Introduction – The proposed changes in the processing of the I-601 Waiver will significantly reduce the time that United States citizens and permanent residents are separated from immediate relatives. In some cases the immediate relative may remain in the United States while the waiver is being processed.

 

Excerpt from the USCIS March 30th, 2012, Press Release

…This rule would allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to apply for a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility while still in the United States if they can demonstrate that being separated from their U.S. citizen spouse or parent would cause that U.S. citizen relative extreme hardship. The proposed rule will not alter how USCIS determines eligibility for a waiver of inadmissibility or how an individual establishes extreme hardship…

USCIS also proposes creating a new form for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who choose to apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver. Once in effect, this form would be used for individuals filing an application for a provisional unlawful presence application before he or she departs the United States to complete the immigrant visa process at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad. The streamlined process would only apply to immediate relatives who are otherwise eligible for an immigrant visa…

Who will Benefit from the Proposed Change

• The proposed change will benefit United States citizens and their immediate relatives.
• The proposal does not suggest that it will affect the permanent resident or his immediate relatives.
• The proposed change will benefit the United States citizen and his immediate relative who has entered the United States with inspection but has overstayed the visa. The proposed change is silent on the issue of those immediate relatives who entered the United States without inspection.
• The proposed change will not benefit persons who are inadmissible because they were convicted of a crime.
• The proposed change is silent on the issue of whether those who entered the United States without inspection will benefit from the change. As the law currently reads, entering without inspection is a separate and distinct violation and requires a standalone waiver. The current proposal does not appear to provide relief to immediate relatives who have entered the United States without inspection but appears to apply only to those who have entered the United States with inspection and overstayed.