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Expediting Waiver Requests

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently provided guidance as to the processing of requests to expedite the adjudication of waivers filed by individuals outside the United States.

The request must demonstrate reasons that merit expedited processing. Matters that present extraordinary circumstances compelling and urgent, time-sensitive reasons may merit expedited processing by USCIS officers on a case by case basis.

Extraordinary circumstances are those in which there are time-sensitive and compelling situations that necessitate the applicant's presence in the United States sooner than would be possible if the application were processed under normal processing times. There may also be other time-sensitive circumstances that merit expeditious processing for other reasons, principally where the failure to expedite the adjudication could result in significant delays in family reunification.

Situations may include, but are not limited to, situations in which the applicant establishes one or more of the following:

  • urgent and critical medical needs that cannot be addressed in the applicant's country;

  • family member in the United States has a serious medical condition and has urgent and critical medical needs related to that condition that require the applicant to assist the family member in the United States;

  • urgent circumstances related to the death or serious illness of a family member;

  • a particularly vulnerable individual due to age, serious medical condition, or disability and this vulnerability is exacerbated by presence outside the United States;

  • risk of serious harm due to personal circumstances distinct from the general safety conditions of those living in the applicant's country;

  • national interest of the United States or

  • member of the US Armed Forces who is deployed or will soon be deployed and there are compelling reasons to expedite the request due to the impact of the applicant's absence from the United States on the applicant, the qualifying family member, or their children, if any.

  • to prevent a child not covered by the Child Status Protection Act from aging out before visa issuance

  • prior USCIS error merits expeditious processing of a request

  • visa retrogression

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