Historically, spouses and children of United States citizens who entered the country without following all required immigration procedures faced a major dilemma. In most cases, their only path to legal residency has been through application for a provisional unlawful presence waiver. This required them to return to their native countries and apply for immigrant visas as well as this waiver — often becoming subject to a three- to 10-year ban from re-entering the U.S. to be with immediate family.
Recent Policy Changes Have Reduced The Burden Of Long Family Separations
In recognition of the severe hardships these requirements placed on many thousands of families, a rule change initiated in 2012 created what is now widely referred to as the Obama waiver. If you or an immediate family member needs to seek legal resident status, the process today may be significantly more manageable and timely than in the past.
At Bikkal & Associates, P.C., a long-standing White Plains, New York-based firm focused exclusively on immigration law, we will assess your eligibility for an Obama waiver and any other available options for achieving your goals and minimizing the time that your family must be separated. Key considerations in your case may include:
- Obama waivers are available to some husbands, wives and minor children of U.S. citizens who are considered inadmissible due only to their unlawful presence and who are ineligible for adjustments of status. Our experienced lawyers also counsel and advocate for immigrants whose circumstances differ from these, as well as those facing deportation and removal proceedings.
- Obama waiver applicants are still required to leave the U.S. for visa processing, but the ability to apply for the waiver before departing and having a visa application denied may dramatically streamline the time required to complete these steps.
- Applicants for Obama waivers must be able to demonstrate that their absence would create extreme hardship for their immediate U.S. citizen relatives. Our lawyers have extensive experience assessing diverse family circumstances and meeting this requirement.
Call 914-683-5300 Or Reach Our Full-Service Immigration Law Firm Online
Family-based immigration is a core focus for our team of dedicated attorneys. Our clients receive personal attention and benefit from clear, practical information and advice. If you have questions involving unlawful presence, eligibility for Obama waivers or other U.S. immigration issues, we invite you to schedule a consultation today.