Immigration Section
April 2014 Issue
Content is updated daily

USCIS Warns Public Against Unlawful Presence Waiver Scams

The USCIS has issued a warning to consumers regarding public misconceptions about the unlawful presence waiver — a waiver which has not yet taken effect. The alert specifically warns the public against individuals posing as Notarios and claiming to offer immigration assistance, including waiver applications, that they are not authorized to provide.

The provisional unlawful presence waiver, which is designed to reduce the time that U.S. families are separated from family members due to the visa application process, is not yet in effect, and will not be available to the applicants until the USCIS has ruled on an effective date later this year. Applications are not being accepted at this time; therefore, consumers should be wary of any individuals offering to assist with applications or any other steps in the waiver application process.

The alert also issued a stern reminder to potential immigrants that they must still appear for their scheduled immigrant visa interview, or they could jeopardize their immigration registration altogether.

The USCIS’ warning included the following tips for potential immigrants, which Notaries working in the immigration field can pass on to their colleagues and clients:

  • The Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver is NOT in effect.The provisional unlawful presence waiver will not be available to potential applicants until an effective date is specified in the final rule USCIS will publish later this year in the Federal Register. USCIS has published a notice of proposed rulemaking and will consider all comments received as part of that process before publishing a final rule.
  • Do not send an application requesting a provisional waiver at this time. USCIS will reject any application requesting a provisional waiver and return the application and any related fees to the applicant. USCIS cannot accept requests for a provisional waiver until the process change takes effect.
  • Beware of Notarios, or other individuals who are not authorized to practice immigration law, who claim they can help you get a provisional waiver.These individuals also may ask you to pay them money upfront to file an application for a provisional waiver. Avoid such scams. Learn to protect yourself and your family against unauthorized practitioners and immigration scams by visiting www.uscis.gov/avoidscams.
  • If you have been scheduled for your immigrant visa interview with the U.S. Department of State, attend the interview. The Department of State may cancel your immigrant visa registration if you fail to appear for your interview.

For more information on how Notaries can help protect the public against immigration assistance scams, check out the following articles and resources offered by the National Notary Association:

Key Points:

  • USCIS issues warning against provisional waiver scams.
  • The Unlawful Presence Waiver is NOT yet in effect.
  • Notaries can help protect the public by educating them on this and other immigration assistance scams.
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