As you know, USCIS is proposing to streamline the current waiver program for certain immigrants. Under the proposed program, USCIS will adjudicate the immigrant’s 3 or 10 year bar waiver BEFORE the immigrant departs the U.S. for the consular appointment. If it all works out, the immigrant will only be gone from the U.S. for only a week or so, instead of the six to 12 months under the current program.  There are, however, a few details you should know about the proposed provisional waivers.

1. It’s only a proposal at this time. We still have to wait for it to work it’s way through the rulemaking process. USCIS hopes to implement the waiver streamlining program sometime this year.

2. It’ll only help spouses and unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens, and no one else.

3. The only waivers that’ll be approved under streamlining will be for the 3 and 10 year bars. If your loved one needs any other type of waiver, then streamlining won’t help them.

4. The immigrant will stil have to travel to the consulate for the interview. The provisional waiver approval is only effective if the immigrant departs the U.S. and attends his or her consular interview.

5. We still don’t know whether requests for provisional waivers must be filed together with the I-130. Will provisional waivers only be available to newly submitted I-130s, already submitted but unapproved I-130s, or even to cases where the I-130 is already at the National Visa Center? We don’t know.

6. If your loved one could benefit from streamlining, you may want to wait for it before filing the I-130. We are.

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