There are lots of different ways people enter the United States. Oftentimes, they are willing to forego laws as long as they can stay in the country. Luckily, the government is often willing to help those in need and provide them with the necessary documents. One of these documents is a provisional unlawful presence waiver.
With this document, you’re able to apply for a green card. Keep in mind that its only for individuals who have unlawfully entered the country in the first place. In general, the law states that you have to leave the US if you’ve entered it unlawfully and apply for a visa through the regular channels. But most people have trouble reentering the country if they’ve entered it illegally.
The provisional waiver is a workaround that gives refugees and asylum seekers a second chance. As long as you qualify, you can apply for a green card. But, you will need a US citizen who is willing to petition for you. The waiver I-601a will help you out in the process. Once you get the waiver, you can leave the country for a consular interview and then go back thus becoming a permanent resident. This way, you are more likely to not to be rejected. In case your waiver is denied, you can at least remain in the states but without a green card.
Things to consider about the waiver
In a normal case, a person will enter the territory of the USA after being inspected by the USIS officials. Of course, a person requires a clean sheet without any criminal record. Then, when you enter the country, you can change your status and get a green card without ever leaving.
Everything complicates for those who entered illegally. If you’re one of those individuals, it is required that you leave the country and change your status from abroad. Then, you will apply for an immigrant visa. The whole procedure complicates even further for individuals who have been in the country for more than 180 days. After leaving the country, a year or more might pass until they get the right documents allowing them to reenter.
I-601 waiver was first introduced in 2014. It was meant to simplify the procedure of applying for a green card. With it, you’re able to return to the US as soon as you have a consular interview in the country of origin. There are no other obstacles preventing you from doing so.
So who can apply for it?
- Individuals who are 17 years or older
- People who are married to a US citizen
- Unmarried children under 21
- Parents of US children that are over 21
- Spouse or unmarried child of a US citizen
Besides these basic requirements, you have to prove that your spouse or child have suffered extreme hardships. With it, you’re showing that it is necessary for you to stay in the country. If you have any issues with your waiver, it is best if you consult an experienced asylum lawyer.