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USCIS Considers Allowing Provisional Waivers for Immediate Relatives

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on January 9, 2012, that it intends to change its current process for filing and adjudicating certain applications for waivers of inadmissibility filed in connection with an immediate relative immigrant visa application.

Specifically, USCIS is considering regulatory changes that will allow certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens to request provisional waivers before departing the United States for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications. A person would be able to obtain such a waiver only if a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, is filed by a U.S. citizen on his or her behalf and that petition has been approved, thereby classifying the person as an "immediate relative" for purposes of the immigration laws, and he or she demonstrates that the denial of the waiver would result in extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse or parent "qualifying relative." The qualifying relative for purposes of the waiver is not necessarily the immediate relative who filed the immigrant visa petition on the relative’s behalf.

USCIS's notice of intent, published in 77 Fed. Reg. 1040 (Jan. 9, 2012), is available here. A related USCIS blog is available here.

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