This page is about the provisional waiver of unlawful presence, which is for people who have been in the U.S. illegally and are married to, or are the children of, U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.


Depending on your situation, you may need this and/or another waiver. If you apply for an immigration benefit without  applying for and receiving the needed waiver(s), the government won't approve your application. 



Provisional Waiver


If you're married to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, you may qualify for the provisional waiver program, which lets you get your green card without serving the dreaded 3- or 10-year bans. Click the slideshow to see how it works. 

Slide 1 of 12

If you're married to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident, you may be eligible for a green card.





Waiver applicants must have a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. In the waiver application, you must prove that your qualifying relative will suffer extreme hardship if you're banned from the U.S. for 3 or 10 years. 

Before applying for a waiver, applicants must submit an I-130 form to prove their relationship and eligibility. After the applying for the waiver, you apply with the NVC and travel back to your home country for an interview.

All separated families will suffer, but extreme hardship is something more than loneliness or inconvenience. To meet this legal standard, our attorneys meet with you to identify the elements of your case that make you stand out from the rest. 



Processing times for USCIS vary, but you can count on BKR to keep your end of the case moving. Most of our clients have their green cards 12-15 months after hiring us. 

Over the past 15 years, we've helped thousands of immigrants get green cards and stay with their families. That's a lot of happy people. Why wait? You could be next.

An Opportunity

That Changes Lives

Gerardo Hernandez was sick of the stress of being undocumented.

Together with his wife, he applied for the provisional waiver.

Now they relax, knowing he's protected against deportation and able to work and drive legally.

"Out of the whole process, what made me the happiest was when

I came out of the airport and saw my two daughters and my wife waiting for me.

We kissed, we hugged, we laughed. There were no words.

-- Gerardo Hernandez, BKR client

The provisional waiver program requires applicants to have a qualifying relative, show extreme hardship, submit certain documentation, and have good moral character. Hover over and click each image to learn more.

1.) Have a qualifying relative.

1.) Have a qualifying relative.

2.) File an I-130 form.

2.) File an I-130 form.

3) Show Extreme Hardship

3) Show Extreme Hardship

4.) Verify that you're eligible.

4.) Verify that you're eligible.


Applying for a waiver means dealing with new terms such as "qualifying relative" and "extreme hardship." It also means starting a months-long legal journey. It's good to be prepared. Request a free guide that explains each step of the process. 

Most initial consultations about the waiver are free. Let us know when you'd like to meet with an attorney.

3) Show Extreme Hardship

Your application must show that your qualifying relative (probably your spouse) will suffer extreme hardship if you have to leave the U.S. for more than a short time. Extreme hardship is a legal term that means more than just missing you. It can include things like being unable to deal with an illness, needing to care for family members who have illnesses, or no longer being able to work. There are many examples of extreme hardship. An attorney can help you identify which ones you'll use.