Many foreign nationals come to the United States each year to visit family members. While you may have entered the country legally, a problem develops if you stay too long. We often help people who are in the country without proper documentation to apply for a waiver so that they can begin the process of becoming legal permanent residents.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to get an immigrant visa, you will have to leave the country. But, you may file for a provisional waiver to prevent the unlawful presence from affecting eligibility. This waiver does not affect the visa process. Here are the eligibility requirements.
You must be present in the U.S.
To be eligible, you must be at least 17 years of age and currently in the United States so that you can provide biometrics when you apply. Your unlawful presence during a single stay must have lasted either between 180 days and one year, or more than one year.
You must have a pending case
You must already be in the process of getting your immigrant visa and have a pending case with the Department of State. This may be an approved petition for a relative, a worker, an Amerasian, widow or special immigrant. Or, the DOS may have selected you or your spouse or parent for participation in the Diversity Visa Program. You may also be eligible if you have a spouse or parent who is a principal beneficiary of an approved visa petition.
You must prove your family needs you
You must provide evidence that your inadmissibility would cause your relative who is a citizen or permanent resident to suffer extreme hardship.
The document will not waive any other grounds of inadmissibility. More information about family-based immigration is available on our webpage.