(PRWEB) February 05, 2013
DHS recently announced a rule change that is designed to keep families together and shorten the time immigrants spend away from loved ones while completing the visa application process abroad. The new rule created the “provisional unlawful presence waiver”, and allows immigrants to apply for the waiver prior to departing the United States to complete the visa application process. The immigration law firm Jakeman Shaklee Oliver, PS helps immigrants apply for the provisional unlawful presence waiver before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and represents them throughout the visa application process before the Department of State (DOS).
Frequently immigrants enter the United States without permission or stay beyond the authorized period. The time spent in the United States without authorization is called “unlawful presence”. Individuals who accumulate too much unlawful presence are penalized when they later try to immigrate. Two such penalties are the 3 and 10 year bars. Immigrants who accumulate more than 6 months of unlawful presence are will be subject to the 3 year bar. Those who accumulated more than 1 year of unlawful presence will be subject to the 10 year bar. This means that the penalized immigrant cannot obtain a visa until the 3 or 10 years have passed unless the penalty has been waived.
Many immigrants who have come to the United States must return to their country of origin in order to complete the immigration process and become lawful permanent residents. For many of them, this means that they must obtain a waiver for their unlawful presence in order to immigrate without having to wait out the 3 or 10 year penalty. According to David Jakeman, “Until this recent rule change, waivers for unlawful presence were only available at U.S. consulates abroad and the process often took longer than a year. Not only that, but there was no guarantee that the waiver would be approved. Due to the uncertainty and possible long wait periods, we have often advised potential clients to wait to see if something will change for the better. Finally, something has.”
The new rule now allows immigrants to apply for the waiver in the United States. This is known as the provisional unlawful presence waiver. Assuming they qualify in all other respects for lawful permanent residence, immigrants whose waiver applications are approved will have the assurance of knowing that they will be able to obtain a visa abroad and return legally to the United States in a relatively short time. Instead of facing the uncertainty of possibly spending years away from family, they will be able to plan on a much shorter stay, possibly just a few weeks or even days.
In order to qualify for the waiver, the applicant must:
1. Be at least 17 years old;
2. Be physically present in the United States;
3. Be the beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition;
4. Have a qualifying U.S. citizen spouse or parent;
5. Demonstrate that the U.S. citizen spouse or parent will suffer extreme hardship if the waiver is not approved;
6. Have no other inadmissibility grounds other than unlawful presence.
The immigration attorneys of Jakeman Shaklee Oliver, PS help immigrants apply for the provisional unlawful presence waiver. They make sure the forms are meticulously prepared and that all the necessary evidence is collected and organized, and they help their clients demonstrate the hardship their loved ones will face is extreme. “The ‘extreme hardship’ requirement is usually the most difficult element of each application, and the one were an immigration attorney is especially needed,” says David Jakeman. The immigration lawyers of Jakeman Shaklee Oliver, PS are experienced in filing unlawful presence waivers and they know how immigration officials interpret the term “extreme hardship”. According to David Jakeman, “good immigration lawyers can determine what documentation and arguments are likely to win approval of a waiver and which will not”.
For more information or for assistance in applying for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, contact Jakeman Shaklee Oliver, PS at http://jakemanlaw.com/ or 855-JAKEMAN (855-525-3626).