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I-601A Provisional Waiver

The absolute number one question I receive as an immigration attorney from my Mexican clientele is:

“I am a U.S. Citizen but my spouse came here illegally several years ago. How do I get them legal?”

The answer always was: you can apply for the family member now but they would have to go back to Ciudad Juarez, file a hardship waiver, and then wait for approximately six to eight months for approval. However, if that hardship waiver is denied in Mexico, then the family member is stuck there and cannot sneak back or they will face a permanent bar.

Usually this quick conversation stopped about 70% of our potential clients from filing a hardship waiver. The reasoning being that the stakes were too high to file for this waiver. Unless a family had a “clearly approvable” case and was all but guaranteed that the hardship waiver case would be approved, most people did not choose to file this waiver.

On January 2, 2013 the Secretary of State Janet Napolitano announced changes to the hardship waiver process that millions of families were waiting for. Now one can file the waiver here in the United States and once approved, they can leave to their home country for an interview and be back in the United States a few weeks later. Essentially, the major risk factor of being denied while back in the home country is eliminated.

Our law firm has successfully filed and obtained approvals of hardship waivers out of Ciudad Juarez. We are happy to hear that this process will allow families to finally move forward in obtaining status for their loved ones. Since these hardship waivers take a lot of time and effort, I charge a one time consultation fee of $200 to determine whether you have a strong hardship case. It is vital to have a licensed immigration attorney prepare your hardship waiver since most of the time you only get one bite at the apple. Call us today for a consultation.