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.
I have a number of clients that have met and fallen in love with women they have met over the internet. I always tell them to first check them out with a local private investigator in the country they are residing. The internet dating game needs to be played cautiously as there are a number of scammers that work the internet dating websites and are only interested in taking your money. Also, stay away from marriage brokers as you will also be subjected to heightened security. If your international love interest checks out, then I recommend a trip to their country to meet them in person. The USCIS will want to know that you have both met in person prior to filing for the K or Fiancee visa. Make sure you take plenty of pictures together and save your cards and emails to present you have a bona fide good faith basis to get married within 90 days of your fiance arriving in the USA.
If all goes well upon your return you can file a petition for a fiancee visa. The petition will be processed in the U.S., then if approved, will be forwarded to the embassy in your fiancee’s country of residence. This takes about six months. From there, an approval notice will be sent to your fiancee within ninety days advising of the additional documentation and requirements for the interview. I also advise to also fly in to attend the interview with your fiance. If all goes well a 90 day visa will be approved for entry into the USA. You must get married within 90 days or if things dont go well then have your ex-fiance return to their country of residence.