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About the Provisional Waiver Process

The provisional waiver process is not a change in the law, only a change in procedure. The new procedure will take effect on March 4, 2013. The new procedure shortens the time immigrants must wait outside the United States.

Applicant must:

  • be the spouse or child of a United States citizen
  • be the beneficiary of an approved immediate relative visa petition
  • be present in the US
  • have a case pending with the Department of State based on the I-130 and have paid the immigrant visa processing fee
  • show extreme hardship to United States spouse or parent
  • be inadmissible due to unlawful presence ONLY
  • be at least 17 years old
  • file the waiver application before they depart the US for their visa interview abroad
  • notify the Department of State that they are filing
  • pay an additional $670 in fees


  • U.S. citizen files an immigrant visa petition on behalf of their spouse or child
  • Immigrant petition is approved
  • Consular processing begins at the U.S. State Department (Department of State will request the affidavit of support and the immigrant filing fee).
  • The immigrant files the I-601A waiver application with evidence of extreme hardship.
  • The waiver is approved. (If the waiver is denied, the immigrant may be referred to deportation proceedings.)
  • The consular interview is scheduled.
  • The immigrant leaves the United States to attend the consular interview.
  • The visa request is processed and the immigrant returns to the United States with their permanent resident packet. (This step may take anywhere from three days to three weeks.)
  • Once you are in the United States you will be a permanent resident and eligible to work, get a driver’s license, and social security number.

Filing Fees:

  • $420 for immigrant visa petition
  • $165 for immigrant processing fee
  • up to $300 in additional consular fees and medical exam fees
  • $670 for provisional waiver fee
  • up to $50 in additional fees for translations, photos, copies, etc. if necessary
  • TOTAL: plan on spending $1600 in filing fees

Attorney’s fees:

  • $2000

Additional expenses:

  • you should also budget for visits to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional to establish hardship
  • you will have to travel to your home country and stay there for at least a few days, but you should budget for several weeks just in case your application is delayed