On July 29, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will publish in the Federal Register a final rule that will expand eligibility for I-601A provisional unlawful presence waivers.
Prior to the expansion, DHS allows only certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are residing in the United States to request an I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver before departing for consular processing for their immigrant visas. The waiver would be available to applicants where the sole ground of inadmissibility would be unlawful presence under section 212(a)(9)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In order to get the waiver approved, applicants must show they are statutorily eligible for the unlawful presence waiver and establish extreme hardship to his or her U.S. citizen spouse or parent.
Under the expanded provisional waiver, applicants can now also show extreme hardship to his or her lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or parent. The expanded provisional waiver is expected to open the door to more eligible applicants and will be effective starting August 29, 2016.