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I-601 “Extreme Hardship” Waivers

When an applicant for a green card or immigrant visa has engaged in certain acts – such as previous immigration fraud or certain prior periods of unlawful presence in the US – he or she may be found “inadmissible”. In this situation, the law requires the immigration officer to deny the green card or immigrant visa unless the government approves an extreme hardship waiver.

Which Inadmissibility Grounds Can the I-601 Waive?

An I-601 extreme hardship waiver may waive the following:

  • Certain Crimes
  • The 3- and 10-year unlawful presence bars (if someone leaves the US after having been unlawfully present in the US for more than 180 or 365 days)
  • Immigration fraud
  • Communicable diseases

How to Prove Extreme Hardship

In order to have the I-601 extreme hardship waiver approved, the applicant must document how his or her family member(s) will suffer if the waiver isn’t granted. The waiver requires a showing of “extreme hardship” to a US citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent, although suffering to children and other family members is relevant. Waiver applications should include detailed statements from the applicant and his or her family members as well as evidence of any and all medical and psychological conditions, financial hardship, emotional bonds and country conditions. Even if the different hardship factors individually do not rise to the level of “extreme,” an applicant can still prove “extreme hardship” if the totality of all hardship factors is extreme when considering the evidence in the aggregate. Consequently, it is essential to leave no evidence out of the packet and to assure that all potential hardship elements are fully explored and documented.

Contact our office for a review of your case and an analysis of your options.