Up until this expansion, it was almost impossible for the children and spouses of lawful permanent residents to apply for a waiver to forgive the inadmissibility they were facing due to the unlawful entry and presence in the United States. These applicants were required to travel back to their country of origin while they waited for a decision on the pending waiver applications- a process that can easily take nine months to a year. Applicants were forced to leave their lives in the United States and risk losing it all if the waiver was not approved. If the waiver was not approved, they have to deal with the unlawful presence bar to admission. This time can be anywhere between three years or ten years depending on the length of time they were unlawfully present in the United States before they traveled back to their countries.
This expansion will allow spouses and children of United States lawful permanent residents to file for the waiver prior to traveling to their country of origin and wait for a decision in the United States rather than traveling and risking a denial once outside. In order to qualify for this waiver, the applicants must establish that the qualifying relative, the lawful permanent resident spouse or parent would suffer extreme hardship if the applicant is not allowed to return to the United States. Even though the expansion of this waiver does not eliminate the requirement that the applicant leaves the United States to attend an interview once the waiver is approved, it significantly reduces the absence from the United States to a couple of weeks and eliminates the risk of denial since the applicant will be traveling after the waiver is approved.
If you think you may qualify for an I-601A waiver you should contact an experienced immigration attorney who can review the facts of your case with you and make sure you qualify. This waiver is not simple and many factors need to be taken into consideration before applying. If you would like to set up a consultation to have your case evaluated give us a call today!