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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Extreme Hardship Waivers: When Can They Assist in Overcoming Immigration Challenges?

 Individuals wishing to enter and reside in the United States may be able to file an extreme hardship waiver with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to overcome challenges that would normally bar entrance. Perhaps counter-intuitively, extreme hardship waivers do not involve hardships faced by the individual entering the U.S. Instead, they involve the hardships that would be experienced by a citizen or lawful permanent resident who is already in the U.S. if a person outside the U.S. were barred from entry. The hardship must be proved in two parts: 

  1. The citizen or resident must prove that he or she will experience extreme hardship within the U.S. if the foreign individual is not allowed to enter the U.S.
  2. The citizen or resident must prove that he or she will also experience extreme hardship if he or she must move to the foreign individual’s country because the applicant is not allowed to enter the U.S.

The resident or citizen is most often the child, parent, spouse or fiancé of the person outside the U.S.

What Sorts of Hardships Experienced Within the U.S. Can Lead to the Approval of an Extreme Hardship Waiver?

The USCIS needs to be informed of the specific hardships the citizen or lawful permanent resident will face if 1) a foreign national isn’t allowed to enter the U.S., and 2) to the citizen or resident remains in the U.S. Hardships in this category that the USCIS often approves include:

  • Loss of financial support that the citizen or resident would have received from the alien had he or she been allowed to enter the U.S.
  • Loss of support and subsequent care required by the citizen or resident in the event of a medical emergency
  • Mental health issues on the part of the citizen or resident that would be exacerbated if the alien is not allowed to enter the U.S.


What Sorts of Hardships Experienced Outside the U.S. Can Lead to the Approval of an Extreme Hardship Waiver?

The USCIS will also want to know what kind of hardships the citizen or lawful permanent resident will face if he or she is forced to leave the U.S. and join the alien in his or her country, if the alien isn’t allowed to enter the U.S. Hardships in this category that the USCIS often approves include:
 

  • Difficulty adjusting to a new country
  • Lack of educational, medical and financial resources in the foreign country
  • Lack of health insurance in the foreign country
  • Mental health issues on the part of the citizen or resident that would be exacerbated if he or she is forced to leave the U.S.

Another hardship that can result and that the USCIS may consider is the loss of a “pillar of the community” in the U.S. if the citizen or resident leaves the U.S.

Why Can’t the Applicant Simply Enter the U.S. Via Normal Channels?

Extreme hardship waivers are intended for use by individuals who face various barriers to entry to the U.S. that extend beyond the usual difficulties that immigration and entry most often involve. These barriers can result from:

  • A crime committed in the U.S.
  • Failure to disclose an expunged crime committed in the U.S.
  • A lie told in an interview with a U.S. immigration official
  • A previous record of illegally entering or leaving the U.S.
  • Marital status fraud

When applying for an extreme hardship waiver, you may need to use tax, health, criminal, loan and other documents to prove hardship. To ensure your best chance of approval, we can handle this matter for you.  Call us now for your complimentary initial consultation, Franz Cobos, Esq.

 


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