U.S. immigration laws provide a number of humanitarian programs and protection to assist individuals in need of shelter or aid from disasters, oppression, emergency medical issues and other urgent circumstances. The immigration attorneys are Terra Immigration Partners can analyze your individual situation and give you an honest recommendation. In most cases, your immediate family members may benefit from your application for humanitarian immigration relief.
An immigration waiver is a “pardon” for a specific violation of U.S. immigration law. For example, when you are applying for a US visa or a green card, an Immigration (or consular) officer has to determine if you violated the US or other laws and if you are inadmissible. The same process occurs when a green card holder is subject to criminal penalties in the United States: then the government determines if a person is deportable due to criminal/immigration violations.
Let’s talk about the first scenario – when a Immigration or Consular Officer finds you inadmissible to the United States. There are several reasons why you might be considered inadmissible to the United States. These are typically known as “grounds of inadmissibility” and they can complicate your adjustment of status.
You might be inadmissible to the United States and require a waiver for the following reasons:
- Health-related reasons
- Certain criminal convictions
- Immigration fraud and misrepresentation
- Membership in a totalitarian party
- Human trafficking
- Being subject to a civil penalty
- The 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence in the US
The provisions about waivers are “scattered” around various Immigration regulations. An experienced immigration lawyer is well versed in Immigration law and will know if there is a waiver for your specific immigration problem.
You should know that there are certain conduct or Immigration violations for which there are no waivers at all. These include, submitting false or frivolous asylum claim will lead to a permanent bar that cannot be erased by any waiver. Also, there is no waiver for claiming US citizenship (with a few exceptions).
Finally, the timing of filing for a waiver is important. Some waivers can be filed together with adjustment of status package. Some may be filed only after the consul determined that a person is inadmissible. An I-601A provisional waiver has to be filed in the “middle” of the process. Very rarely can a person file a nunc pro tunc waiver.
If you are inadmissible to as an immigrant, or unable to adjust your status in the United States, there might be a waiver of inadmissibility available for you. You must speak to an immigration attorney to learn if you qualify.
The Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (Form 601-A) is available for eligible individuals who entered the United States unlawfully or improperly.
Generally, when a person enters the United States improperly and is applying for a Green Card, that person must leave the United States to adjust your status and get a visa. Without a Waiver, the person will likely be prevented from reentering the United States through a port of entry. A provisional unlawful presence waiver will allow the individual to reenter the United States without the problems he or she might otherwise face.
You can apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver before you leave for your visa interview. This new process shortens the time that you are separated from your loved ones in the United States. We highly recommend speaking to an experienced immigration lawyer to guide you in this process.
Before August 29, 2016, only immediate relatives (spouses, children, and parents) of U.S. citizens could apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers before leaving the United States for a consular interview. However, as of August 29, 2016, the provisional unlawful presence waiver became available to all individuals statutorily eligible for an immigrant visa.
Individuals 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 Immigration law before they can return. Typically, these individuals 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.
If you have more than 180 days of unlawful presence in the United States and you leave, you may be barred from reentering the United States for as long as 10 years. However, you might be able to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility to overcome the unlawful presence bar before you leave the United States so you can return.
Before, you could only apply for a waiver until after you appeared for your visa interview abroad and a Department of State consular officer determined that you were inadmissible to the United States. The provisional unlawful presence waiver allows you to apply for that waiver in the United States before you leave for your visa interview. This new process shortens the time that U.S. citizens and lawful permanent resident family members are separated from their relatives while you obtain your visa to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
Nevertheless, if you do not wish to seek, or you do not qualify for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, you can still apply for a waiver after a Department of State consular officer determines that you are inadmissible to the United States.
Our office recommends that you seek the help of our experienced and knowledgeable immigration attorneys. Contact our office today for an initial consultation.
Asylum is a form of humanitarian relief that is granted by the United States government to people seeking safety and protection because they suffered persecution and fear future persecution in their home country due to:
- Membership in a particular social group
- Political opinion
You may may apply for affirmative asylum within one year after your arrival in the United States. You can include in your application your spouse and children who are with you in the United States at the time you submit your application or at any time until a final decision is made on your case. To include your children in your application, the children must be under 21 years old and unmarried.
Here are the steps you must follow to apply for Affirmative Asylum. Note that these steps do not apply if you are seeking asylum through the defensive asylum process, meaning you are in removal proceedings in an immigration court.
Step 1: Arrive in the United States. To apply for Affirmative Asylum, you must be physically present in the U.S.
Step 2: Apply for Asylum with Form I-589 Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal within 1 year of your last arrival.
Step 3: Get your fingerprints and background checked. USCIS will give you an appointment and you must appear.
Step 4: Receive an interview notice. You will be scheduled for an Asylum Interview at your local Asylum Office.
Step 5: Appear for an interview. We highly recommend attending the interview with an immigration attorney who is well versed in Asylum Law.
If you are an asylum applicant, you can get an Employment Authorization Document (“EAD” or “Work Permit”). You will qualify to apply for employment authorization in the United States if 150 days have passed since you submitted your complete asylum application and a decision has not been made on your application. Your EAD may be approved after 180 days from the submission of your application have passed and a decision has not been made on your application.
You may apply for a green card one year after your asylum is approved. You must submit a separate application packet for you and each of your family members that received asylum as your derivatives in your application.
Deportation occurs when the federal government orders that a non-citizen be removed from the United States. This may happen for different reasons including immigration laws violations or other U.S. laws violations.
Removal or Deportation from the U.S. can be very stressful for families. If you or anyone you know is facing deportation, please call Terra Immigration Partners immediately. At Terra Immigration, our team of lawyers will provide you with the best option you have and will zealously defend you in Immigration Court. Our attorneys have extensive defense litigation backgrounds and are eager to fight on your behalf.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is law designed to protect non-citizen victims of battery or extreme cruelty committed by:
- A U.S. citizen spouse or former spouse;
- A U.S. citizen parent;
- A U.S. citizen son or daughter;
- A lawful permanent resident (LPR) spouse or former spouse; or
- An LPR parent.
This immigrant petitions allows eligible victims to self-petition without the abuser’s knowledge or consent. These applicants are usually known as “VAWA self-petitioner”. If a VAWA self-petition is approved, the applicant can usually apply for a Green Card.
You may be eligible to file a VAWA self-petition even if you committed a particular act or violation of immigration law.
For example, if you are considered inadmissible to the United States, the law may allow you to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility.
You can include in you VAWA self-petition your unmarried children under the age of 21.
Generally, if you have a pending application for adjustment of status, you can also apply for employment authorization.
Generally, if you leave the United States with a pending application for adjustment of status, your application is deemed abandoned. However, you may be able to travel by first applying for advanced parole. Advanced parole allows you to appear at a U.S. port-of-entry and seek parole into the country after travel abroad with a pending adjustment of status application.
Terra Immigration can help.