Our office received approval of the I-601 “Extreme Hardship” Waiver for a Mexican applicant married to a U.S. citizen husband. The U.S. citizen husband contacted my office after his Mexican wife attended her consular interview at Ciudad Juarez and was deemed inadmissible to the U.S. based on being subject to the “10 year unlawful presence bar” pursuant to INA Section 212(a)(9)(B).
Our I-601 Waiver application package included a complete set of USCIS forms requesting consideration of the I-601 Waiver; a 21 page waiver statement detailing relevant case law favorable to my client’s situation and presenting the extreme hardships that applied to this case; and a comprehensive collection of exhibits to prove the extreme hardships being presented.
Section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Act provides, in pertinent part:
(i) In General – Any alien (other than an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence) who –
(II) 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 alien’s departure or removal from the United States, is inadmissible.
(v) Waiver. – The Attorney General [now the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary)] has sole discretion to waive clause (i) in the case of an immigrant who is the spouse or son or daughter of a United States citizen or of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, if it is established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General [Secretary] that the refusal of admission to such immigrant alien would result in extreme hardship to the citizen or lawfully resident spouse or parent of such alien.
”Extreme hardship,” for purposes of the I-601 Waiver, 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.
I drafted a comprehensive 21 page waiver memorandum outlining the relevant case law favorable to my client’s situation. It also discussed in detail the medical, financial, emotional, and psychological hardships the U.S. citizen husband (and their children) are presently suffering from, and proved how they would worsen in the event of continued separation of this family. I also highlighted a variety compelling factors in the lives of the applicant and her family that I believed warranted an exercise of favorable discretion on the part of the USCIS.
Some of the relevant factors in this case included the following:
- The U.S. citizen daughter suffers from Febrile Seizures, Epilepsy, Unconjugated Hyperbilirubinemia, and has a history of life-threatening incidents that required surgery and treatment. She also suffers from depressive disorder, aggravated by the absence of her mother from her life due to her mother’s inadmissibility to the U.S.
- The other U.S. citizen daughter is hyperactive and has been injured numerous times due to her uncontrolled behavior, including plastic surgery needed for her most recent injury to her skull.
- The U.S. citizen husband suffers from crippling Anxiety Disorder, overwhelmed by the burden of caring for two sick children while under imminent threat of termination by his employer due to his absences from work to take care of his children and visit his wife in Mexico.
- The loss of his employment would terminate the medical insurance he receives through his Union-job, which helps pay for the medical expenses incurred by himself and his family
- The loss of his employment would cause financial collapse given his existing financial debt including mortgage on the family home
- The U.S. citizen’s extensive family ties to the U.S. including brothers and sisters
- The country conditions of the region in Mexico where the wife resides (and where the family would have to re-locate to in the event she is not admitted), including specific instances of violent crimes that have recently occurred in her immediate vicinity
As a result of the I-601 Waiver prepared and submitted by my office, the waiver application was approved and this family can soon be re-united inside the United States.