The provisional waiver is a way in which to ask for “forgiveness” from the government if you are inadmissible. Inadmissibility can be caused by many things, such as criminal history or derogatory immigration history. The most common inadmissibility grounds involve illegal entries and illegal presence in the United States. If you have been in the United States without status for six months, you can be subject to a three year bar. If you have been present in the United States without status for more than one year, you are subject to a ten year bar. This means that if you apply for a green card, you would be required to spend three or ten years out of the country before you can come back and have a green card.
On July 29, 2016, USCIS announced the expansion of the provisional waiver. This is great news for those that have green card holding spouses or parents, but were not previously eligible to apply (because it was limited to U.S. citizen qualifying relatives). To better understand the changed, let’s first look at the original provisional waiver.
Before applying for a green card or adjustment of status, it is important to learn about Form I-130 and recent changes to the law. There are opportunities for family members to live and work in the United States even if they entered the states illegally. There are different opportunities available depending upon the circumstances of the case, but the law now allows certain foreign nationals to stay within the country while they apply for their green card.
U.S. citizens may file a Form I-130 for their spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21 or married son or daughter of any age. Citizens who are over the age of 21 may file for their brother, sister, father or mother as well. U.S. permanent residents are eligible to file for their spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21 or unmarried son or daughter 21 years of age or older.