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New Immigration Policy for the Undocumented

Updated on February 17, 2013

If you are a undocumented spouse of an American citizen (can be a parent, also) and be able to demonstrate that the separation will cause extreme hardship can apply for a waiver while in the USA instead of returning to their country of origin and applying. Since the procedure takes a long time because they must appear for an interview and the State Department must determine if they are admissible, the new policy allows the undocumented spouse to remain in the US instead of being separated from their US citizen spouse.

Starting March 4th, 2013, the undocumented spouse can file Form I-601A, Application for Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver. The form is available on If the application is approved, a permanent residence status will occur but the person really must show there is an "extreme hardship" that will occur to the US citizen spouse. Typical documentation showing this is:

  • Financial hardship and support of family
  • Special needs of US citizen that the undocumented provides
  • Illnesses, disabilities, extreme health issues
  • A statement from the US citizen claiming why it is a hardship

There are 11 million undocumented people in the USA. The new reform creates a "probationary legal status", meaning, those need to pass a background check, pay a set fine for being undocumented (illegal) and pay all back taxes owed. Once this is completed, they would have to get in the back of line to get a green card. Students who graduate with a degree in science, engineering, technology or math, would get the green card because of their valuable skills.


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      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Believe it or not, I would be in favor of an amnesty program that would identify all of those currently undocumented people living in our country. There would of course have to be serious penalties for all of those who didn't step forward and identify themselves. After this date, all undocumented persons who were found and arrested would be deported with no questions asked.

      Many would have you believe that the USA is the only country in the world who cares who is living within their borders. I would suggest they try living in many of the other countries without proper documentation and find out first hand how those countries deal with this problem. They most likely would not like the outcome.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      I agree on all counts. Let's just bite the bullet.

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      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      The back taxes owed issue will be very hard to calculate since they were most likely paid cash. The employer didn't claim the deduction on his tax forms, and the employee didn't file a return.

      I believe this would be at least a step in the right direction. We can't just continue to ignore the problem and hope it goes away.