Customs and Border Protection’s Admissibility Review Office (ARO) is the entity which adjudicates all non-immigrant waivers. Non-immigrant waivers come under INA §212(d)(3). In the past, the ARO issued the initial non-immigrant waiver with either a 1 or 2 year validity period. After that initial period, applicants would receive renewals in increments of 2 years. Then applicants, with some exceptions, would receive renewals for 5 years.
In most recent past, applicants would need to factor in the processing times and apply for their waivers and waiver extensions way in advance of their proposed travel. Processing times for non-immigrant waivers filed under INA §212(d)(3) have been averaging between 4 and 6 months. This processing time applies to all waiver applications filed on Form I-192 at the port of entry (as is the practice for Canadian citizens), or when combined with a non-immigrant visa application filed at a consulate. CBP will not expedite these §212(d)(3) waiver applications.
The ARO recently announced it will approve INA §212(d)(3) waivers for a 5-year period. This process will begin in January of 2017. This will include both the initial waivers and renewal applications. This will include both waivers filed at the border entry points and at the consulate. The only exception is for crewmembers whose granted waivers will only be issued in two-year increments.
If you have a ground of inadmissibility necessitating a waiver, please call us. We’d like to address the underlying issue. As well we would like to prepare the waiver for you to put your case in the light most favorable to you.