What is the Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver?  To answer that question, I must first explain the problem.

  • If you are out of status in the United States, whether you entered the country without permission or overstayed a visa, the law currently does not allow you adjust your status to a permanent resident in the U.S.
  • You must go back to your home country and get an immigrant visa from the US consulate there.
  • The problem is if you accumulated “Unlawful Presence” (link to FAQ + video) you could be barred from returning to the US for 3 or 10 years.
  • You can file for a waiver of your Unlawful Presence (link to FAQ + video), but up until now that could only be done at the U.S. Consulate in your home country AND only after they first determined that you were not otherwise inadmissible.  That requires at least two different interviews all while you were away from your family.
  • That could cause immigrants to be out of the US for 12 months or more.
  • Many immigrants would not willingly go through this process so they remained without legal status even though they have a qualifying relative that could petition for them.

The Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver is meant to change that.

  • This Program comes through the President, not through Congress, so he can’t change the fact that you still have to leave the U.S to adjust your status.
  • This program does allow you to apply for the waiver before you leave the US.  Thereby significantly reducing your separation from your family and addressing the hardest part in advance.