If you are ineligible to adjust your citizenship status in the United States and you require a waiver to return, you may not be out of luck. As of March 2013, the government began permitting certain undocumented relatives of American citizens to apply for unlawful presence waivers from within the United States. This allows undocumented immigrants to potentially stay in the U.S. while their case is being processed. If you are looking into a 601-A Waiver, here are some of the questions you may have:

What does a 601-A Waiver do?

Generally, under current law, immigrants who illegally enter the country or who overstay their visas cannot apply for a permanent residence green card. These individuals must instead apply for their permanent residency abroad unless they were illegally in the United States for a certain period of time, which may result in a 10-year bar from the country. If you wish to return in spite of this bar, you must first obtain a wavier. Before the 2013 change, immigrants would have to leave the U.S. and wait outside for months, sometimes years, for a decision regarding their eligibility. With this new policy, immigrants can stay here while the courts determine their status, and will usually learn of their status in weeks, if not days. From there, an individual will then process his or her lawful permanent residence at the U.S. consulate in their home country to return legally as a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

How do I know if I am eligible for a provisional waiver?

The main qualification for a provisional waiver into the United States is that unlawful entry must be your sole immigration violation. Those with criminal violations or other immigration problems, removal orders, or reentry after deportation will be considered ineligible. Additionally, if your only immediate relative that is a U.S. citizen is over the age of 21, you will not qualify for a provisional waiver, as you cannot establish hardship on a qualifying relative. However, if you are an immediate relative of a US citizen, such as a spouse, parent, or child over 21, are physically present in the United States, and have not already had a scheduled interview at a U.S. consulate abroad, you are most likely eligible for a provisional waiver–as long as you can prove your spouse, parent or child will suffer an extreme hardship if the waiver is not granted.

Contact our experienced New York City firm

If you need a 601-A Waiver to help care for a loved one, do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced and compassionate firm.

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.