Provisional Waivers of Unlawful Presence

Previously, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who did not enter the U.S. in lawful immigration status were required to return to their home country and apply for an unlawful presence waiver at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. However, in March of 2013, the U.S. government announced a change that would allow these applicants to apply for the waiver while still in the U.S., thus avoiding long family separations while the waiver was pending. Once the waiver is approved, the applicant still has to return to his or her home country for the immigrant visa, but time separated from family in the U.S. is minimal.

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