Client Approval: I-601 Extraordinary Circumstances Waiver Approved by Showing Exceptional or Extremely Unusual Hardship

Client Approval: I-601 Extraordinary Circumstances Waiver Approved by Showing Exceptional or Extremely Unusual Hardship

Our office received approval of the I-601 Application of Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility for a citizen of Japan who was subject to a life-time bar from being admitted to the United States for conviction of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT) under INA Section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).

Our client was previously convicted of two separate charges of assault, one of which was considered by the USCIS to be a “violent and dangerous criminal act.”

The court in Matter of Jean, 23 I. & N. Dec. 373 (AG 2002) heightened the standard that requires the government to deny relief to people convicted of violent or dangerous crimes, except in extraordinary circumstances, such as those involving national security or foreign policy considerations, or where the denial of relief would result in exceptional or extremely unusual hardship.

The standard announced in Matter of Jean was subsequently adopted into regulations at 8 CFR § 1212.7(d) (governing 212(h) waivers).

INA 212(h)(1)(A) provides that certain grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)-(II), (B), and (E) of the Act may be waived in the case of an alien who demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that:

  • the activities for which he is inadmissible occurred more than fifteen years before the date of the alien’s application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status;
  • the admission would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the U.S.; and
  • the alien has been rehabilitated.

The Attorney General may also waive the grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(2)(D)(i)-(ii) of the Act with regard to prostitution if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the alien’s admission would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the U.S., and that the alien has been rehabilitated. INA 212(h)(1)(A).

INA 212(h)(1)(B) provides that certain grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)-(II), (B), (D)-(E) of the Act may be waived in the case of an alien who demonstrates that his removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship to his United States citizen or lawful resident parent, spouse, son, or daughter.

Our office was contacted after the Japanese waiver applicant and her U.S. citizen husband (a member of the U.S. Armed Forces) filed for the I-601 Waiver on their own after the applicant was deemed inadmissible at her consular interview.  Their “self-prepared” I-601 Waiver triggered a Request for Additional Evidence which stated that the couple had failed to show extraordinary circumstances that would warrant approval of their I-601 waiver application.

In order to meet this heightened standard of review (which is even more difficult to achieve than for a standard “extreme hardship” waiver) , we initiated our firm’s comprehensive process for preparation of powerful and effective immigration waiver applications.

We reviewed all of the material the couple previously submitted to the USCIS, forwarded our Extreme Hardship Worksheet to the couple (which contains questions designed to elicit extreme hardships and other persuasive factors), and provided a comprehensive checklist of supporting documents to gather and return to our office .

We also recommended the couple to a psychologist well-versed in preparing psychological evaluations for immigration waivers and who offers a significantly discounted fee for my clients (please refer to my post on the elements of a powerful psychological evaluation for I-601 waiver applications for more details).

Once we identified the most important factors of the case, we prepared a comprehensive 20 page legal brief going over how the facts and circumstances of our client’s situation not only met the legal standards used to define “extreme hardship,” but rose to the level of “exceptional or extremely unusual hardship”.  We also argued that national security and policy considerations warranted approval of the I-601 waiver based upon the important duties and meritorious service undertaken by the U.S. citizen spouse who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

We presented our own case law that was relevant to the facts and circumstances of our case and supported approval of our waiver application.  Additionally, a table of exhibits referenced a variety of objective evidence in support of a showing of “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.

We discussed and elaborated upon evidence of the waiver applicant’s rehabilitation, good moral character, and her overall dedication as a wife and mother who is integral to the emotional support of her U.S. citizen husband (who suffers from Anxiety Disorder, triggered by heavy combat and fatalities of unit members experienced during his multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan).

We also highlighted the’ waiver applicant’s role in helping her U.S. citizen husband care for his elderly U.S. citizen parents, who suffer from serious life-threatening medical conditions (including Type II Diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, among other conditions), and who rely upon their son for financial support and overall care.

We made sure every single facet of our client’s case was documented and that the objections raised by the USCIS in their previous denial was fully addressed to maximize the chances of approval.

As a result of our efforts, the couple’s I-601 “Extreme Hardship” Waiver Application was approved and this family now lawfully resides together in the United States.