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Tomorrow, July 29, 2016, DHS will publish a final rule in the Federal Register to expand eligibility for the provisional unlawful presence waiver to individuals who can establish extreme hardship to a lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or parent. Previously, the program was only available to individuals who could establish hardship to U.S. citizen spouse or parent.

This is great news for families of lawful permanent residents. In essence, any individual who is eligible for an I-601 unlawful presence waiver (requiring hardship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent) can now take advantage of the Provisional Waiver Program.

The Provisional Waiver Program has the benefit of shortening the time period the Applicant will spent outside of the United States, thereby reuniting families sooner. Before the program, applying for the I-601 unlawful presence waiver at the consulate in the Applicant’s home country was the only option. This process was lengthy, often resulting in families being separated for an entire year. With the Provisional Waiver Program, the Applicant submits the Form I-601A Waiver inside of the United States and waits for an approval before departing the U.S.

For more information on the Provisional Waiver Program, or to see if you qualify, please schedule a consultation at Brewer & Lormand, PLLC.

Lauren Wallis is an immigration attorney at Brewer & Lormand, PLLC. She works out of the firm’s Dallas office and has practiced family immigration law for three years. She has extensive experience handling Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers and head-started the Provisional Waiver Team at her previous firm when the Program was launched by Immigration in 2013.She also handles SIJS, VAWA, U Visas, Military PIP, Applications for Residency, Citizenship, Adjustments of Status, DACA, TPS, Asylum, and Deportation Defense.