PART 1: MATTERS OF EXTREME HARDSHIP
The hardship focus must be on the “qualifying relative” which is the US citizen. Evidence of hardship includes the following factors:
- Medical Hardships:
Details of medical/physical conditions which could not be well-managed if the applicant were away and if the relative had to move to the applicant’s home country.
- Financial Hardships
This becomes a potential factor when it applies to financial loss and a negative impact to US citizen’s basic needs rather than missing out on a lifestyle change or improvement,
- Emotional/Mental Health Hardship
Nobody can deny that separation from loved ones is stressful, anxiety-producing, even a finding of clinical depression. But if the relative has no history of needing mental health care (showing their particular sensitivity), then this is not a strong factor to argue and document
- Other Extremes of Hardship to US citizen
Of course there are many other potential factors relevant to extreme hardship, such as any political conditions in the applicant’s home country which would make it extremely difficult, dangerous, for the US citizen to leave the US to join applicant. In any circumstance, there must be a clear showing that certain obstacles in life of US citizen cannot be overcome without the applicant gaining his or her immigrant visa.
PART 2: MATTERS OF DISCRETION
Even if extreme hardships are established, if the impact of mitigating and aggravating factors are not spelled out well, the I-601 waiver may be denied as a matter of discretion. Therefore, providing a legal brief with your application will help explain how you qualify for a I-601 hardship waiver.
Mitigation Factors (work in your favor)
Because strong mitigating factors will lower the burden to establish extreme hardship, you will want to include factors such as”
- How long the relationship between the applicant and US citizen has existed,
- Whether small children are involved and whether US citizens,
- What are circumstances that prompted applicant to apply for the waiver, and
- What is the degree of the applicant’s past behavior in bringing on need for waiver (culpability).
Aggravating Factors (work against your argument for approval of waiver)
Now since the aggravating factors will increase the level of hardship that the applicant would have to establish, it is important to be aware of these factors, which include:
- Any prior criminal record (regardless of basis of inadmissibility),
- Previous and multiple immigration violations,
- Multiple marriages,
- Avoided deportation proceedings,
- Whether the qualifying relative immigrated to the US as an adult from the same country as the waiver applicant.
It is important to highlight the mitigating factors and address the aggravating factors in any I-601 waiver application.
Next steps to approval
Applying for an I-601 Hardship Waiver can be time consuming and complicated. And it is commonly a source of anxiety due to the fact that the hardship decision carries so much impact on family members and timelines for reaching goals for the future.
Please contact the Ranchod Law Group at 415-986-6186 to schedule a consultation.