Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver information from USCIS and AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers Association):
“Beginning March 4, certain immigrant visa applicants who are the spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens (immediate relatives), and have been unlawfully present in the United States, can start applying for provisional unlawful presence waivers through a new process.
The new provisional unlawful presence waiver process is for certain individuals who seek a waiver of inadmissibility only for unlawful presence [emphasis added].They can now apply for a provisional unlawful presence waiver while in the United States and before departing for their immigrant visa interview at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Under the current process, which continues to remain in effect, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States have to travel abroad and be found inadmissible at their immigrant visa interview before they can apply for an inadmissibility waiver.
The new process is expected to shorten the time U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives while those family members go through the process of becoming lawful permanent residents of the United States. For eligibility details and information on the process, please visit: http://www.uscis.gov/provisionalwaiver.”
“Under current law, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not eligible to adjust status in the United States must travel abroad and obtain an immigrant visa. Individuals who have accrued more than 180 days of unlawful presence while in the United States must obtain a waiver of inadmissibility to overcome the unlawful presence bars under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act before they can return to the United States.”