U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to propose a new rule that will allow undocumented immigrants who are family members of United States citizens to apply for waivers in the United States before leaving to acquire visas in their birth country.

Currently, spouses and children of U.S. citizens who have accrued a certain period of unlawful presence in the U.S. are required to leave the country for up to 10 years before they are being able to legally able to return. The new rule would allow individuals to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility that would allow them to return if they can prove immediate relatives who are U.S. citizens would face extreme hardship while they’re gone.

The intended change would allow immigrants to apply for an inadmissibility waiver before returning to their home country to begin the visa application process. It would also reduce the amount of time immigrants have to wait for their visas.

“This improvement focuses on keeping families together,” said Congressman Smith. “It’s also going increase the efficiency of our immigration system.”

USCIS and the Department of State will be collaborating to further develop the new process and will publish additional details within the next few months.

For more information about U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, visit