Unlawful Presence Waiver Attorneys in St. Charles, Missouri
Spouses and children, and individuals, deemed immediate relatives may submit family-based immigration petitions for U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents. However, if these family members are in the country illegally, they must first acquire a waiver for their illegal stay.
Our St. Charles immigration waiver attorneys at Gateway Immigration Law Firm have represented a variety of immigrants and are familiar with the challenges they face. Our Missouri immigration attorneys will investigate your case and give you the legal assistance you require. For a free consultation, please get in touch with us here.
What is an Unlawful Presence Waiver?
The Illegal Immigrant Reform and Responsibility Act of 1996 created temporary bans on those unlawfully residing in the United States who left the country. These bans may last three years, ten years, or even indefinitely. The act is intended to penalize persons who remain in the United States illegally while protecting national security. Nevertheless, there are numerous occasions where this standard is unattainable and would have an unjustified, harmful impact on the lives of the people concerned. Waivers may be provided in the following situations.
Unlawful presence waiver allows you to stay in the United States while applying for a green card, even if you were here illegally or overstayed your visa. Undocumented immigrants are frequently forced to flee the country before seeking permanent status. As a result of their violations of immigration law, many of them have been forbidden from returning for years. However, in some cases, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will renounce their power to deport you throughout the green card application process, enabling you to remain at home, at work, or with your family.
Who Qualifies for a Waiver of Illegal Presence?
Provisional waivers are a sort of amnesty offered to some illegal immigrants who are the parents or spouses of lawful permanent residents or citizens of the United States. The waiver only applies to persons who have been in the United States for numerous years without being inspected. According to existing legislation, unauthorized immigrants who entered the United States without inspection must apply for a green card at a U.S. consulate overseas. Their undocumented entry or status violation prevents them from adjusting their status within the United States.
Previously, if an undocumented person left the United States for consular processing, they were automatically subject to the 3- and 10-year bans and were ineligible to return to the United States unless they requested for and were granted an I-601 waiver at a consulate overseas. These family members can now stay in the United States and seek a pardon of unlawful presence from within the country before departing. They can leave to attend a consular interview and return without being subjected to the bars and long wait times if they are authorized. It’s important to note that the pardon will only correct illegal entrance. Re-entry will be delayed or refused if there is another basis of inadmissibility, such as a criminal conviction, fraud, or past deportation orders.
Am I Eligible for the I-601 Waiver?
To be eligible for either waiver, the applicant must show that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent would suffer “extreme hardship” if not allowed to return to the United States after a vacation overseas. People who satisfy the following conditions are eligible for the program:
Present for Application Submission and Status Adjustment Interview
The individual seeking the waiver is in the United States when the application is submitted and will remain there at least until a consular interview to alter status is arranged.
The sole basis of inadmissibility that the waiver is intended to waive is unlawful presence in the country. The waiver may be rejected if there is any other unfavorable history.
Beneficiary of an Approved I-130
The applicant must be the beneficiary of an accepted Petition for Alien Relative(I-130) filed by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member (spouse, wife, parent, child over 21, or sibling). The qualifying relative must also show “extreme hardship.”
Beneficiary of an Approved I-140
The applicant must be the recipient of an employer-filed Immigrant Petition for a Alien Worker ( I-140) that has been granted.
No Final Order of Deportation Present
Furthermore, the applicant must not be subject to a final deportation order. If deportation proceedings are still pending or have previously been canceled or administratively concluded, one may request a waiver.
What counts as Extreme Hardship?
Extreme hardship is not defined by law and varies for each application. In general, USCIS is searching for one or more of the following:
- The qualifying relative cannot move abroad due to a severe medical condition.
- The qualifying relative has a major medical issue and cannot travel abroad and cannot be left alone.
- The qualifying relative would be unable to work overseas and would lose all benefits and suffer financially.
- The qualifying relative is caring for others in the U.S. (such as aging parents or minor children).
- The qualifying relative will not be able to continue their education.
- Other hardship factors.
What Are the Proceedings for a Family-Based Petition in Missouri?
The USCIS processes many immigration applications each year. Attorneys in Missouri specializing in unlawful presence waivers can assist you with completing the necessary USCIS documents. They can also provide high-quality legal guidance on the processes that must be taken to sponsor a family member properly.
Filing the Petition
To begin the immigration process, the family member who holds U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status must submit a visa petition on USCIS Form I-130 to the USCIS. Forms are required for this type of immigration since they demonstrate that the familial link is legitimate.
Waiting for the USCIS to Make a Decision
Once the USCIS has received the petition, they will approve or deny the request. USCIS will send the petitioner a Request for Further Evidence (RFE) if the petitioner needs any additional information.
Waiting for Visa Availability
Because there are annual limits on the number of green cards awarded, immigrant relatives who are not deemed “immediate” relatives will not be eligible for permanent residency straight away unless they meet specific criteria. An immigrant will be placed on a waiting list and will have to wait for a visa to become available, which may take years.
Proceeding With a Visa Application (or Applying for a Green Card)
If the I-130 petition is approved and a visa becomes available, the immigrant can apply for a green card next.
- The form I-485 (Application for Adjustment of Status) must be submitted to the USCIS office if the applicant is already in the United States at the time of the application. Such is crucial to change one’s immigration status to a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available.
- USCIS will notify the petitioner if the applicant is applying from their native country and the visa petition is approved. It will then be forwarded to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is made available to the applicant. When an immigrant visa number becomes available to the beneficiary, they must proceed to the nearest United States consulate to finish their immigration. The National Visa Center will advise the applicant on the procedures to arrange an appointment with the United States Consulate in another country.
However, if the petitioning person is undocumented, the process outlined above will be more challenging to complete. Unlawful presence waiver attorneys in Missouri who are both competent and caring can offer you the legal assistance you require.
Approval of Form I-601A
The USCIS National Benefits Center will review all Form I-601A applications. Having an unlawful presence waiver application pending or having one approved will not:
- Grant you any benefit or protection from being removed from the United States.
- Allow you to apply for interim immigration benefits such as work authorization or advance parole.
- Guarantee you will be issued an immigrant visa.
- Guarantee your admission into the United States by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
- Give you a legal immigration status.
- Change the requirement that you must depart the United States to obtain an immigrant visa. (USCIS may reopen or reconsider its decision on Form I-601A at any time.)
What should I keep in mind when I get an immigration waiver?
If you violate any of the following conditions, your unlawful presence waiver will be automatically canceled.
- DOS ends the immigrant visa application process.
- USCIS revokes the underlying approved immigrant visa petition (Form I-130 or Form I-360).
- The consular officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate determines that you are inadmissible on the grounds of inadmissibility other than unlawful presence.
- You reenter or attempt to reenter the United States without being inspected and admitted or paroled before or after your provisional unlawful presence waiver is approved or before your immigrant visa is issued.
Consult a St. Charles Immigration Waiver Attorney Today!
Call us at Gateway Immigration Law Firm if you have any questions about immigration rules, immigration visas, or even the green card application process. Contact our Missouri immigration attorneys to be connected with some of the most outstanding unlawful presence waiver attorneys who are also knowledgeable about immigration law. Our St. Charles immigration waiver attorneys will put out their best efforts to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome. Give us a call right away.