The Immigration Waiver Process and the Proper Timing of a Waiver Application

One of the greatest risks undocumented immigrants face is potential deportation or being barred from re-entry. For some of those people, help may be available in the form of an I-601a waiver, a/k/a a provisional waiver. To be eligible, you must be a relative of a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. Of course, there’s much more to it than that, and going about seeking a provisional waiver the wrong way can have extreme consequences, which is why, when you’re ready to apply for an I-601a waiver, it is vitally important to obtain the services of a skillful Maryland inadmissibility waiver lawyer.

A waiver case from just a few hours to our north is a very clear example of just how harsh the price of making a wrong procedural step can be.

As reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, the immigrant was a Mexican national whose parents brought her to this country when she was four years old. 26 years later, the woman, by then married to a Pennsylvania man and the mother of five American children, traveled to Mexico. Her plan was to enter Mexico, apply for a visa, then re-enter the U.S. legally.

According to the Inquirer report, the woman’s father told her the plan wasn’t “a good idea,” but because she was acting on the advice of her immigration lawyer — who told her she’d be in Mexico for only four days — she proceeded forward.

The woman had a huge problem, however. Because she left the U.S. with no waiver — and she had originally entered the country illegally — U.S. law barred her from reentering. Not only did the law bar her, it barred her for 10 years, meaning that she potentially faced spending the next decade in Mexico while her husband and children were 2,000 miles away in suburban Philadelphia.

The Importance of Getting Your Waiver First

What she could have — and should have — done was to apply for (and wait to receive) an I-601a waiver before traveling to Mexico. Armed with an I-601a waiver, the woman could have gone to Mexico, pursued her green card paperwork, then promptly returned to her home outside Philadelphia.

Fortunately for this Pennsylvania mom, the case ultimately concluded with a happy reunion. The woman’s husband obtained new legal counsel, who assisted in getting an expedited review of the woman’s I-601a application. After completing their expedited review, immigration authorities granted the waiver and, in April 2023, the mother was able to re-enter the U.S. and return home.

The couple are welcoming a new baby, due sometime this month, according to the Inquirer report.

In some legal matters, a procedural error is readily reparable. Sometimes, it’s as simple as filing an amended pleading or supplemental papers with the court. If you’re an undocumented individual, your immigration matter potentially can be just the opposite. Procedural mistakes can have catastrophic consequences, upturning lives, separating families, and dumping people in countries where they haven’t lived since infancy. Don’t let that happen to you. Get reliable advice from a seasoned pro. The knowledgeable Maryland immigration waiver attorneys at Anthony A. Fatemi, LLC can help you assess whether or not you qualify for a waiver and, if you do, provide you with essential assistance and advocacy throughout the application process. Contact us today at 301-519-2801 or via our online form to set up your consultation.

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