Earlier this year, USCIS announced good news that it will allow certain applicants to file their I-601 waiver here in the U.S. and to therefore receive their decision, before they depart the U.S. A Form I-601 is a waiver needed by certain applicants that must be approved before he or she can receive a green card. The Form I-601 is needed in cases where there has been unlawful presence or illegal entry into the U.S., and therefore there is an unlawful presence bar against the applicant that needs to be waived.
Previously, applicants would need to depart from the U.S. and file the I-601 waiver request with a U.S. Embassy that has jurisdiction over their case. The problem of course is that the applicant has departed the U.S. and if the waiver is denied, he or she will be denied entry back into the U.S. Further, even if the I-601 is granted, the applicant has now been separated from his U.S. citizen relative(s) for a long period of time.
The USCIS has indicated that it will allow applicants to apply for the I-601 waiver here in the U.S. rather than requiring them to file the I-601 through an interview overseas with the U.S. Embassy that has jurisdiction over the case.
The USCIS has indicated that it will publish its rule and place into effect the provisional waiver program in the “…coming months.” The provisional waiver is NOT yet available, and so USCIS has announced a news release that lets the public know to be careful and not hire immigration consultants that claim this waiver has been placed into effect.
In order for the waiver to be approved, the applicant must show through much documentation that the U.S. relative will suffer extreme and unusual hardship. This waiver is available for spouses, children, or parents of a U.S. citizen.