Getting a "Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver" in
Las Vegas, Nevada?

"Provisional unlawful presence waivers" (PUPWs) shorten the time that illegal aliens have to spend abroad while waiting to get an immigrant visa. PUPWs are available to foreigners who (1) are at least 17 years old, (2) have an immigrant visa application pending, (3) and unlawfully resided in the U.S. for more than 180 days but less than a year.

Below our Las Vegas immigration attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about how "provisional unlawful presence waivers" work in Nevada. Click on a topic to go directly to that section.

For ways to achieve legal status in Nevada without having to leave the U.S., see our articles on temporary protected status, cancellation of removal, stopping deportation, and asylum.

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The laws governing "provisional unlawful presence waivers" was updated only in 2016.

1. Am I eligible for a "provisional unlawful presence waiver"?

Illegal aliens who would otherwise be ineligible for a visa may be able to obtain a "provisional unlawful presence waiver" (PUPW), which serves as a forgiveness of their inadmissibility. PUPW applicants can stay in the U.S. while the application is pending, and they do not have to leave the country until their scheduled visa interviews abroad.

As of August 2019, a foreigner may be eligible for a PUPW if he/she meets all of the following requirements:

  • He/she is at least 17 years old,
  • He/she is in the U.S. to file the PUPW application and provide biometrics (fingerprints),
  • He/she has an immigrant visa case pending,
  • He/she is inadmissible to the U.S. because he/she was unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days but less than one year during a single stay, and
  • He/she can demonstrate that being inadmissible to the U.S. would cause extreme hardship to his/her U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent.

Note that a foreigner is not eligible for a PUPW if he/she is in removal proceedings. But if he/she has a final removal order, he/she may seek a PUPW if he/she applied for and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved a Form I-212 application.1

Visa 20application 20approved

2. What is the application process for a "provisional unlawful presence waiver" in Las Vegas, Nevada?

In order to apply for a PUPW, the non-citizen first needs to complete Form I-601A. Then he/she needs to mail it to the Chicago Lockbox for the USCIS. The address is:

If using the United States Postal Service:


P.O. Box 4599

Chicago, IL 60680

If using USPS Express Mail or a Courier:


ATTN: I-601A

131 S. Dearborn, 3rd Floor

Chicago, IL 60603-5517

Finally, the USCIS will mail the applicant instructions to go to an Application Support Center to provide biometrics and other information. Nevada has two immigration offices that offer fingerprinting services: Las Vegas immigration office, and Reno immigration office.

Note that if the USCIS rejects the PUPW application, the applicant may not file a motion to reopen or to reconsider or file an administrative appeal.2

Also note that getting approved for a provisional unlawful presence waiver does not change the immigrant visa process. An individual will still be mandated to depart the U.S. for the immigrant visa interview.3

3. What is the time frame for getting a "provisional unlawful presence waiver" in Nevada?

Four to six months. The USCIS and Department of State try to coordinate it so that the PUPW is approved close in time to the visa interview abroad.

4. What is the fee for a "provisional unlawful presence waiver"?

$630. Applicants younger than 79 years old have to pay an $85 biometrics fee as well.

Contact a Nevada Immigration Attorney

If you are seeking a PUPW and visa to live in Nevada, our Las Vegas NV immigration attorneys will help you make sense of the laws and will provide you with the proper representation. Call 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for help.

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