The I-601 “Hardship” Waiver
I got a call from a client that the Mexican Consulate had approved our I-601 Waiver. We were both ecstatic. This meant she will be coming back to the United States where her family was waiting. My client is a native of Mexico. Her parents brought her to the U.S. when she was seven years old. They did not go through immigration inspection. My client has been married to a U.S. citizen for nine years and they have two children, ages eight and five. My client had an approved I-130 petition filed by her husband, but her adjustment of status to become a legal permanent resident was denied because she entered the U.S. without inspection twenty years ago. An application for I-601 waiver or hardship waiver is necessary when an immigrant visa applicant has been determined to be “inadmissible” based on one or more ineligibilities. The most common ineligibilities are unlawful presence and fraud in entering the U.S. or obtaining a visa. When the I-601 waiver is approved, the ineligibility is waived and an immigrant visa is issued to the alien applicant. In proving the I-601 waiver, the alien applicant must prove that the qualifying relative would suffer extreme if she or he moves to the applicant alien’s country. A qualifying relative could either be a U.S citizen spouse or parent. In addition, it must be proven the qualifying relative can’t simply remain in the U.S. without the applicant alien. The term “extreme hardship” means over and above the normal hardship one would expect a qualifying relative to experience if the alien applicant is denied the visa. Some good arguments to support support an extremen hardship case would be: serious medical problem of the qualifying relative; minor child from a prior relationship and the noncustodial parent does not consent to the child being taken to the alien’s home country; domestic violence concerns, racism or security risk abroad; and unavailable career.