Focused On

You And Your Future

What is a provisional unlawful presence waiver?

| May 17, 2021 | Immigration |

Foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens’ parents, spouses and children, must often leave the U.S. to attend an immigrant visa interview. It’s critical that you apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver (hereinafter referred to as “waiver”) before doing so, though.

You’ll first need to meet eligibility requirements for an immigration visa, such as a diversity or other employment or family-related one to qualify for this waiver. There are a few other requirements that you must meet to secure this waiver as well.

Why do you need to secure a provisional unlawful presence waiver?

Most immigrant visas only permit you to remain in the U.S. for a set amount of time, usually 180 days. The Immigration and Nationality Act requires that you secure a waiver or otherwise potentially face penalties for overstaying their visa, which would be an unlawful presence.

What conditions must you meet to receive this waiver?

State Department officials must confirm an immigrant’s ineligibility to enter the country before moving forward in issuing them this waiver. Immigration laws prohibit foreign nationals from requesting a waiver before making an appearance at their visa interview in a foreign county.

Why do provisional unlawful presence waivers exist?

The U.S. government instituted this waiver process to minimize how much time U.S. citizens and their permanent residents spend apart while the latter is seeking a visa.

Your pursuit of this waiver may turn out differently or take longer than you expect if you complete your paperwork correctly or take the necessary steps. An immigration attorney can help you understand whether you need to secure a provisional unlawful presence waiver and the steps that you need to take to secure it.