Starting March 4, 2013, a new rule will help some spouses and children of U.S. citizens apply for green cards. This new rule is called “Provisional Unlawful Presence Waivers.”
Many spouses and children of U.S. citizens who entered the U.S. illegally are not allowed to apply for green cards in the U.S. Instead, they have to travel to their home country to complete the application process there. Unfortunately, when they leave the U.S., they risk being forbidden from returning to the U.S. for up to ten years.
The new rule allows these family members to apply for a “provisional waiver” before leaving the U.S. They must prove that their U.S. citizen spouse or parent would suffer extreme hardship if their case is denied. If the provisional waiver is granted and there are no other problems with the case, the family members can then travel to their home country to complete the application process without fear of being separated from their families for a long time.