NEW RULE ANNOUNCED BY USCIS. CAN MY FIANCE OR OTHER FAMILY MEMBER COME TO AMERICA?
From June 4, 2012 forward, individuals abroad who have applied for certain visas and have been found ineligible by a U.S. Consular Officer in his/her country, will be able to mail requests to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility directly to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in the United States. This change affects where individuals abroad, who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a non immigrant K or V visa, must send their waiver applications.
Currently, applicants experience processing times from one-month to more than a year depending on their filing location. This centralization will provide customers with faster and more efficient application processing and consistent adjudication. It is part of a transition procedure to domestic filing and adjudication; it does not, however, reflect a change in policy or the standards by which the applications are adjudicated. Individuals filing waiver applications with a USCIS office will now be able to track the status of their case online.
The new change affects filings for the following forms:
- Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
- Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal
- Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, (if filed after a denial of a Form I-601 or Form I-212).
Applicants who mail their waiver request forms should use the address provided in the revised form instructions on the USCIS website.
Please note that during a limited six-month transition period, immigrant visa waiver applicants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, will have the option to either mail their waiver applications to the USCIS office in the United States or file in-person at the USCIS office in Ciudad Juarez.
The USCIS said that it is aware of the pending caseload for applicants in Ciudad Juarez and is taking proactive steps to work through these cases. USCIS will significantly increase the number of officers assigned to adjudicate the residual cases filed before June 4, and those filed during the interim six-month transition period.
You should not confuse this change with the provisional waiver proposal published in the Federal Register on Mar. 30, 2012 involving unlawful presence. I will discuss this other waiver in my next article. Also, please remember that the majority of the fiancés or other family members seeking admission do not need to apply for a waiver if they have not been in the United States before.
You should keep in mind that this article is not intended to provide you with legal advice; it is intended only to provide guidance about immigration law. Furthermore, the article is not intended to explain or identify all potential issues that may arise in an immigration case. Each case is fact-specific and therefore similar cases may have different outcomes.
I handle immigration cases. If you have any questions or concerns about an immigration case, you can call me at (315) 422-5673, send me a fax at (315) 466-5673, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Law Office of Jose Perez is located at 120 East Washington Street, Suite 925, Syracuse, New York 13202. Please look for my next article in the July edition.