Annually, a large number of people learn that they do not qualify to get an immigrant visa or a green card until they are given an unlawful presence waiver. This document is also identified as I 601 hardship waiver. Some learn about this while at the consular office. There they are told that they cannot receive an immigrant visa without a waiver because of their past unlawful presence. Others learn about the need for this waiver after talking with friends or after doing some research on the Internet about the process for obtaining an immigrant visa.


What Is an Unlawful Presence Waiver?

If an individual was unlawfully present in the United States of America, they may be deemed “inadmissible.” This status means that they will not be allowed to receive an immigrant visa or to get a green card by adjusting their status. It is important to remember that depending on the situation, an individual may be eligible for an “unlawful presence waiver”, a type of hardship waiver. This waiver provides forgiveness for unlawful entry into the United States, and it gives individuals the ability to take the next steps in the immigration process.

Exceptions to Unlawful Presence Rules

There are some circumstances that are considered to be exceptions to the unlawful presence rule. One common example is the fact that unlawful presence does not apply until an individual turns 18 years of age. There are other similar scenarios that may allow an individual to avoid being penalized under unlawful presence rules. However, it is best to speak to an immigration attorney and let them examine your case to determine whether or not unlawful presence will be an issue for you.

3 Year and 10 Year Bars

If you have been unlawfully present in the US and then leave the United States, a three year bar or a ten year bar may apply to you. It is imperative that you understand how the unlawful presence bar will work in your case prior to leaving the US.

3 Year Bar

The 3 year bar is initiated if you have been in the United States illegally for more than 180 days but less than one year. This means that you will be unable to enter the United States for a period of three years without receiving an unlawful presence waiver.

10 Year Bar

The 10 year bar will apply if your unlawful presence in the United States is for one year or more. Once the 10 year bar has been activated, you will be banned from entering the United States for at least 10 years unless you are given an unlawful presence waiver.

Avoiding the 3 Year or 10 Year Bar

If you are barred from reentering the United States because of unlawful presence and if your situation allows you to qualify for the unlawful presence waiver, you may be able to reenter the United States without spending either 3 or 10 years outside of the country.

What Is “Extreme Hardship?”

In order to satisfy the requirements for extreme hardship, you must be able to clearly show that your absence would cause hardship above and beyond what is normally caused by family separation. Most individuals looking to show extreme hardship need the assistance of an immigration attorney to help them prepare their waiver application.

Prepare for Your Unlawful Presence Waiver Application

It is important that you thoroughly comprehend the waiver application process. You need to understand the steps that you must take to win a waiver case prior to applying for an unlawful presence waiver so that you may work with your attorney better.

To discuss your case and learn how we can help you, call KPPB Law or contact our firm online today. We are ready and willing to help guide you through every step of the process.

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