Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Unlawful Presence & Criminal Waiver Process Changing Worldwide

CIS recently announced in June 2011 that worldwide changes to the inadmissability waiver process are underway. One of the biggest changes affects how long these cases take to be decided. Applicants for waivers can send in their waiver directly to the CIS office assigned to the foreign consulate. Prior to this, Applicants were required to send the waiver packet to the consulate (Department of State) which would then forward the waiver packet to the CIS office. This could take many months, especially for cases in Latin and South American countries where consulates have been notoriously slow. An applicant still has to receive notification from the consulate at the Immigrant Visa interview that they are eligible to file a waiver before the CIS office assigned will accept the waiver submission.

Another important change coming is that US CIS has plans to create one lockbox in the US for the direct filings of all inadmissability waivers, so no waivers have to be decided by overseas offices. This could also save applicants a lot of time and we hope, should streamline the process and make overall decisions more consistent.