you qualify and that you are aware of all potential issues in your case.