Individuals who remain in the United States illegally may be prohibited from returning to the country for a period of time. This can create a severe hardship in situations when the person who overstayed his or her lawful immigration status is a close family member of someone living in the United States.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes it possible for certain individuals to obtain a provisional waiver in order to resolve this issue. The waiver allows someone who would otherwise be barred from obtaining immigration benefits to move forward with gaining the lawful right to live with his or her family in America.
If your past overstay is hindering your ability to lawfully immigrate and be with your family members, you need to take action. A Maryland immigration lawyer at Miranda & Weisman can help you to complete Form I-601A to obtain a provisional waiver and can assist you in moving forward with your immigration process.
An individual who accrues 180 days or more unlawful presence in the United States faces a three-year inadmissibility bar. This bar prevents the immigrant who was illegally in the country from coming back to the U.S. after leaving. If a person is illegally in the United States for more than a year before departing, the bar increases to 10 years.
Individuals who are subject to either a three or 10-year bar generally cannot obtain temporary or permanent immigration benefits while remaining in the United States. This means that if a person would otherwise be eligible for a visa, he or she will not be able to seek adjustment of status within this country but would instead need to leave and go to his or her own homeland to use consular processing. The problem is, however, that departing from the U.S. to go back home triggers the three or 10 year bar. The result of this is that family members could be separated for a decade or longer.
For a long time, these immigration rules meant that a person who was unlawfully present would need to leave the country, request a waiver to return and hope it was granted. In March of 2013, the rules changed for the better and it is now possible to complete form I-601A and seek a provisional waiver without ever leaving the U.S.
A provisional waiver is limited only to certain close family members of U.S. citizens. For example, the immigrant seeking the waiver must be a spouse, child or parent of a U.S. citizen. Waivers are only available to immigrants coming to the U.S. on an approved petition for alien relative or on a petition for Amerasians, widowers or special immigrants.
An attorney can help you determine if you qualify for a provisional waiver and can assist in ensuring that you take the right steps to get this important benefit.
Past immigration problems should not jeopardize your ability to move forward in the future. A provisional waiver makes it so these problems do not interfere with your ability to form a strong family unit that can live together as citizens or residents in the U.S. without fear.
Call today to speak with a Maryland immigration lawyer at Miranda & Weisman to learn more about how we can help you.