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How does the proposed process of the Waiver of the 10 year bar differ from the old process?

Posted by attorney Brian Lerner
Filed under: Immigrant visas

Currently, U.S. citizens who petition for their spouses and children to become legal

immigrants to the United States must petition for a visa, and in some circumstances, if the

spouse or child has accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence in the U.S., that

spouse or child must also petition for a waiver of a ground of inadmissibility in order to

have his or her visa application processed. The proposed process does not change the

requirements for obtaining a visa or the standards for obtaining a waiver. Nor does it

change the requirement that the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen ultimately depart the

United States to have his or her visa application processed at a consulate abroad. The only

change contemplated by this proposal is that the spouse or child would be able to apply for

a waiver with USCIS in the U.S. and receive a provisional decision on that waiver before

departing the U.S. for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications. Currently,

applicants can only file for a waiver after having been determined inadmissible by the U.S.

consular officer and must wait abroad for a decision, which significantly adds to the

processing time for their case. The proposal limits the extent to which the process forces

the lengthy separation of families.

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