Immigration Accountability Executive Action Was Announced By President Obama. Are You or Someone You Know a Beneficiary? (Part III) Changes to Provisional Waivers and “Extreme Hardship Definition.

After years, President Obama has finally announced his plan for Administrative Relief. It is not an “Executive Decision”. It is not an immigration Bill (although it is hoped that it may lead to one). The program will go under the name “Immigration Accountability Executive Action”.

The following is a short description of some of the highlights of another part of the President’s plan.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, is directing USCIS to issue new regulations and policies regarding provisional waivers (commonly referred as I-601A waivers).

In January 2013, DHS published a regulation setting up a process to allow some people to file I-601A waivers of the three and ten year overstay/unlawful status bars before leaving the U.S. and potentially facing a 3 or 10 year bar on returning to the US. The current rule expands the provisional waiver program announced in 2013 by allowing the spouses, sons or daughters of lawful permanent residents and sons and daughters of U.S. citizens to get a waiver if a visa is available. There may be instances when the qualifying relative is not the petitioner.

USCIS is advising that these changes will not take effect until new guidelines and regulations are issued and has not provided a timeline.

Department of Homeland Secretary is has also requested that USCIS should clarify the factors that are considered by adjudicators in determining whether the “extreme hardship” standard is met in order to provide broader use of this legally permitted waiver program.

Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

• Family ties to the US and the country of removal

• Conditions in the country of removal

• The age of the US citizens or permanent resident spouse or parent

• The length of residence in the US

• Relevant medical and mental health conditions

• Financial hardship and

• Educational hardship

USCIS is also being directed to consider criteria by which a presumption of extreme hardship may be determined to exist (similar to the NACARA program).

For more information, please feel free to contact the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. at 201-670-0006 (x107). VISASERVE TEAM’S U.S. immigration lawyers or attorneys can also be reached by e-mail at or by calling us TOLL FREE at 866-599-3625. In the meantime, please be sure to check out our website at for updates.