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DHS Proposed Rule: Expansion of Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers of Inadmissibility


On July 14, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed to expand eligibility for provisional waivers of certain grounds of inadmissibility in order to encourage eligible aliens to complete the visa process abroad, promoting family unity, and improving administrative efficiency.

In expanding the current provisional waiver process, DHS plans to:

1. Eliminate current limitations on the provisional waiver process that restrict eligibility to certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. This provisional waiver process would be made available to all aliens who are statutorily eligible for waivers of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence and meet certain other conditions.

2. Eliminate the current restriction that limits extreme hardship determinations only to aliens who can establish extreme hardship to U.S. citizen spouses or parents. This would permit an applicant for a provisional waiver to establish the eligibility requirement of showing extreme hardship to any qualifying relative (namely, U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouses or parents).

This will help persons who otherwise are qualified for immigrant visas but would trigger a three or ten year bar if they depart the United States. The provisional waiver allows them to obtain a waiver of this bar before departing for the immigrant visa interview outside the country. To read the full proposal, click here. 

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