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UPCOMING CHANGES TO I-601 WAIVERS OF INADMISSIBILITY 1.

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Presentation on theme: "UPCOMING CHANGES TO I-601 WAIVERS OF INADMISSIBILITY 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 UPCOMING CHANGES TO I-601 WAIVERS OF INADMISSIBILITY 1

2  Waiver used to ask forgiveness for certain grounds of ineligibility for permanent residence in INA Sec. 212 (a)  Since IIRIRA in 1996, must apply for a waiver of Unlawful Presence (UP) under INA Sec. 212(a)(9)(B)(v) – for persons who have more than 6 mos. UP, who trigger bar by departing the country and seek readmission  Consular processing applicants impacted 2

3  Currently, waivers are processed overseas for Immigrant Visa applicants applying at US Consulates  Currently, the waivers are handled by USCIS RAIO offices overseas  Waiting times for adjudication are 1 – 2 years + long, causing prolonged family separation and suffering for visa applicants 3

4  Only applicants who can prove extreme hardship to a US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse or parent are eligible  Processing times overseas, as well as inconsistent adjudications caused many complaints  CISOMB, MPI and others recommended centralization of waiver process in U.S. 4

5  Current caseload (Jan. 2012) overseas :  23,000 pending 601 waivers; 19,200 of those are pending in one site – Cd. Juarez, Mexico  Processing times slowed in summer 2011 in Juarez - waiting 12 months or longer for fast track, up to 2 yrs for those not ‘clearly approvable’  Appeals of I-601s – currently taking 24 months to process at AAO 5

6  1/9/12 USCIS Notice of Intent to draft proposed regulations on a provisional waiver for Unlawful Presence that would be processed in the U.S.  Eligible - only immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who could show extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent.  Note: relatives of LPRs not included in the proposal thus far (nor does hardship to LPRs count) 6

7  USCIS timeline: Proposed regulations by end of spring 2012; implementation by end of calendar 2012  new waiver form likely (601A)  Only apply to unlawful presence waivers, and only for persons living in the US who must depart to consular process 7

8  UP Waiver adjudicated on provisional basis by a USCIS Service Center here;  Prov. Waiver takes effect when applicant departs US and triggers the ground.  Other waivers would need to be applied for at consulate.  If denied, USCIS would apply current guidance to issue NTAs to those with crimes, fraud or public safety issues 8

9  Timeline – how will announcement affect processing this year? How will USCIS handle the backlogs overseas?  Notary problems with publicity – no benefit available now  Will USCIS consider expanding proposal to include persons in the family preference categories as well as IRs? 9

10  USCIS team in charge includes personnel who spoke on Jan. 10, 2012 public engagement  Phyllis Covan, Barbara Velarde, Sophia Cox, Roselyn Brown-Frei, Joanna Ruppel, and from OPE – Mariela Melero and Rachel Ellis  Comments to 10

11  USCIS also likely to introduce US-based lockbox filing for all overseas waivers soon  Details to follow with USCIS engagement by USCIS RAIO 11


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