Am I eligible for a provisional waiver under the new August 29, 2016 rule?

Maybe.  In 2013, USCIS began to adjudicate provisional waiver applications before the immigrant traveled to his or her home country.  If USCIS grants a provisional waiver, the immigrant then leaves the United States and goes to an interview at the U.S. Consulate abroad.  When the Consular Officer finds that the immigrant is inadmissible based on unlawful presence in the United States, the officer immediately applies the provisional waiver. Provided the immigrant is otherwise eligible, a visa is granted and the immigrant is able to return to the United States without having to stay away from family for a long time.

That rule was initially only available to immigrants who were spouses, parents and children (people unmarried and under 21 years old) of U.S. citizens.  USCIS granted a provisional waiver if the U.S. citizen would suffer extreme hardship if the immigrant could not return to the United States.

However, on August 29, 2016, USCIS expanded the program so that now many immigrants whose relatives are lawful permanent residents are also eligible. Now, provisional waivers are available to many more immigrants.

Please contact us for a consultation if you believe you might be eligible for a provisional waiver.