Attorney Vivian Szawarc Examines Expansion of Provisional Waiver Process

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Attorney Vivian Szawarc informs aliens that have no legal status in America but are statutorily eligible for immigrant visas on expanded eligibility law for the provisional waiver process, which went into effect August 29.

Vivian Szawarc

It now expands eligibility to all persons who are statutorily eligible for the waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility.

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a final rule expanding the existing provisional waiver process to allow certain individuals who are family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and those who are statutorily eligible for immigrant visas to more easily navigate the immigration process. The new law reduces the time that eligible individuals are separated from their family members while they complete immigration processing abroad.

“Before the new law, only the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens were eligible to seek provisional waivers before departing America for the processing of their immigrant visas,” said immigration attorney Vivian Szawarc, founder of the Law Office of Vivian N. Szawarc. “It now expands eligibility to all persons who are statutorily eligible for the waiver of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility. However, people should take advantage of this opportunity as soon as possible, as it is based on an executive action and could be eliminated as soon as a new president takes office.”

The final rule went into effect on August 29, 2016, and builds on a process established in 2013. Under that process, certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens could apply for provisional waivers of the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility, based on the extreme hardship their U.S. citizen spouses or parents would suffer if the waiver was not granted. If an applicant can demonstrate extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent, he or she can apply for and receive a provisional waiver.

“Furthermore, to qualify for this benefit, it no longer matters how you are applying for your residency, even if through your employer,” said Szawarc. “Moreover, many people with an old deportation order can now qualify to request an additional waiver of this deportation before leaving and become qualified to receive their residence. All these changes will allow you to leave for your consular interview with everything pre-approved and be able to return in about two weeks holding your legal permanent residency.”

USCIS will update its Policy Manual to provide guidance on how it makes “extreme hardship” determinations. The updated form was posted on the the USCIS website at on August 29, 2016. Applicants should not submit a request for a provisional waiver under the expanded guidelines until the final rule takes effect.

About Vivian Szawarc, Law Office of Vivian N. Szawarc
Immigration attorney Vivian Szawarc is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association and the California Bar Association. She is licensed to practice immigration law in all states and territories of the United States and in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. For more information, please call (866) 410-6666, or visit The law office is located at 4929 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 820, Los Angeles, CA 90010.

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