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What should you know about a waiver application?

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2021 | family-based immigration, naturalization & citizenship

When your loved ones are not lawful residents of the U.S., you may want to help them gain citizenship. One of the steps you can take is to file a provisional unlawful presence waiver.

A provisional waiver is one path to the legal presence in the U.S. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says that people have to meet certain requirements and fill out all of the paperwork to receive a waiver. A waiver does not guarantee that your loved one will be able to remain in the country. Instead, it allows you to decrease the amount of time that you and your family members may have to spend apart.


The USCIS only allows you to file a provisional unlawful presence waiver if your family member meets all the guidelines. He or she has to be at least 17 years old. Additionally, this person needs to be in the U.S. when you fill out the paperwork. You may also have to show that you will experience extreme hardship if your loved one is not allowed to become a legal resident. Additionally, your family member may already need to have a pending case for an immigrant visa.

Important facts

You may think that approval of the unlawful presence waiver means that your loved one can stay in the U.S. However, your family member still has to follow the immigration process. Not everyone may be able to change their status while they are in the country. Your loved one may have to leave the country for a short period of time. He or she typically has to go to a consulate or an embassy and attend an immigrant visa interview. Additionally, a consular officer has to review your loved one’s eligibility for a visa.

Filling out all the paperwork does not guarantee that your loved one will receive a waiver. The Department of State usually evaluates each case. Your family member may not be eligible for a waiver if he or she has extenuating circumstances or does not meet all the requirements.