After a year of waiting, the USCIS has finally set a start date for applicants who illegally entered the US to apply for unlawful presence waivers based upon their family relationship as the Spouse of a US Citizen , a Parent of a US Citizen (child over the age of 21) and a Minor Child of a US Citizen.
The importance of this new program is that the applicant can remain in the United States and await the ruling on the I-601 waiver which is based upon the grounds of extreme emotional harship to the US relative if they were separated for an extended period of time. Essentailly, illegally entering the US results in a bar to admission. Once granted, the applicant would still have to return to their home country for a visa interview at the embassy, but they would have the approved waiver in hand to allow them to re-enter the US.
It is important to remember there could be other factors that could impact admissibility, such as a criminal conviction, which they waiver would not cover. But if the only issue was the illegal entry into the US, the waiver allows the re-entry into the US where the subsequent petition to adjust to permanent residency can be filed and adjudicated at a local USCIS office.
Any person considering applying for this program should retain an immigration attorney to assist with the preparation of the waiver. Do not attempt to hire a notario or do it yourself. There are specific documents and legal arguments that need to be included in the waiver packet for you to have the greatest chance of success.