U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State posted the final rule in the Federal Register today, establishing a new process for certain individuals to apply for provisional unlawful presence waivers within the United States.
This process change allows certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are physically present in the United States and are seeking permanent residence to apply for and receive provisional unlawful presence waivers before departing the U.S. for consular processing of their immigrant visa applications abroad.
This new process will significantly reduce the time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members go through the immigrant visa process to become permanent residents.
Please note that this new process is not yet in effect and USCIS will not accept any applications until March 4, 2013. This final rule is separate and distinct from the Form I-601 centralization process.