Is there any way to get a quick USCIS decision on my provisional waiver application (Form I-601A)?

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Question:

I am excited about the new provisional waiver process, because I have been waiting for years to apply for a green card through my U.S. citizen husband. I am pregnant, however, and worried that my visa interview will be scheduled when I’m due to deliver or caring for a newborn. Is there any way to hurry the interview up? I am willing to pay extra.

Answer:

Everyone applying for a provisional or stateside waiver on Form I-601A is naturally eager for a quick decision. And although USCIS hadn't released its standard processing times for this application as of spring, 2013, predictions were that, with the number of people who have been waiting years to apply, wait times for action would quickly exceed the six months that the agency typically takes for regular (I-601, not I-601A) waiver applications.

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to bring about quick action by USCIS. Unlike with some immigration applications, no arrangement exists by which you can pay a “premium processing” fee to guarantee speedy handling of your I-601A stateside waiver application.

Your only hope is to make a request to have your waiver request “expedited.” Such requests are not granted very often. They require a very good reason for making the request, such as a medical, humanitarian, or similar emergency, or the possibility of severe financial loss to a business or a person. Pregnancy, particularly if it involves possible complications, is among the issues which U.S. immigration authorities have considered in other expedite cases – but again, nothing is guaranteed. This is a “discretionary” decision, meaning USCIS is free to make its own judgment about who deserves what.

To ask for an expedite, you can either submit a cover letter with your waiver application requesting the expedite, or send it later, via the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283.

With your expedite request, you will need to provide documentary proof of any facts that you are claiming. In your situation, for instance, you would need to provide a letter or records from your doctor verifying the pregnancy and detailing any expected complications that could make it difficult for you to travel later. Be aware that, if the wait is already long enough, USCIS may figure that your child will be plenty old enough to travel by the time you are scheduled for a visa interview. And in the meantime, the fact that you are in the U.S. and presumably with your U.S. spouse makes your case less likely to gain approval than that of someone who is separated from close family.

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