We received approval of a client’s immigrant visa petition and I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. Our office prepared and filed the I-130 petition, secured its approval, then put together a comprehensive I-601 waiver package that was submitted to the USCIS for adjudication. The I-601 waiver was approved and our client obtained his immigrant visa at the U.S. consulate in Ciudad Juarez before returning to the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident.
Our client was a native of Mexico who entered the U.S. without inspection over 11 years ago. He subsequently married a U.S. citizen and they had a daughter together. He required the I-601 Application of Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility due to his unlawful presence of over 1 year inside the United States, which made him subject to the 10 year unlawful presence bar under INA Section 212(a)(9)(B).
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. “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 his I-601 waiver application, I prepared a comprehensive legal brief going over how the facts and circumstances of his 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.
Factors in the favor of our client were the following:
- Our client had no criminal record and was a law-abiding individual his entire life except for the immigration mistake he made to enter and live illegally inside the U.S.
- His U.S. citizen wife had suffered from severe kidney and bladder infections her entire life. We obtained a letter from her physician confirming her chronic condition and recommending regular check-ups and treatment inside the United States
- Their daughter had been diagnosed with jaundice. We obtained a letter from her physician confirming her illness and recommending regular check-ups inside the United States.
- We provided a report of the Mexican health system and demonstrated that the U.S. citizen wife and daughter would not be able to receive reliable and adequate medical care for their conditions in rural Mexico where the Mexican husband was from.
- The U.S. citizen wife and child received medical care in the United States through health insurance provided by the Mexican husband’s employment in the United States. Without his presence and employment in the U.S., they would lose their medical coverage. On the other hand, moving to Mexico would also mean no longer being able to obtain medical treatments since she could not afford private health insurance given their pre-existing conditions.
- Our client was a devoted husband and father who took care of his U.S. citizen wife and child on a daily basis and worked hard to pay for their rent, food, and other living expenses. They would suffer financial hardship without his presence given their health problems and the U.S. citizen wife serving as the primary care-giver for their young daughter.
- We submitted a psychological report which diagnosed the U.S. citizen wife with Clinical Anxiety Disorder. We showed the interrelationship between psychological and physical disease, and presented evidence to show that her condition would worsen without the presence of her husband together with her in the United States.
As a result of the I-601 waiver approval, this family now lives inside the United States as lawful, contributing citizens of the United States.