Expanded Provisional Waiver Information

The Department of Homeland Security published a Provisional Waiver Final Rule in the Federal Register on, July 29, 2016, implementing changes to the provisional waiver (Form I-601A) program. This finalized the proposed rule published on July 22, 2015, with several important changes based on comments received from the public. Expanding eligibility to more people is important because getting a waiver approved before leaving the United States keeps the amount of time an applicant has to remain outside the U.S. much shorter. Less time outside the U.S. can limit hardship to family members back in the U.S., as well as save government money required to adjudicate waiver application for applicants located abroad.

What will the final rule change about provisional waivers?
First, this rule now allows spouses and children of permanent residents, in addition to spouses of U.S. citizens, to get waivers approved before leaving the United States to attend an immigrant visa interview. The standard is the same for U.S. citizen-based and permanent resident-based waivers – extreme hardship. An applicant has to prove that her relative would suffer much more than a normal relative in the situation of being faced with a potential separation of ten years from the applicant.
Second, applicants for employment-based immigrant visas, certain special immigrants, and the derivative family members in each category can now use provisional waivers.

Third, even though the July 2015 proposed rule discussed a forthcoming definition of extreme hardship, the government has not supplied that clarification. They’ve said they will not help us out by providing examples of cases that should be approved or being more specific about what extreme hardship means. We immigration attorneys have been complaining about inconsistent government decisions interpreting that short phrase “extreme hardship.” But the immigration service will continue deciding extreme hardship on a case-by-case basis.

Fourth, people who had immigrant visa interviews scheduled before provisional waivers first became available in 2013 can now apply for provisional waivers. They have removed the former restriction in that regard.

Fifth, a small number of people who have been ordered removed (or deported or excluded) but did not depart the United States will now be able to apply for provisional waiver applications. The conditions are that the applicant must have already obtained an approved Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal (Form I-212) and that the removal order cannot have been reinstated. If the order is reinstateable, but the government has not acted to reinstate, provisional waivers are possible. This will help some people with in absentia orders if they can show reasonable cause for having failed to attend a removal hearing.

Last, provisional waivers will no longer be denied because the immigration service has “reason to believe” another ground of inadmissibility besides the three- or ten-year bar applies. This change was not anticipated by the proposed rule from 2015, and will have both positive and negative consequences.

This rule will help many families. If you have questions and would like more information please contact our office and we will be more than happy to assist you in this process. (954) 240-1669.


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Attorney Saman Movassaghi, Esq.

Caring and compassionate, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is a Florida immigration attorney dedicated to producing the results her clients need. She has over 17 years of experience helping both corporate and individual clients with an emphasis in employment/investment cases and family adjustment cases.

As the Managing Attorney at Florida Immigration Law Counsel, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez and her team are capable of representing and helping individuals looking to attain a Family VisaWork Visa, and Citizenship/Naturalization. Her experience successfully representing clients in front of the Department of Justice for cases involving Deportation/Removal Proceedings will lead to success in your case.

Her experience and expertise in immigration litigation has led to multiple Avvo awards and other accolades, including the Clients’ Choice for 2017 Immigration Attorney. Her clients also consistently post positive reviews on her Facebook page. Her experience has also allowed her to teach a new generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University, and she also regularly gives speeches on immigration matters.

Counselor Gonzalez is also experienced in helping corporate clients through the process of filing for Employment Visas, Labor Certifications, and Business and Investment Visas with the Department of Labor. She takes on the entire case from start to finish, simplifying the process for her clients and allowing them to focus on their business.

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Farsi – Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is dedicated to making her clients feel comfortable and assured in making her their go-to immigration attorney in Florida. Her goal is to ensure that those who want to live the American dream have a professional fighting for them and making the process as painless as possible.

Saman’s passion for immigration law stems from her personal life as the daughter of immigrants. Her parents were recipients of the student F1 visa in 1971. Her father came into this country with the goal to improve his life and the life of his children. He earned a PhD in Civil Engineering and Business, instilling in his daughter a strong work ethic that she carries to this day. Saman saw firsthand what it means to be an immigrant and achieve the American Dream.

Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez can personally understand the struggle of immigrants and the children of immigrants navigating through the bureaucratic process of immigration law. Because of this, she dedicates herself fully and provides her personal attention to every case. She prides herself on developing a strong relationship with each and every client, and she is not afraid of pushing the envelope and looking for answers where other attorneys have failed.

Saman Movassaghi makes it her goal to provide you with only the best representation for immigration matters because she believes it’s time for you to live the American dream!