Extreme Hardship Waiver

In some instances, an individual may try to get a U.S. visa or green card but is inadmissible on certain grounds. This may include something like an inadmissible crime on the individual’s record. In certain cases, the United States Citizenship, and Immigration Services (USCIS) can exercise discretion and waive what would otherwise be an inadmissible condition on a person seeking to immigrate to the U.S. in certain cases, however, a waiver may only be available in cases of “extreme hardship.”

What is an Extreme Hardship Waiver?

Extreme hardship waivers may be available in certain instances where a person who is otherwise inadmissible to the U.S. can show that not be admitted into the country would cause extreme hardship for a qualifying relative. The USCIS maintains that strong evidence that the relative would face extreme hardship in the U.S. if the otherwise inadmissible individual was not let into the country or strong evidence that the relative would face extreme hardship in the home country.

There is no clear definition of “extreme hardship” in U.S. law. Instead, USCIS adjudicators will consider a range of factors to decide if extreme hardship exists in each case. In fact, USCIS must consider all relevant factors in rendering this decision. Relevant factors to consider in determining if a waiver should be granted based on extreme hardship include:

  • The immigrant’s age at the time of entry into the United States as well as at the time the application for relief is filed
  • The ages of the waiver applicant’s children
  • The ability of the applicant’s children to speak the native language should they be forced to return
  • The ability of the applicant’s children to adjust to life in the country of origin should they be forced to return
  • The availability of medical treatment needed by a qualifying relative in the country of origin
  • The applicant’s length of U.S. residency
  • Contributions the applicant has made to the U.S. community
  • Ties the applicant has to the U.S. community

Not all factors will be given the same weight. It is within the discretion of the USCIS officer reviewing the application to determine whether or not a waiver pursuant to extreme hardship is merited.

With extreme hardship waivers, a qualifying relative usually means a spouse, parent, or child. The extreme hardship test is applicable to several different types of waivers, including

  • Waiver of deportation or barred entry (Form I-601)
  • Provisional unlawful presence waiver (Form I-601(a))
  • Waiver of inadmissibility for certain crimes (Immigration and National Act (INA) 212(h))
  • Waiver of conditions on lawful permanent resident status (INA 212(i))

What is an Extreme Hardship Visa (I 601 A)?

The official name for the extreme hardship visa is an I-601A provisional waiver of inadmissibility. This waiver is for certain immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are living in the United States and wish to remain in the country but cannot do so because they are considered inadmissible.

The term “extreme hardship” is not defined in the law, but USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) has interpreted it to mean “significant difficulties” that are more than what a person typically experiences when leaving their home country.

These difficulties include, but are not limited to:

– health problems

– financial problems

– family ties in the United States

– fear of persecution or torture

To be eligible for an extreme hardship waiver, you must prove that your spouse or parent would experience extreme hardship if you were not allowed to remain in the United States.

It is important to note that USCIS will only consider your spouse or parent’s hardships – they will not take into account your hardships.

Who is eligible for an I 601 A visa?

The eligibility criteria for an extreme hardship waiver are as follows:

– You must be the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen

– You must be inadmissible to the United States

– You must have an immigrant visa interview scheduled

– You must prove that your spouse or parent would experience extreme hardship if you were not allowed to remain in the United States

How long does it take to get an I 601 A visa approved?

The processing time for an extreme hardship waiver can vary depending on the individual case. However, it generally takes between 4-and 6 months for USCIS to decide on the waiver.

This is because USCIS needs to carefully review each case to ensure that the applicant meets all the eligibility requirements and that there is a legitimate reason for the waiver.

How much does it cost to apply for an I 601 A visa?

There is a filing fee of $601(check prices on the USCIS website) for the I-601A provisional waiver application. There are also costs associated with the immigrant visa application, depending on the country of origin.

Other costs to consider include the cost of any supporting documentation, such as birth certificates or medical records, and the cost of travel to and from the immigrant visa interview. Your lawyer fees will also need to be considered.

What are the benefits of an I 601 A visa?

If you are approved for an extreme hardship waiver, you will be able to remain in the United States with your family while your immigrant visa is being processed. This can take several months, but it allows you to avoid the separation of your family during this time.

Another benefit of the I-601A waiver is that it allows you to apply for a work permit while you are waiting for your immigrant visa to be processed. This can be extremely helpful if you need to support your family financially during this time.

What is the process for obtaining an I 601 A visa in the United States?

The first step in applying for an extreme hardship waiver is to file an I-601A provisional waiver application with USCIS.

You will need to provide evidence of your relationship with a U.S. citizen and prove your inadmissibility to the United States. You will also need to confirm that your spouse or parent would experience extreme hardship if you were not allowed to remain in the United States.

Once your application has been filed, you will be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy. This interview is where you will need to provide evidence of your extreme hardship waiver.

At the interview, a consular officer will review your case and decide on whether or not to approve your waiver. Your consular officer will take into account all of the evidence you have provided and any other relevant factors.

If your waiver is approved, you will be able to proceed with your immigrant visa application and be on your way to living in the United States with your family.

What happens after my I 601 A visa is approved?

Once your extreme hardship waiver is approved, you will be able to schedule your immigrant visa interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy. This interview involves a review of your waiver by a consular officer and a consultation to confirm your identity and eligibility for an immigrant visa.

You will need to present all the required documentation at the interview, including your I-601A approval notice, and undergo a medical examination. This examination ensures that you are not inadmissible to the United States on health-related grounds.

Once you have completed your interview and medical examination, you will be issued an immigrant visa. This visa allows you to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident.

You will then be able to live and work in the United States with your family and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship.

Applying for an extreme hardship waiver can be a complex and confusing process, but it is possible to navigate the process with the help of an experienced immigration lawyer.

Claudia Ribas has worked in immigration for over 20 years and understands the hardship waiver process well. She can write Psychological Reports to help increase your chances of possible success.

If you or a loved one is facing separation from your family due to inadmissibility, contact us today. We’ll review your case and advise you on the best course of action.

Call us now.