Unlawful presence in the United States occurs when a person is in the country without having been lawfully admitted or paroled into the U.S. for urgent humanitarian reasons or otherwise authorized by the Secretary of State. It also occurs if a person lawfully enters the country and overstays their visa. If a person is found to be unlawfully present in the United States, he or she can be barred from lawfully entering for any of the following periods of time:
- Three years if he or she is unlawfully here for up to 180 days but less than one year during a single stay prior to the commencement of deportation proceedings.
- 10 years if he or she is here for more than 1 year during a single stay, regardless of whether deportation proceedings have commenced.
- Permanently if a person reenters or tries to reenter the country without being admitted or paroled after more than one year of unlawful presence of one or more total stays in this country.
Provisional Waiver of Unlawful Entry or Overstaying
In the past, a person who entered the United States unlawfully or overstayed their visa would be required to return to their nation of citizenship and attend an interview for a waiver of unlawful entry or overstaying. That would operate to place those people at risk of being unable to return to the United States if their waiver application was denied. Now, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services has a provisional waiver available which only requires an applicant to return to their country of citizenship for a few weeks or less. That alone avoids uncertainty and a minimum of three years of family separation. If you’re eligible for the provisional waiver and do everything you’re supposed to do to get one, it’s likely that you’ll receive one. That alone is a good reason to have the Central Valley immigration lawyers from Maison Law representing you in your application
Anybody seeking a provisional waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful entry or overstaying must have qualifying immediate relatives in the United States who would suffer extreme hardship and be cause for invoking the provisional waiver program. Qualifying relatives include both U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who is a parent or spouse of the applicant.
The Provisional Waiver and Unlawful Entry
The provisional waiver of unlawful entry or overstaying is specifically intended to address the inadmissibility prohibition to lawful entry into the United States. These types of waivers aren’t available for people who aren’t admissible for other reasons like a felony conviction. A provisional waiver can still be denied for other reasons too, so you’ll want to proceed carefully by fully complying with the requirements for a provisional waiver.
The provisional unlawful presence waiver now allows an applicant who needs a waiver of inadmissibility because of unlawful presence to complete their application for their waiver before they must leave the United States to attend their immigrant visa interview. The application, filing fee and biometric fee are mailed from the United States to a lockbox in Chicago. The California Central Valley immigration lawyers at Maison Law Immigration Lawyers can help. Contact us for a consultation and case review, and we’ll advise you on how we can be of further help in applying for your provisional waiver.