A recent client of Reeves Immigration Law Group was extremely disappointed when she found out she was not eligible for adjustment of status. She knew she would trigger a 10-year bar when she left the U.S. for her interview at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, and she was not willing to abandon the life she had created for herself in the U.S.
Our client, who we will refer to as Angela to protect her identity, was born in the Philippines. She had entered the U.S. in the early 2000s and eventually married a U.S. citizen. She thought getting her green card would be easy since she was married to a U.S. citizen. Unfortunately, though, she was not actually eligible for adjustment of status.
Angela met with Attorney Devin Connolly, the Managing Partner of Reeves Immigration Law Group. Attorney Connolly told Angela that even though she was not eligible for adjustment of status because of how she had entered the U.S., he had a different strategy in mind.
Angela quickly told Attorney Connolly that she was aware that she would trigger a 10-year bar if she left the U.S. to attend her consular processing interview at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines. Attorney Connolly acknowledged the possibility of the bar, but he then asked Angela if she was familiar with an I-601A, Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. She said she did not know what that was, but that she liked hearing the word ‘waiver.’
Attorney Connolly explained that if she were to obtain a waiver of her unlawful presence in the U.S., she would not be subject to a 10-year bar when she left the U.S. And he also told Angela that one of the best parts of the waiver was that she could apply for it before she ever left the country. So she would not get stuck in the Philippines for 10 years if her waiver was denied for some reason.
Attorney Connolly and Angela immediately got to work on the waiver. This included preparing the necessary documents to prove that her U.S. citizen husband would suffer an extreme hardship if her waiver was not granted. These documents included doctor’s letters and medical records, tax returns and recent pay stubs, government documents regarding country conditions in the Philippines, etc.
After months of waiting, Angela received her waiver! She was still required to leave the U.S. and apply for her immigrant visa at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, but since her 10-year bar had already been waived, she left the U.S. knowing she would be able to return within a couple of weeks. Angela therefore treated the trip like a vacation, visiting friends and relatives that she had not seem in many years.
Angela has now received her green card and she is happily living with her husband and her friends in the U.S. She can now freely live and work in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, and she is looking forward to the day when she can apply to become a U.S. citizen.