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Immigrant's Path to Permanent Residence Paved After Approval of His I-601A Waiver Application

Like thousands of immigrants coming to the United States every year, Sergio entered this country without proper immigration documents, fleeing a grim and dangerous future in Mexico, his country of birth. Sergio has been working ever since, learning English and becoming a contributing member of his local community.

Since Sergio married Allison, a U.S. born citizen, he also became her “personal guardian angel”, and the main income provider for a family that additionally includes Allison’s two young daughters, also U.S. citizens. Sergio and Allison are devoted to each other, to their children, and to their community.

Sergio, however, was not eligible to adjust his status to permanent resident in the U.S. because he was not “inspected and admitted.” Further, since he was unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than one year, Sergio was not eligible to obtain an immigrant visa for 10 years after he leaves the U.S.

This hard-working family, like many in our country, could have been broken apart indefinitely by immigration laws, but for the new I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. This program, implemented by the Obama administration in 2013, was developed with the intent to protect family unity, and to prevent devastating periods of separation often associated with the traditional I-601 waiver process, which requires the applicant to be outside the United States at the time of application and wait for the waiver’s adjudication.

To obtain a provisional unlawful presence waiver, the applicant must be present in the United States, be the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, and be the beneficiary of an approved immigrant petition giving him an immediately available immigrant visa number. The applicant must also demonstrate that his only ground of inadmissibility is accrued unlawful presence in the United States. No other ground of inadmissibility can be waived by the I-601A provisional waiver.

Finally, the applicant must also demonstrate that his/her U.S. citizen spouse or parent may suffer “extreme hardship” in the event of the applicant’s removal or inability to immigrate to the United States. Developing a convincing “extreme hardship” waiver most often requires the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney, often collaborating with other professionals.

Attorney Silvia Manzanero represented Sergio and Allison in their immigration case seeking espousal classification, a provisional waiver of inadmissibility and immigrant visa issuance.

Manzanero prepared a compelling case that clearly demonstrated the extreme economic, emotional, health hardships that Allison would suffer if Sergio is removed or if this family of four is forced to relocate to Mexico. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services approved Sergio’s waiver last August 28th, 2014.

On February 3, 2015, Sergio successfully completed the final step in this three-phases process, immigrant visa issuance at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Sergio recently entered the United States, this time lawfully as a resident. Sergio can finally live and work as a permanent resident in this country, with his spouse and their two daughters.

Sergio’s immigration case included one of the numerous inadmissibility waiver applications that attorneys at David F. Vedder P.A., have successfully prepared for clients from all over the world.