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Victor, Juan, and Bernardo are not related and may not know each other. But they have a common link. They are part of the latest group of immigrants represented by Attorney Silvia Manzanero, who have been able to acquire permanent resident status after obtaining a provisional unlawful presence waiver of inadmissibility.

Victor, Juan and Bernardo are Mexican nationals who, like thousands of immigrants coming to the United States every year, entered this country over a decade ago without proper immigration documents, fleeing an almost certain grim and dangerous future in their country of birth. In the United States, Victor, Juan and Bernardo have found the opportunity to become productive members of society, working, paying income taxes, and maintaining their parents and younger siblings abroad. In time, Victor, Juan and Bernardo each got married and started their own families with their respective U.S. citizen spouses.

Examples of hard-working families like these, where one parent is an undocumented immigrant, abound in the United States. These families, and especially the U.S. citizen parent and children, live in constant fear that their loved one can be deported or removed from this country, quite possibly indefinitely. Indeed, Victor, Juan, and Bernardo’s families could too have been broken apart, but for the I-601A Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver program.

The Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver program, made possible by the Obama Administration, has been in effect since March 3, 2013.* This program was developed with the intent to protect family unity, and to prevent devastating periods of separation often associated with the traditional inadmissibility waiver process, which requires the applicant to be outside the United States at the time of application and wait for the waiver’s adjudication.

Currently, in order to obtain a provisional unlawful presence waiver, Form I-601A, 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. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate that his 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. Finally, the applicant must demonstrate that he merits a favorable exercise of discretion.

Developing a convincing “extreme hardship” waiver most often requires the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney, often collaborating with other professionals. To date, Attorney Manzanero has an outstanding 100% approval record.

Manzanero prepared Victor, Juan and Bernardo’s waiver applications, identifying and clearly demonstrating the distinct extreme economic, emotional, personal, professional, or health hardships that each of the cases exhibited.

Upon approval of their inadmissibility waiver, Victor, Juan and Bernardo attended their respective immigrant visa interviews at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, finally returning to their respective spouses and children in the United States as documented permanent residents.

*The Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver program is currently being expanded to include a greater pool of eligible applicants who can demonstrate extreme hardship to any qualifying relative, namely, U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent. The Final Rule expanding the program will become effective on the date indicated when published in the U.S. Federal Register.