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Provisional Waivers:

How the I-601a Form May Impact You

Recently, major regulations have been published which greatly affect those interested in a legal long-term residency in the United States. Provisional waivers have been published by the USCIS with the intention of making the immigration process less daunting. They will be effective as of March 13, 2013. Although the different provisional waivers apply to different situations, the will all help the applicants avoid the 3/10 years bar. The 3/10 years bar takes effect as soon as the immigrant leaves the United States and prohibits them from returning for a period of 3-10 years. During this time, families may experience extreme hardship due to separation.

The I-601a form is a provisional waiver. The purpose of the I-601a form in particular is to excuse the unlawful presence of the applicant and make it so that he/she may begin the proceedings to apply for their green card/visa without leaving the country. Previously, the I-160 form fulfilled the first part of those duties in excusing the unlawful presence. However, it stopped short by still expecting the applicants to return to their home countries to apply for green cards/visas, thus subjecting them to the 3/10 year bar. Those who are eligible for I-601a form must have entered this country without proper inspection and be immediate family members of a United States' citizen. The applicant must be an approved as an "immediate relative" and beneficiary through an I-130 visa petition. Family members who apply for the I-601a form are spouses, parents, and children of the US citizen.

The purpose of provisional waivers it to avoid the 3/10 years bar for those who would otherwise be forced to leave the country for an extended period of time. This applies to many situations. The I-601a form specifically applies to family members of a United States citizen. It is important to understand the nuances of these new provisional waivers and how they could affect you and your family. For questions, call Bill Abdallah, immigration attorney for the Dayton and Cincinnati area.

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