Where is the Provisional Waiver?

By Brittany Thomas

One of the most popular immigration avenues available right now is for family members to petition for their immediate relatives. Unfortunately, often they are turned away because their immediate relatives are inadmissible to the United States for entering the United States without inspection ("EWI"). The main avenue around this currently is a hardship waiver that must be applied for outside the U.S. For families this means months apart outside the United States with the possibility of a denial hanging over the entire process. USCIS finally sought to make this process easier and announced a proposed rule at the beginning of the year. The proposed rule would allow for waivers to be filed and approved before the relative leaves the country, but after almost a year we are still waiting.

In January, USCIS announced a rule called the provisional waiver. GKH first wrote about provisional waivers in April here and the language of the rule was released for comments in late Spring. The provisional waiver combined with Deferred Action made the world of immigration reform seem possible and exciting. But now it is November and we are still waiting. The impact of the Latino vote on Election Day has both parties motivated for immigration reform, but where is USCIS?

While we know the provisional waiver is coming, it is still hard to continue waiting. Now is the time to file an immigrant petition for eligible aliens to try to get at the front of what will likely be a wave of new filings. Please contact GKH's Immigration Group for more information or to determine eligibility.

The hardest part for USCIS is done. The structure is formed. Now is the time to implement the rule. If they implement the rule now, next year families may be able to know they will still be together for the holidays thanks to the provisional waiver.

About the author: Ms. Thomas received her B.A. from Pennsylvania State University in 2009, and her J.D. from the University of Tennessee in 2012 where she was Director of the College of Law's Pro Bono Program. Before coming to GKH, Ms. Thomas worked at several immigration non-profits and created the College of Law's U Visa Alternative Spring Break Program. She is a member of GKH's Immigration Group and focuses on all types of immigration matters including Deferred Action for DREAMers, family based immigration petitions, and employment based petitions. Ms. Thomas is committed to providing personalized, cost-effective immigration services.

This blog is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship or provide legal advice. Please contact the author if you have any questions or comments regarding the subject matter.