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Provisional Waiver Process: What does the process look like & for how long are qualifying applicants expected to leave the U.S?

Chicago, IL |

I'm a 25 year-old Mexican woman. I entered the U.S. without inspection when I was 3 years old. I've lived in Chicago since; have not left the country; no criminal record. Family members have never petitioned for me.
I obtained my Associates Degree in May2009. I got married in May2011.
I have been living with my spouse, who is a natural born U.S. Citizen, for over 2 years.
My husband and I want to begin applying for the Immediate Relative Petition this year, and hopefully get my papers 'fixed'.

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Attorney answers 5


You can visit USCIS website and read on provisional waivers. They did a good job of outlining the programs. The idea is that you will have to follow the specific steps outlined very closely if you would like to see success on the waiver. What is troubling is that when you read the grounds for automatic revocation of the PW granted by USCIS, the consulate still holds a lot of discretion. So, theoretically speaking, since no one has gone through the process all the way to tell the tale yes, you should be in Mexico for a short time. At least that is the stated purpose of the waiver. That is provided the consulate there does not make a finding that your PW was automatically revoked for some obscure reason.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


There is no verifiable or definitely available timeline for anyone as the Provisional Waivers have become operational on March 4, 2013 and, as you may imagine, each case may take a particular review time, some shorter, some longer, to completion.
To do these things right you would greatly benefit from an experienced professional attorney.

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I agree with my colleagues. The program is still quite new and we need to wait-and-see how it develops.

Meet with an immigration attorney before filing anything.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


You should expect to leave the U.S. about a 12 - 16 months after filing.

The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.


Under the new provisional waiver process, once your waiver is granted, you will be required to return to Mexico to complete the process via consular processing, as you seem to already be aware. However, since the new provisional (also known as "stateside") waiver law just took effect on March 4th, enough time has not yet passed for anyone to have made their way through the entire process. Therefore, we don't really know just yet how long applicant's will need to expect to remain aboard. Your post does not mention any hardship--keep in mind that you must prove that your US citizen spouse, or a qualifying relative, under the law, will suffer extreme hardship if you were to be forced to return to Mexico. The extreme hardship test requires a very high standard of proof and is very tough to prove successfully. The waivers can be difficult, so I highly recommend that you consult with an experienced immigration attorney when you are ready to move forward with the process. Best of luck to you!

FOR CONSULTATION on IMMIGRATION or FAMILY LAW MATTERS Contact: Law Offices of Jennifer L. Bennett, 312.972.7969,, 3806 W. Irving Park Road, Suite B, Chicago, IL 60618. The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advice specific to your situation and/or case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo are only general in nature; specific answers require knowledge of all facts.

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