Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Great news from USCIS, not just in Georgia but anywhere in the United States. USCIS published in the Federal Register a rule that would allow U.S. citizens and permanent residents to process I-601 waivers, most commonly known as hardship waivers for their spouses or parents in advance of the family member leaving the country thus minimizing the time that family members would have to spend apart.
Right now the procedure is that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse first has to file the I-130 for their foreigner spouse, then the foreign national spouse has to leave the country, trigger the 10-year bar and take a risk at the consular interview that the waiver will not be granted and they will not be able to return to the U.S. for 10 years. Even in cases where the waiver is approved, in many cases it takes several months and in some cases over a year for USCIS overseas to process the waiver. This results in families being torn and many times losing their only source of income (many time the sole breadwinner is the one leaving). This new procedure will eliminate the need to be separated for a long time and someone will know in advance of leaving whether the waiver will be approved.
What USCIS will do is give a "provisional" approval in the U.S. and it will not be a final approval until the person departs the U.S. and applies for the immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate or embassy in his or her home country. Note that this only affects waivers for unlawful presence, not criminal and other grounds of inadmissibility.
This is great and encouraging news indeed and I hope USCIS will streamline the process.


  1. on what date was this "rule" posted? They posted a "notice of intent" on Jan 9, 2012, which lets people know of proposed rules.
    Check this link:

  2. This is the actual posting in the Federal Register:

  3. "Q. When will this streamlined process be implemented?

    A. The process will be implemented only after USCIS issues a final rule. In the coming months, USCIS plans to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking and will consider the comments received as part of that process before publishing a final rule. The current process will remain in place until a final rule goes into effect. No one should file an application with USCIS based on this proposed change in process. Any applications filed with USCIS based on this notice will be rejected and the application package returned to the applicant, including any fees until the final rule is issued and the change becomes effective."