Our office received approval of an I-601 waiver filed on behalf of a Mexican wife and her U.S. citizen husband. Our client entered the United States without inspection over 12 years ago with her family and has lived in the U.S. since then. She was deemed inadmissible to the U.S. based on Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, for having been unlawfully present in the United States for more than one year and seeking readmission within 10 years of her last departure from the United States.
This case was decided before the current I-601A provisional waiver came into effect. As a result, we first obtained approval of the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. Our client then traveled to the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez to attend her consular interview where she submitted the I-601 waiver package I prepared on her behalf. 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.” This brief was accompanied by supporting exhibits that provided proof of the statements made in the legal brief.
INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) provides that a waiver, under INA Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II), is applicable solely where the applicant establishes extreme hardship to her U.S. citizen or lawfully resident spouse or parent. Extreme hardship is “not a definable term of fixed and inflexible content or meaning, but necessarily depends upon the facts and circumstances peculiar to each case.” Matter of Hwang, 10 I&N Dec. 448, 451 (BIA 1964 ).
In Matter of Cervantes-Gonzalez, 22 I&N Dec. 560, 565-66 (BIA 1999), the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) provided a list of factors it deemed relevant in determining whether an alien has established extreme hardship to a qualifying relative. The factors include the presence of a lawful permanent resident or United States citizen spouse or parent in this country; the qualifying relative’s family ties outside the United States; the conditions in the country or countries to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties in such countries; the financial impact of departure from this country; and significant conditions of health, particularly when tied to an unavailability of suitable medical care in the country to which the qualifying relative would relocate.
This case was particularly challenging because our client and her husband had no children. The U.S. citizen husband also had no medical problems of note, and his U.S. citizen parents were in relatively good health. However, the U.S. citizen husband was in the U.S. Navy serving on board a guided missile cruiser. Among a variety of extreme hardships discussed, we showed that the extreme psychological hardship he would suffer upon separation from his wife would seriously impact his ability to perform his critical military duties. Alternatively, moving to Mexico to be with his wife would not be possible since that would be considered desertion and lead to a court marshal. This case was approved and our client now resides legally inside the United States as a lawful permanent resident.