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Re-entry Rules Relaxed for Pending Hardship Waiver Applicants

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on May 11, 2012

Earlier this spring, the Department of Homeland Security published a proposal in the Federal Register – for public consideration and comment – that would relax the rules on bar to re-entry for foreigners residing here who are beneficiaries of pending family-based immigration petitions.

Under current law, once an alien is unlawfully present in theU.S.for more than 6 months but less than a year, he is subject to a three-year bar from returning after he leaves. Similarly, an alien who is unlawfully present in theU.S.for more than one year will be subject to a ten-year bar.

This puts many immigrants, such as those caring for sick or injured relatives, in a very difficult position. They must decide whether to stay here for their relative, and risk losing their pending bid for citizenship under an I-130 application, or whether to abandon their relative and return home to avoid a legal bar to re-entry.

The proposed rule would allow the beneficiary of a family-based I-130 immigration petition to stay in theU.S.and care for his relative while his I-601 hardship waiver is being processed. In order to demonstrate that his case involves the requisite extreme hardship, however, it is helpful for the immigrant beneficiary to have an experienced attorney involved in the process.

If you or a family member wants help in processing a hardship waiver or family-based immigration petition, do not hesitate to call our offices for an appointment with a qualified lawyer at (847) 564-0712. Feel free to check out our immigration law Website as well.