Undocumented Parents of US Citizens Living in the US
It is an expensive, difficult, and complicated process for undocumented aliens, having lost their status due to any number of reasons, which are not necessarily in their control, own fault, or failures, especially when they want to follow the difficult immigration process, even for educated aliens.
IntroductionThe Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) offers an individual two primary paths to permanent resident status (a green card): Consular processing and Adjustment of Status.
An individual who is the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition and has an immigrant visa number immediately available may apply at a US Department of State consulate abroad for an immigrant visa in order to come to the United States and be admitted as a permanent resident. This pathway is referred to as "consular processing." All undocumented immigrants have to leave the country for consular processing.
Barred from Entering the US - Waiver of InadmissibilityUndocumented individuals will be barred from entering the US for a period of time. Foreign nationals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while in the United States must obtain a waiver of inadmissibility to overcome the unlawful presence bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act before they can return. Typically, these foreign nationals cannot apply for a waiver until after they have appeared for their immigrant visa interview abroad, and a Department of State (DOS) consular officer has determined that they are inadmissible to the United States.
EligibilitySince March 4, 2013, certain immigrant visa applicants who are immediate relatives (spouses, children and parents) of US citizens can apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before they leave the United States for their consular interview. On August 29, 2016, the provisional unlawful presence waiver process was expanded to all individuals statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa and a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence in the United States.
The Complicated ProcessTherefore, the US citizen or permanent resident petitioner should follow the following steps:
1) Sponsor parents or other eligible immediate family members by submitting a visa petition to USCIS on Form I-130, by indicating in Question 22 to Form I-130 that the immigrant will apply for an immigrant visa abroad at a US consulate abroad.
2) After the I-130 has been approved, the USCIS will transfer the file to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further action and transfer to the consulate.
3) Immediately after the I-130 approval, Provisional Waiver Application (USCIS Form I-601A) should be submitted to the USCIS with the fee $630 for Form I-601A , and the biometrics (fingerprinting) fee $85 for applicants under the age of 79. See https://www.uscis.gov/i-601a regarding this form and fees.
4) NVC should be notified via email at [email protected] about the pending Provisional Waiver Application to make sure the NVC schedules the immigrant visa interview after USCIS has made a decision on the provisional stateside waiver application. The Department of State (DOS) has estimated that it will schedule applicants for their immigrant visa interview within about two or three months of USCIS approving the stateside waiver request and the applicant filing all the necessary visa forms and documents. Applicants can remain in the US during this time period.
Consult with an immigration attorney.