The January announcement of the new Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver has given many undocumented immigrants in the Los Angeles area new hope. The waiver, which will go into effect next month, allows undocumented immigrants to apply for a visa or green card without leaving the country for an extended period of time. Prior to this waiver, undocumented immigrants were required to return to their native countries and wait for months and sometimes even years for approval. This resulted in families being separated for long periods of time and undue stress for both the family members remaining in the United States and those who were awaiting approval to reenter the country legally.
One family that hopes to benefit from this new waiver is composed of a father and mother and their two young children. The mother is a U.S. citizen, but the 29-year-old father is an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala. The man may qualify for the waiver both because his wife is a citizen of the United States and because his absence may cause her and the children undue hardship.
The father expressed concern that his leaving the country may mean the end of his 5-year-old son’s speech therapy. The boy is being treated for a severe speech impediment. His wife worries that she would not be able to make enough money to support the family if her husband left. Both of these reasons may be able to prove that the family would suffer if the father was required to leave the country for an extended period of time.
Anyone in a similar situation may wish to speak with an experienced immigration attorney who can advise them of their best course of action concerning a possible provisional waiver.
Source: The Palm Beach Post, “Waiver offers hope to illegals who feared leaving to apply for citizenship,” John Lantigua, Feb. 3, 2013