Immigration Pardons or I-601 Waiver Petitions
February 22nd, 2010
Topic: Immigration Pardons or I-601 Waiver Petitions
Welcome to this special immigration segment with Boston attorney Desmond P. Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald & Company. We are asking several questions that you have submitted through social media, and we’ll talk about the requests for a pardon for various cases.
Veronica: Desmond, thank you very much for being with us.
Desmond P. Fitzgerald (DPF): Thanks for this opportunity.
V: Look, we got this question from one of our viewers. Can a person who was deported and came back to the United States, get their residency through marriage to a U.S. citizen?
DPF: It depends. That is truly the answer because it really depends on the circumstances of the person. Is it possible? Yes. The person initially needs to obtain a visa (through an I-130 petition), or permission to apply for residency. The spouse can petition for that. But since the person has a deportation order, in this case I will say a lady, she needs to leave the United States while her husband is processing her application (I-130). This process takes about a year, while the Immigration Department approves the visa and it is sent to her home country. In her country, she needs to apply for residency (Green Card) and for an immigration waiver of deportation. As she has supposedly been here illegally for more than a year, she also needs to apply for another pardon for her illegal time. That’s two pardons, and she needs to request them from her country.
This is possible but it is a complicated situation and very time consuming, and the family would be separated during this time. This year, they passed a regulation (I- 601A waiver) that is not yet finished, but we hope that in the latter part of this year they’re going to finish and implement this regulation.
This regulation will allow people who have only illegal time (in the US), or that do not have any criminal or deportation cases, nor have committed fraud (i.e. entering with false documents or belonging to someone else)–only those who have accumulated illegal time in the US can obtain a pardon here.
Then the person would receive the visa or residence through their spouse and they would get pardon here [ in the U.S. ]. The Immigration Department in Arizona has an office ready to receive these petitions. This will take another year but families would be together. When the residency petition is approved, the person has to go to the consulate in their country. The person will go and it will approximately take 3 or 4 months (to process) and they would return with residency. This is an excellent and fair program and I hope it will be ready soon.
V: If you want more information about the issues we are dealing with, you can visit their Web page here on screen and you can also register to their Newsletter electronically.