In an illegal immigrant who crossed the border for 15 years ago . . . . if I marry my us citizen girlfriend do I have to go back home to get the visa or can I apply from here . . . . how is the new law working ?
For the new Provisional Waiver, you first need to have get married, and have your spouse petition for you. Once you have your petition approved, you will then may be eligible to apply for this waiver while in the United States. After you obtain a decision, and provided the waiver is granted, you will then be required to attend the interview at the embassy in your home country. Please note that this provisional waiver is for unlawful presence only and not any other inadmissibility issue, such as a criminal conviction. It is best that you hire an experienced immigration lawyer to assist you with the process.
You will still have to go home to get the visa. On March 4, USCIS started a new provisional waiver rule. People who entered without inspection and have been unlawfully generally have to apply for a waiver if they want to get their permanent residence. In the past, you couldn't apply for this waiver until you had already left the country and had your interview at the consulate, which meant you'd have to spend several months in your country waiting for the response. The new rule allows you to apply for the waiver before you leave. You still have to leave, but the idea is that if they approve your waiver, you shouldn't have to spend too much time outside of the U.S.
For more information, you can read my Legal Guide on the new provisional waiver rule.
Under the new provisional waiver program, you do not have to leave the country for as long in most cases. And you have an initial decision before you go. For more info on I-601 and provisional waivers, visit: www.swagatusa.com/educational-materials
Dhenu Savla, Esq.
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