On July 28, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security significantly expanded the provisional waiver program. The provisional waiver program had allowed beneficiaries of certain family petitions to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence of greater than 180 days before the immigrant visa interview, avoiding the necessity to obtain such a waiver at the US embassy or consulate abroad, thus greatly shortening the time away from their families.
Our client came to the United States in 2001 on a B-2 visitor's visa. In 2005 he married a U.S. citizen and sponsored our client's permanent resident status. Four years later, the Immigration Service denied his application because they believed he married he committed marriage fraud (what immigration calls an INA §204(c) decision). Such a decision is generally treated as the "death penalty" by the Immigration Service and Immigration Judges for any future applications a person might file to seek resident status. As a result of the denial, our client was put into removal proceedings -- not because of the fraud the government thought he had committed, but solely because he had remained in the United States longer than he was authorized.
The Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the Supreme Court ruling will allow U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents petition for their same-sex spouses who would be able to obtain their "green cards". It is estimated that 36,000 foreign nationals will benefit from this groundbreaking ruling.