I-601 Extreme Hardship Waiver Approved

I601 Waiver

Our office received approval of the I-601 Application of Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility for a Mexican client who was subject to the 10 year unlawful presence bar under INA Section 212(a)(9)(B).  She was also subject to the fraud/misrepresentation ground of inadmissibility under INA Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) due to the use of a false document to enter the United States.

I prepared and filed three separate I-130 immediate relative petitions and ultimately received approval for three immigrant visas: for the Mexican wife who required the I-601 waiver, and her two Mexican children who did not require unlawful presence waivers since they were both under the age of 18.  Any period of time spent unlawfully in the U.S. while under the age of 18 does not count toward calculating unlawful presence under INA Section 212(a)(9)(B) [9 FAM 40.92 N 4.1].

An I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility requires a showing that the applicant’s U.S. citizen spouse or parent would suffer “extreme hardship” if the applicant is refused admission into the United States.  A US citizen fiancé(e) may also be a qualifying relative for purposes of the waiver according to 9 FAM 41.81 N9.3(a) and 8 CFR 212.7(a)(1)(i).

”Extreme hardship” has a special meaning under U.S. immigration law.  The factors considered relevant in determining extreme hardship include:

  • Health of the qualifying relative: ongoing or specialized treatment requirements for a physical or mental condition; availability and quality of such treatment in the foreign national’s country, anticipated duration of the treatment; whether a condition is chronic or acute, or long or short-term.
  • Financial considerations: future employability; loss due to sale of home or business or termination of a professional practice; decline in standard of living; ability to recoup short-term losses; cost of extraordinary needs, such as special education or training for children; cost of caring for family members (i.e., elderly and infirm parents).
  • Education: loss of opportunity for higher education; lower quality or limited scope of education options; disruption of current program; requirement to be educated in a foreign language or culture with ensuing loss of time in grade; availability of special requirements, such as training programs or internships in specific fields.
  • Personal considerations: close relatives in the United States and/or the foreign national’s country; separation from spouse/children; ages of involved parties; length of residence and community ties in the United States.
  • Special considerations: cultural, language, religious, and ethnic obstacles; valid fears of persecution, physical harm, or injury; social ostracism or stigma; access to social institutions or structures.
  • Any other information that explains how your personal circumstances may qualify as imposing extreme hardship on a qualifying U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative.

Spouses must demonstrate that their relationship will suffer more than the normal hardship or financial inconvenience caused by family separation.

In support of her I-601 waiver application, I prepared a comprehensive legal brief going over how the facts and circumstances of her situation met the legal standards used to define “extreme hardship.”  I also discussed and presented evidence of her rehabilitation, good moral character, and overall dedication as a wife and mother who was integral to the daily care of her ill U.S. citizen husband (and his elderly mother).  Since this was her second marriage to a U.S. citizen, I presented compelling evidence that both marriages were genuine when entered into as well as the reasons why her previous marriage ended in divorce.  A table of exhibits also listed a variety of evidence in support of a showing of “extreme hardship” including:

  • Letter and medical records from the physician of the U.S. citizen husband’s mother, confirming her diabetes, hip surgery, frequent infections, low blood sugar, and overall precarious health
  • Affidavits attesting to the U.S. citizen husband’s daily care of his elderly mother with the assistance of his Mexican wife, including hand-feeding her meals on a regular basis
  • U.S. citizen husband being evaluated as 100% disabled for post-traumatic stress disorder by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs resulting from his tours of duty during the Vietnam War
  • Letter from a psychiatrist confirming long-term treatment of the U.S. citizen husband for post-traumatic stress disorder
  •  War decorations awarded to the U.S. citizen husband during his service during the Vietnam War

As a result of our efforts, our client was approved for the I-601 and subsequently, received her lawful permanent residence together with her two children.