1. Final rule published January 3, 2013 and USCIS will start accepting I-601A waiver (provisional waivers) on March 4, 2013.
2. Only applies if the applicant’s qualifying relative is a US citizen spouse or parent.
3. Only applies if the applicant’s ground of inadmissibility will be unlawful presence.
4. Applicants still have to leave the US to follow through with the consular processing and waiver. Please note: this rule doesn’t keep the applicant from leaving and triggering a bar but it does diminish the time abroad.
5. As per the form and instructions, applicants can apply for the provisional waiver more than once.
6. If an applicant is at the National Visa Center stage, they must notify NVC of plans to apply for the provisional waiver rule. One must notify the NVC as soon as the fee bills have been paid, by emailing NVCi601a@state.gov.
7. If an applicant has had a visa interview scheduled, to be able to still submit a provisional waiver a new visa petition ( a new I-130) must be filed and one must ask the Consulate to cancel the registration of the previous immigrant visa case.
8. If an applicant is in removal proceedings, has their case administratively closed, has no calendared hearing in the future, AND otherwise qualify, an applicant can submit a provisional waiver.
9. Only USCIS can adjudicate the I-601A waiver (not immigration court).
10. An applicant should only file a provisional waiver if they don’t have any criminal history that would make them inadmissible. Therefore, one must consult with an immigration attorney if the applicant has any criminal history and wants to pursue this.
11. After the I-601A waiver is approved, it is expected that the visa appointment in the applicant’s home country will be 2-3 months afterwards.
12. If the Consulate at the visa appointment determines the applicant has other grounds of inadmissibility, an approved provisional waiver is automatically revoked.
By Ruby L. Powers, I-601A attorney/Provisional Waiver Attorney
Law Office of Ruby L. Powers
Located in Houston, Texas helping clients around the US and world with their US Federal Immigration needs.