Individuals may not be admitted into the United States based for many reasons. However, such excluded individuals may apply for a waiver to enter the United States.

Individuals may be excluded due to: immigration violations, criminal violations, security concerns or health related reasons. Inadmissibility based on immigration violations include immigration fraud, alien smuggling, or unlawful presence.


There are three (3) year, ten (10) year and permanent bars for immigration violations. A common immigration-related waiver is based on unlawful presence in the United States.

Individuals who have been unlawfully present in the United States for a continuous period of 180 days, but less than one (1) year, who  voluntarily leave the United States are barred from returning for three (3) years.

Individuals who have been a who have been unlawfully present in the United States for a combined period of one year or more and voluntary leave the country, are barred from returning for ten (10) years.


Many family members of US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents are in the United States without legal status, while they await family-based visa processing. However, to apply for an immigrant visa, these family members must leave the United States for an interview at the United States Consulate or Embassy in the country.

The provisional unlawful presence waiver process allows individuals who are eligible for an immigrant visa to apply for a waiver in United States before they leave for their visa interview. To be eligible for a
provisional unlawful presence waiver, an applicant must be physically present in the United States during their immigrant visa process.


If you have any questions about unlawful presence waivers for relatives of US citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents, contact Law Office of Nita Kundanmal today. We handle all aspects of family immigration law in New Jersey and New York throughout the United States.



What is VAWA?

The Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, is a federal law that President Bill Clinton signed in 1994 to combat violence against women and provide protection to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It allows the spouse and/or child of an abusive U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to apply for a green card by self-petition. The individual can apply for their green card without the help of their abusive spouse. Both men and women may apply.

Who Is Eligible to Self-Petition for VAWA?

A VAWA recipient is an individual who is the victim in a domestic violence scenario. To be able to self-petition for VAWA, the individual must meet the following requirements:

Be the abused or battered spouse of a citizen of the U.S. or an LPR

Be the child of a U.S. citizen or LPR who is either battered or abused by his parent

Be the spouse of a U.S. citizen or LPR and having a child or children who are being abused.

What types of abuse are required.

The United Nations define domestic abuse as “behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate pattern.”

There are different ways abuse is inflicted in such a way that the abuser takes control of the relationship, such as:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Isolation
  • Psychological
  • Intimidation
  • Economic control
  • Emotional
  • Rape and/or sexual assault
  • Battering and physical abuse

What kind of evidence is needed?

The evidence needed to self-petition under VAWA includes:

Evidence of the relationship you have with the abuser

Evidence of the status of your abuser as a U.S. citizen or LPR

Affidavit of a good moral character with a proper criminal background check

Proof showing that you and the abuser lived in the same residency

Evidence that you married the abuser in good faith

Abuse proof (you do not necessarily need police reports for this)


What is a U Visa?

Congress created the U nonimmigrant visa in October 2000. The legislation was intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of noncitizens and other crimes, while also protecting victims of crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and are willing to help law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. The legislation also helps law enforcement agencies to better serve victims of crimes.

Who Is Eligible for a U Visa?

To be eligible for the U Visa, the individual must meet for statutory requirements. These are they must have suffered substantial, physical, or mental abuse due to being a victim of a qualifying criminal activity. The criminal activity must have violated US laws. The U-Visa victim must be able to provide information concerning the criminal activity that must be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of a crime.

Benefits of applying for a U Visa?

U Visa holders can legally live in the United States for four years. After three years of having a U-Visa, the individual can apply for a green card to stay in the U.S. permanently. (And eventually apply to become a U.S. citizen).

With a U-Visa, the individual can get permission to work in the United States. Some family members might also be able to get a U-Visa. One may be eligible for certain public benefits in some states like California and New York.

How long does it take to get a U-Visa?
Processing times vary. The government is currently taking about 6-9 months to approve or deny a U application.


What is a T Visa?

In October 2000, Congress created T nonimmigrant status (often referred to as the “T Visa”) to combat human trafficking and to provide immigration relief for those who are trafficked into the United States.

The T Visa is a type of humanitarian immigration relief allowing survivors of human trafficking and their immediate family members to remain and work temporarily in the United States.

The T Visa also creates a path to a green card.

Benefits of applying for a T Visa?

T Visa benefits include: Four years of lawful immigration status; Four years of employment authorization; The opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency if the T visa holder meets certain criteria; Federal refugee benefits, including cash assistance, food stamps, and job training; Public benefits in some states; and the ability to petition for T visas for certain family members in the United States or abroad.

For applicants over 21 years old, derivatives can include spouses and children.
For applicants under 21 years of age, derivatives can include spouses, children, parents, and unmarried siblings less than 18 years old.
For applicants of any age, if there is present danger to family members due to the trafficking or the survivor’s cooperation with law enforcement, derivatives can include parents and unmarried siblings under 18 years old, as well as adult or minor children of derivatives.

Who Is Eligible for a T Visa?
A T visa is a form of immigration relief available to an applicant who can show that s/he:
Is a survivor of a severe form of trafficking or attempted trafficking; trafficking includes both labor trafficking and sex trafficking;
Is physically present in the United States or at a port of entry (i.e. border) on account of the trafficking.

The applicant must have remained in the United States since the most recent act of trafficking;

Has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in investigating or prosecuting the trafficking (if eighteen years of age or older); and

Is at risk of suffering extreme hardship upon removal from the United States.