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Maryland, D.C., Virginia & Florida Immigration Attorneys

Helping Clients Navigate the New Immigration Waiver Law

In August 2016, a new rule went into effect that expands upon the provisional waiver process, which now allows certain people who are by law eligible for an immigrant visa to apply for a provisional waiver. The provisional waiver process or the provisional unlawful presence waiver process permits some non-citizens who are living in the U.S. to seek a provisional waiver from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on inadmissibility grounds before leaving the U.S. for processing of their immigrant visas by the consular

This process encourages unlawfully present non-citizens to depart the U.S., attend their interviews for their immigrant visas, and to return legally to the U.S. to rejoin their family members who are U.S. citizens or green card holders, also known as lawful permanent residents. Prior to August, only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens could seek provisional waivers, but now not only are immediate relatives eligible for a waiver, but anyone who is statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa may be able to obtain a waiver. If you believe you are in a situation where you think you might benefit from a provisional waiver, it is important that you consult with an experienced Immigration Lawyer at Sanabria & Associates right away


The provisional waiver process allows certain individuals who are eligible for an immigrant visa, including immediate relatives or employment-based or family sponsored immigrants, and who need a waiver before they leave the U.S. for their immigrant visa interview, to apply for and possibly obtain that waiver. One of the benefits of this process is that the process of obtaining an immigrant visa is streamlined so that the wait time for obtaining a visa is reduced. Moreover, the process also reduces the amount of time that a visa applicant is separated from their family members who reside in the U.S. as U.S. citizens or green card holders, known as lawful permanent residents. Thus, the new process promotes family unity while also improving administrative efficiency.


To apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, you must meet certain requirements. Before filling out an application, you should make sure that you can fulfill the following:

  1. You are at least seventeen years old.
  2. You are physically present in the U.S.
  3. Your application for an immigrant visa is pending with the State Department, and you are statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa.
  4. You think that you might be inadmissible only due to the fact that you’ve been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days, but less than one year, during a single stay, or one year or more during a single stay.
  5. You meet additional requirements.

When applying for a waiver, you will have to fill out and complete an application and will likely have to provide additional biographic and biometric information.

Immigration Law