Certain individuals who have entered the U.S. unlawfully and need to travel to their home country in order to obtain a lawful immigration visa may encounter obstacles that could prevent them from lawfully returning to the U.S. for a period of 3 years or 10 years, depending on the amount of time they have remained in the U.S. without a lawful status.
In addition to a 3 or 10 year bar, unlawful presence could further impede their ability to obtain permanent resident or “green card” status in the future. An I-601A unlawful presence waiver is a potential method for these individuals to overcome unlawful presence and avoid the 3 year bar, or the 10 year bar.
What is an I-601A Provisional Waiver?
An I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver was created to shorten the time frame that undocumented aliens would be separated from family members while attempting to obtain a green card. The I-601A is a somewhat new application, with the first acceptance being in March 2013. The I-601A form is similar to the I-601 Hardship Waiver but, applicants can apply for the I-601A provisional waiver prior to exiting the United States. A significant advantage of the I-601A waiver is that it allows exiting aliens to begin their immigration process while being temporarily separated from their families, outside of the U.S.
Why You Should Always Work with a Lawyer
If you need to apply for an I-601A waiver, you should always work with a qualified immigration lawyer. Your immigration lawyers should be able to provide you with the most current information, and will help create factual evidence to ensure the application is approved. Because I-601A waivers are relatively new, it is in your best interest to make sure that your case is put together by a professional.
3 Year and 10 Year Bar
The 3 year and 10 year bar are consequences based on unlawful presences of undocumented aliens. Individuals who have entered the United States illegally are only allowed a green card by applying for an immigrant visa in their home country. Depending on the circumstances of the individual, and the amount of time spent in the U.S. unlawfully, a bar which prohibits them from re-entering lawfully could be assigned. These bars can be 3 years or 10 years in duration, depending on the circumstances.
3 Year Bar
If an individual leaves the United States after living there for the duration of 1 year, they could have a 3 year waiting period before applying for readmission. This is referred to the 3 year bar.
10 Year Bar
If an individual leaves the United States after living there for any length of time greater than 1 year, they could have a 10 year waiting period. This is known as the 10 year bar. The risk of having to be separated from family for either 3 or 10 years keeps many undocumented aliens from making the trip to apply for a visa in their country of birth.
I-601A Waiver Eligibility and Requirements
There are certain conditions that must be met before an individual can be eligible for an I-601A waiver. They must meet all of the criteria required such as:
- Being seventeen years or older,
- Not having a previously scheduled interview for an immigrant visa.
- Not being able to provide proof of several approved documents such as Form I-30 or Petition for Alien Relative.
It is important to remember that satisfying the eligibility requirements for an I-601A waiver does not guarantee approval. This is why it is important to pursue your case with professional legal assistance and not on your own.
Benefits of the I-601A Waiver
The main benefit of applying for an I-601A waiver is that the applicants will know that they won’t have to endure any lengthy family separations while completing the process of becoming a permanent United States citizen. The waiver solves the problem by letting eligible individuals apply while still residing in the United States.
I-601A Provisional Waiver Requirements
In order to become eligible to apply for an I-601A provisional waiver, you must meet certain requirements. The top 3 requirements are:
- Having a qualifying relative who would experience extreme hardship if you are not granted the waiver
- Showing that you deserve discretionary approval of the waiver; and
- Having no other inadmissibility issues that would make you ineligible for an immigrant visa.
There are certain requirements on being a qualifying relative as well. Children, siblings, or other family members are not considered qualifying relatives. Parents and spouses who are already United States citizens are approved for qualifying relatives.
What is “Extreme Hardship?”
Extreme hardship is a legal term referring to any hardship that is beyond a normal hardship that a qualifying relative might suffer due to a lengthy separation. In addition to financial hardship and emotional hardship, you need to be able to provide evidence such as any significant health issues, the presence of family ties within and outside the United States, or how the quality of life might impact a child’s life.
Providing Evidence of Extreme Hardship
When applying for an I-601A provisional waiver, you must demonstrate how a qualifying relative will suffer any extreme hardships. It is important to provide supporting evidence that shows what is at stake if you are forced to be relocated to your home country.
There are several vital pieces of documentation that can be submitted as evidence for proof of possible suffering extreme hardships. Some types of evidence can include a list of medical expenses or a written letter from a physician, financial debts such as monthly bills or mortgages, as well as personal statements provided by any qualifying relative.
Prepare for your I-601A Waiver Application
Prior to filling out an application, you need to understand the application process and what it takes to be approved. Having the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer will make the process go smoother. If you are interested in obtaining an I-601A waiver please call KPPB Law or contact us online. We are ready to help you reach your goals