On January 6 DHS announced, in a notice to be published in the Federal Register on January 9 that it will be issuing new regulations for how unlawful presence waivers will be processed for certain immediate relatives who are filing immigrant visa applications abroad. Specifically, the new procedure will allow these individuals to file for a provisional unlawful presence waiver and await adjudication while in the U.S. If approved, they will still have to depart the U.S. to undergo visa processing and an interview at a U.S. consulate abroad. To receive a provisional waiver, they will still need to show that a lengthy bar from the U.S. would cause their U.S. citizen spouse or parent “extreme hardship.” The new procedure will apply only to individuals who are subject to the 3- and 10-year bars for unlawful presence. Other inadmissibility grounds are not affected under the new process.
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