Our office received approval of the I-601 Application of Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility for a Romanian client who is subject to the 10 year unlawful presence bar under INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(II) and a life-time bar for fraud/misrepresentation under INA Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i).
INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(II) states:
Any alien who has been unlawfully present in the United States for one year or more, and who again seeks admission within 10 years of the date of such alien’s departure or removal from the United States is inadmissible.
INA Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) states:
Any alien who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this Act is inadmissible.
Our client entered the U.S. lawfully on a valid non-immigrant visa and overstayed his authorized period of stay by over 1 year before voluntarily departing back to his home country of Romania. During his stay inside the United States, he met and married his U.S. citizen wife. He eventually re-located to the United Kingdom, where his U.S. citizen wife joined him due to his inadmissibility to the U.S.. The couple gave birth to a U.S. citizen child who resides with them in London. The couple contacted my office after the Romanian husband was denied at his immigrant visa interview at the U.S. embassy in London due to being subject to the 10 year unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility and life-time bar fraud/misrepresentation.
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.
We prepared a comprehensive I-601 waiver application including a 29 page legal brief going over how the facts and circumstances of our clients’ lives met the legal standards used to define “extreme hardship.” We also thoroughly discussed and presented evidence of the U.S. citizen wife’s mother’s medical condition, as well as the precarious physical state of the U.S. citizen wife’s grandparents. The condition of the U.S. citizen wife’s mother and grand-parents were carefully presented to demonstrate their intimate link and relevance to the psychological hardship being faced by the qualifying relative (the U.S. citizen wife).
This case was also challenging because the U.S. citizen wife and her Romanian husband were residing in London, United Kingdom, together with their child who was born outside the U.S. We had to overcome the presumption that a family already residing abroad in a major metropolis such as London has adjusted to life abroad already and is not suffering extreme hardship. However, due to our experience handling similar cases over the past 12+ years, we anticipated this issue and presented an array of financial, psychological, and other hardship evidence to overcome such a presumption.
The supporting documents submitted as part of this I-601 waiver application included:
- Personal affidavits from the U.S. citizen wife’s parents and grand-parents affirming the hardships factors presented in this I-601 waiver
- Psycho-social evaluation of the U.S. citizen wife which confirms a substantial risk for psychiatric decompensation, and, potentially, an increased risk for suicide due to the immigration consequences of her Romanian husband’s inadmissibility
- A specific discussion of Attachment theory (based on the idea that the bond between an infant and his or her primary caregiver is the crucial and primary influence infant development).
- We often cite credible studies and reports from a variety of fields to support our I-601 and I-212 waiver applications. In this case, we referenced a World Health Organization’s study on attachment and early childhood development, which states that loss of a primary caregiver can substantially harm a young child’s psychological and emotional development.
- Medical records of the U.S. citizen’s wife’s mother
- Medical records of the U.S. citizen wife’s grand-parents.
- Detailed break-down of the family’s household income, expenses and debt/liabilities
- Detailed country conditions of Romania, particularly as it relates to income, job opportunities, and health care
- Letters of good moral character and rehabilitation for the Romanian husband
As a result of our efforts, our client was approved for the I-601 Waiver and consequently, this family of mother, father, and son will be able to live in the United States and provide support to close U.S. citizen relatives who are in need.