If you are an immediate relative of a United States citizen and are living in fear of deportation because you failed to follow policies required to legally reside in the Unites States, you may qualify for a provisional waiver of your unlawful presence in the country.

To be considered an immediate relative you must be a spouse, child, or parent of a United States citizen. A new process for this kind of waiver is being considered by the United States government in an attempt to shorten the time relatives are separated from each other and to facilitate a reunion between separated family members as quickly as possible, but there is no telling how long it would take to implement a new process.

How the Waiver Works

If you have been in the United States unlawfully for more than 180 days, you will need to be granted a waiver of inadmissibility to begin your application for a provisional waiver of unlawful presence. You must first return to your country of legal residence for an appearance with the Immigrant Visa Review Board. After your interview with the consular, your waiver will take effect if the consular decides, based on the answers given during your interview, to first grant you an immigrant visa for lawful entry into the United States.

How to Know if You are Eligible

There are very strict guidelines that must be followed in order to qualify for a provisional waiver of unlawful presence – all of the following requirements must be met:

  • You must be no younger than 17 years old
  • You must be a spouse, child, or parent of a United States citizen
  • All required petitions and forms must be approved
  • All required fees must be paid in full
  • You must file for your provisional waiver of unlawful presence while you are in the U.S. and provide your identification documents to the proper authorities

About the Application Forms

You must complete the correct application forms as accurately as possible and to the best of your knowledge. You must also pay all fees in full as there is no waiver of fees for the provisional waiver of unlawful presence.

This point should be kept in mind when making the decision to file for the provisional unlawful presence waiver – these fees run as high as between $500 and $600. You will also need to provide information such as your full legal name, your address, your date of birth, receipts proving approval of petitions you have previously filed, case numbers, and your interview status. The forms may also require you to provide certain documents that outline where you are in your immigration status process.

Do not forget to sign each form or application that you complete.

Seeking Help from an Immigration Attorney

An experienced immigration attorney can tell you whether or not you may qualify for an immigration waiver and, if so, can help you apply for the waiver quickly and accurately. With an attorney by your side to help you through the application process, you are much more likely to have your application for a waiver approved than if you try to submit your application on your own.