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How to Apply for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

How to Apply for a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

In March 2013 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services implemented new procedures for granting provisional unlawful presence waivers. A provisional unlawful presence waiver allows an individual who is eligible for a green card, but has been in the U.S. illegally, to obtain the green card. Under the new procedure, the immigrant can apply for a waiver from the United States instead of having to leave the country. This is a huge positive break in the law.

Unfortunately, since the new procedures have been in effect, the rejection rate for waiver application has been high. The reason for the high rejection rate is due to people attempting to file these waivers on their own, or with use of paralegals or other non-attorney personnel. You can avoid having your application rejected with these tips:

  • Keep information consistent — The information you provide on your application should match what you wrote on previous immigration applications and other government forms.
  • Make sure you meet the eligibility requirement — You must satisfy all of the eight requirements listed in the application instructions.
  • Include your receipt of payment — You must pay the processing fee of $585 before you apply. You may also have to pay an $85 fee for biometric services.
  • Prove your case with documents — You must show that you are the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen and that a denial of a waiver would case undue hardship to your relative.
  • Retain the services of an experienced immigration attorney — These cases are non-appealable, that is why you need to get it right the first time. By working with an experienced immigration attorney you are putting yourself in a much better position of getting your waiver approved.

Once again, it is important to point out that if your application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver is denied you cannot appeal the decision. That is why it is critically important to get your waiver application right the first time you apply. An experienced immigration attorney can help you with you application by assisting you in gathering the correct documents, providing your personal information and explaining your story.

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Alice Antonovsky
New York, NY