Immigrant Waivers – New Hope for the Refused?

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Previously, USCIS overseas offices had responsibility for reviewing I-601 immigrant waiver applications. This led to inconsistent adjudications among various overseas offices and extreme variations in processing times.  We first discussed the patent unfairness of this system on this blog back in November 2011.  To remedy these problems, in June 2012 USCIS centralized the processing of I-601 waivers at the Nebraska Service Center in the United States.  The impact can now be seen, and should give those who had been previously denied by a USCIS overseas office hope. As noted in our 2011 blog, the approval rates at certain USCIS overseas offices were dismal at best.  For example, in Accra, Ghana, which had jurisdiction and reviewed waiver applications from numerous countries in Africa, its approval rate in 2010 was 22%.  The Rome USCIS Office had an approval rate of 25%.  Moscow and Athens hovered around 40%.  Contrast that with the approval…

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What do bad plumbing and waiver applications have in common?

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We’ve all seen the commercials with stunt cars and daredevil tricks, and the disclaimer at the bottom stating “Professionals at work. Do not try this on your own.”  That is why it is surprising that people with the means to hire a qualified lawyer to prepare a waiver application often do not do so: they are determined to try it on their own. The stakes could not be higher – an approval means a reunion in the United States for those located overseas, a denial can mean a lifetime of separation and the shattered lives of children – yet people are willing to learn as they go, to “experiment” on their own, to use whatever it is they can learn on the Internet to prepare their cases.  Waiver law is complicated, and preparing a waiver application requires skill, creativity, and experience. Even if a 601 or 212 application is denied,…

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