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Immigration Law

Excerpts From the March 15 Bender's Immigration Bulletin: I-601 Provisional Waiver Is Not in Effect, More

I-601 Provisional Waiver Is Not  in Effect

USCIS reminds the public that, while it is considering changes that would allow certain immediate relatives who can demonstrate extreme hardship to a U.S.-citizen spouse or parent to receive a provisional waiver of the unlawful-presence bars before leaving the United States, the provisional waiver is not currently in effect.

USCIS released a statement on February 22 that the waiver procedures are not in effect and will not be available to potential applications until they are published as a final rule in the Federal Register specifying the effective date. USCIS plans to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the coming months. Until a final rule is published, the USCIS will reject any application requesting this new package and will return the application package and any related fees to the applicant.

Applicants should be aware that some unauthorized practitioners of immigration law may wrongly claim that they can file a provisional waiver application, Form I-601. This is a scam.  USCIS provides information about avoiding scams at

Supreme Court Decides Kawashima Case 

On February 21, the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Kawashima v. Holder, 2012 U.S. LEXIS 1084. A summary is available in this issue at page 366. Briefly, Justice Thomas wrote for six members of the Court, holding that violations of 26 U.S.C. §7206(1) and (2) that cause loss to the government of over $10,000 qualify as aggravated felonies under INA §101(a)(43)(M)(i). That is, §101(a)(43)(M)(ii), tax evasion under 26 U.S.C. §7201, is not the only tax-related aggravated felony for immigration purposes. Akio and Fusako Kawashima had pleaded guilty to willfully making and subscribing a false tax return in violation of §7206(1) and of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, under §7206(2). Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justices Breyer and Kagan, dissented.

Professor Jennifer Chacón analyzed the case before the decision in Kawashima v. Holder: What Is an "Aggravated Felony" for Immigration Purposes?. 2011 Emerging Issues 5987, available on and the Immigration Law Community page. 

Immigrant Visa and Diversity Visa Changes, Lisbon and Ponta Delgada

Effective March 1, 2012, the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon and the U.S. Consulate General in Ponta Delgada will no longer process immigrant visa or diversity visa applications. All immigrant and diversity visa interviews and adjudications for residents of Portugal and France will take place at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. Embassy Lisbon and Consulate Ponta Delgada will continue to process pending cases in which the interview has already taken place until May 30, 2012. After May 30, all pending cases will be transferred to Paris. This change affects only immigrant visa processing. Embassy Lisbon and Consulate Ponta Delgada will continue to process nonimmigrant visas.

EOIR Statistics for FY 2011 Available

The Executive Office for Immigration Review announced that it had released its Fiscal Year 2011 Statistical Year Book. The book is a representation of data EOIR tracked and compiled during the previous fiscal year. The figures and tables contained in the book examine respondents' cases by nationality, language, and disposition, and provide detailed information surrounding asylum cases. The book also includes pending caseload numbers broken down by immigration court. Hard copies of the publication are not available to the public, but an online version is available at

SEVP Consolidates Online Information on Certified Schools

In a message of February 29, 2012, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program announced the consolidation of information about SEVP-certified schools on one website. The information will no longer be on the SEVP home page on, only on the "Study in the States" website, at There, the user can search by school name, city, or state. The message, Broadcast Message 1202-01, is reprinted at Appendix A.

Poverty Guidelines: Revised Forms Available

Revised Forms I-864P and I-912P are now available. They are reproduced at Appendix B.

[This is an excerpt from the March 15, 2012, issue of Bender's Immigration Bulletin.] 

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Bender's Immigration Bulletin