Currently, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days, applying for their permanent residence are required to travel to a U.S. Consulate in their home country to have an initial interview and apply for a waiver.
The new procedure announced by DHS will allow immediate relatives (spouses, children and parents) of U.S. citizen to apply for the waiver of unlawful presence bar while remaining in the U.S. Immediate Relative will still need to meet the extreme hardship standard to obtain a waiver. If the immediate relative is found eligible, USCIS will grant a provisional waiver. Then, the immediate relative will have to depart the U.S. and apply for immigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate overseas. The consular officer will make the finding of inadmissibility based on unlawful presence and apply the provisional waiver.