I601A Provisional Waivers Are Not Available Yet
Although I601A provisional waivers have been a hot topic of conversation throughout most of 2012, as of December 30, 2012 it is not possible to apply for a provisional waiver. The immigration community has been promised that the final regulations would be published before the end of 2012. If the final regulations are not published on December 31, 2012, hopefully they will be published in early 2013. After the final regulations are published, USCIS will be able to move forward with implementing the I601A provisional waivers program.
You should not submit an application until USCIS is ready to accept applications. You can confirm when the program is available by checking out the USCIS I601A provisional waiver information page.
What is an I601A provisional waiver?
An I601A provisional waiver will be an excellent option for those people who will need an unlawful presence waiver if they depart the United States in order to attend an immigrant visa interview. Under the current system of unlawful presence waivers, families of United States citizens risk lengthy separations because the application cannot be submitted until after the immigrant visa interview. This means that the family will be separated while they wait for a decision to be made. This process can take months, and if the waiver is not approved the family could be separated for 10 years. The I601A provisional waiver process will allow families to apply for the unlawful presence waiver before departing the United States, which should greatly reduce the time the family is separated and will reduce the risk of traveling overseas for the immigrant visa interview.
Should I wait for I601A provisional waivers to become available before starting the immigration process?
The best timing of your application is something that will depend on your particular circumstances. For some people, it will be best to go ahead and start the immigrant visa process by filing an I-130 package now. For others, it may be a better option to wait until the new process becomes a reality. Your immigration lawyer will be able to help you determine the best course of action for your family. If you are in the DC or Virginia area, you can use the contact form on this website to set up a time to discuss your options with me. If you are outside of the DC and Virginia area, you can also use the contact form to set up a time for a Skype call with me to discuss your options.