What is “extreme hardship” for immigration purposes and the I-601 waiver?
Extreme hardship is not defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act, but it is generally understood to mean hardship that is greater than the normal hardship a qualifying relative can be expected to experience if you are denied admission. This vague definition means that there is no right or wrong answer. However, it also means that the officer reviewing your case has broad discretion in deciding whether or not your relative’s circumstances constitute extreme hardship.
Immigration officials determine whether extreme hardship exists by looking at a wide range of facts, including medical or emotional problems of your relative, particularly problems that could not be effectively treated in your home country. The immigration official will also assess your relative’s family ties to the United States and lack of similar ties in your home country, your relative’s employment and educational prospects in your home country, your relative’s knowledge of or ability to learn the native language of the your home country, as well as whether there is a risk of severe financial hardship if you are not allowed to stay in the United States. It is important to note that your relative being forced to move to an unfamiliar country or face separation from you does not establish extreme hardship.
If your waiver is not granted, you must live in your home country for many years before being able to apply for a U.S. visa again. Our office can help you analyze all the relevant facts in your case and present the most important hardship factors. We will help you create the strongest case possible. Our experienced Los Angeles immigration attorneys at JCS Immigration and Visa Law Office have extensive experience assisting immigrants in applying for adjustment of status, inadmissibility exceptions, waivers, and cancellation of removal.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact us.