ANG isang dayuhan na ineligible sa pagkuha ng green card sa loob ng U.S. dahil sa unlawful presence ay maaaring mag-apply ng I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver bago siya umalis ng US para sa consular immigrant visa interview. Upang maging eligible para sa provisional unlawful presence waiver, ang mga sumusunod ang kinakailangan: (1) ang dayuhan ay nasa loob ng U.S.; (2) ang dayuhan ay may 17 taong gulang; (3) ang dayuhan ay nasa proseso ng pagkuha ng kanyang immigrant visa at may nakasalang na immigrant case sa Department of State (DOS) base sa aprubadong I-130 family-based petition o I-140 employment-based petition; (4) maipapakita ng dayuhan na ang hindi pagbigay sa kanya ng immigrant visa ay magdudulot ng extreme hardship sa kanyang “qualifying relative”; (5) naniniwala ang dayuhan na ang kanyang inadmissibility ay dahil lamang sa kanyang unlawful presence sa loob ng U.S. na mahigit sa 180 araw pero di umabot ng isang taon sa isang pagpunta niya sa U.S., o kaya ay unlawful presence na higit sa isang taon sa isang pagpunta niya sa U.S. Kung ang dayuhan ay nasa removal proceedings, hindi siya maaaring mag-apply ng I-601A waiver hanggat aprubahan ng Immigration Judge ang administrative closure ng kanyang kaso.
Ang I-601A Waiver ay kailangang i-file sa USCIS. Kapag naaprubahan na ng USCIS ang I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver, ang dayuhan ay kinakailangang lumabas ng U.S. upang ipagpatuloy ang pagproseso ng kanyang immigrant visa sa isang U.S. Embassy o U.S.Consulate. Ang approval ng provisional unlawful presence waiver ay hindi nagbibigay ng eligibility sa dayuhan para makakuha ng green card sa loob ng U.S. Ang approval ng I-601A Waiver ay maaari lamang maging epektibo kapag: (1) Ang dayuhan ay lumabas ng U.S. para sa kanyang immigrant visa interview; (2) Ang DOS Consular Officer ay nagkaroon ng determinasyon na ang dayuhan ay admissible sa U.S. at eligible para sa immigrant visa. Ang approved I-601A waiver ay maaaring mawalan ng bisa kung may ibang inadmissibility ang dayuhan bukod sa unlawful presence.
Ang isa sa mga kailangan para sa I-601A Waiver ay ang pagdudulot ng extreme hardship sa “qualifying relative” ng dayuhan kung siya ay hindi makakabalik ng U.S. Ang “qualifying relative” ay asawa na USC/LPR o magulang na USC/LPR ng dayuhan. Hindi kasama sa “qualifying relative” ang USC/LPR na anak ng dayuhan. Maaari lamang isaalang-alang ang extreme hardship sa anak na USC/LPR kung ito ay magdudulot ng pagpapahirap sa “qualifying relative.”
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Immigrant visa applicants who are ineligible to adjust status in the U.S. due to unlawful presence can apply for I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver before they leave the U.S. for their consular interview. To be eligible for provisional unlawful presence waiver, the alien must meet the following requirements: (1) alien is physically present in the US; (2) alien is at least 17 years old; (3) alien is in the process of obtaining his immigrant visa and has an immigrant case pending with the Department of State (DOS) due to an approved I-130 family-based petition or I-140 employment-based petition; (4) alien should be able to demonstrate that a refusal of his admission to the U.S. will cause extreme hardship to a “qualifying relative”; (5) the alien believes that s/he is inadmissible only because of a period of unlawful presence in the U.S. that was more than 180 days but less than 1 year during a single stay or 1 year or more during a single stay. If the alien is in removal proceedings, s/he cannot apply for I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver unless the Immigration Judge administratively closes the case.
Upon approval of the I-601A provisional unlawful presence waiver, the alien is required to depart the U.S. to process his immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or U.S.Consulate abroad. The approval of a provisional unlawful presence waiver does not make the alien eligible for adjustment of status in the U.S. The approval by USCIS of the provisional unlawful presence waiver takes effect only after: (1) the alien departs the US and appears for his immigrant visa interview; and (2) a DOS consular officer determines that the alien is otherwise admissible to the U.S. and eligible to receive an immigrant visa. The approved I-601A waiver may be revoked if the consular officer at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. consulate determines that the alien is ineligible for the immigrant visa, including that the alien is inadmissible on grounds other than unlawful presence.
One of the requirements for the I-601A Waiver is that the refusal of admission would result in extreme hardship to a “qualifying relative” – a USC/LPR spouse or USC/LPR parent of the alien. Hardship to the applicant or other family members, like USC/LPR children of the alien does not establish eligibility for the waiver, and can only be considered insofar as it results in hardship to a “qualifying relative.”
ATTY. RHEA SAMSON is the principal of SAMSON LAW FIRM, P.C. She has been a member of the State Bar of California for over 15 years and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for over 20 years. Atty. Samson received her Legal Management degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and her Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo Law School. She was a Professor for over 10 years, teaching Obligations and Contracts, Labor Laws and Social Legislation and Taxation Law. Atty Samson is the author of The Law on Obligations and Contracts (2016), Working with Labor Laws-Revised Edition (2014) and Working with Labor Laws (2005).
SAMSON LAW FIRM, P.C., 3580 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1710, Los Angeles, CA 90010; Phone: (213) 274-4561; Email: email@example.com.