Effective August 29, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services expanded the provisional waiver process. Prior to this date, only immediate relatives were eligible to apply for the I-601A application. Immediate relatives include spouses and children under 21 years of age of U.S. citizens. Family members in other preference categories, such as adult sons and daughters may now apply for an I-601A waiver. Additionally, lawful permanent resident spouses and parents now constitute qualifying relatives for purposes of demonstrating extreme hardship. You cannot apply for an I-601A Application if you have a removal order.
A new pathway: The Conditional I-212 Waiver.
Form I-212 is an application most often used to waive inadmissibility due to having been removed or ordered removed from the U.S. Traditionally, Form I-212 was filed after a person left the United States and was pursuing consular processing. The downside to that process was that the individual was already outside of the U.S. and would be stuck abroad for a period of ten years if the I-212 application was not approved. As of August 29, 2016, applicants may now file Form I-212 with their local field office while residing in the U.S. Once the I-212 Application is conditionally approved, applicants may pursue an I-601A application if required.
~Kaitlyn L. Jones