Waivers of Inadmissibility and Removability
In certain cases, an individual may be deemed by the U.S. government as inadmissible (unable to enter the U.S., or if in the U.S., unable to adjust status – get a green card in the U.S.). If that is the case, it may be possible to file Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, to avoid the harsh consequences of inadmissibility.
The I-601 waiver (under Section 212(a)(9)(B)(v) and Section 212(i))of the Immigration and Nationality Act) waives the “unlawful presence” and “misrepresentation” grounds of inadmissibility for foreign nationals if they can demonstrate that his or her U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent would suffer “extreme hardship” if the foreign national is not allowed to remain in (or return to) the United States. A U.S. citizen fiancé(e) may also be a qualifying relative for purposes of the waiver.
At Slowik & Robinson, our attorneys are often asked to define “extreme hardship” for our clients or prospective clients. Extreme hardship is better understood when you break it down into a series of factors which relate to the government’s determination. These factors include:
- The age of the foreign national, both at the time of entry to the United States and at the time of application for suspension of deportation;
- The age, number, and immigration status of the foreign national's children and their ability to speak the native language and to adjust to life in the country of return;
- The health condition of the foreign national or the foreign national's children, spouse, or parents and the availability of any required medical treatment in the country to which the foreign national would be returned;
- The foreign national's ability to obtain employment in the country to which the foreign national would be returned;
- The foreign national’s length of residence in the United States;
- The existence of other family members who are or will be legally residing in the United States;
- The financial impact of the foreign national's departure;
- The impact of a disruption of educational opportunities;
- The psychological impact of the foreign national's deportation;
- The current political and economic conditions in the country to which the foreign national would be returned;
- Family and other ties to the country to which the foreign national would be returned;
- Contributions to and ties to a community in the United States, including the degree of integration into society;
- Immigration history, including authorized residence in the United States; and
- The availability of other means of adjusting to permanent resident status.
This list is not exhaustive, nor is it in any way intended to cover all of the various forms of hardship that your family might face should your loved one not be allowed to return (or remain) in the United States. Rather than using this as a checklist, you should consider this list to be merely a few examples of the type of equities that our government would take into consideration when making the extreme hardship determination.
Keep in mind that all factors relevant to extreme hardship must be taken into consideration. Even if no single factor rises to the level of “extreme hardship,” the cumulative effect of all the hardships could meet the standard.
Each waiver case is very specific to the circumstances of each foreign national, and his or her family. Additionally, all I-601 waivers are discretionary, and require the foreign national to establish his or her eligibility based on statutory grounds and, furthermore, establish that the foreign national merits an exercise of favorable discretion by the immigration authorities. Therefore, it is always wise to consult with an immigration attorney, such as a Slowik & Robinson lawyer, who specializes in I-601 waivers before beginning the complicated process of preparing and filing a waiver.
Call or email us to schedule a consultation with a member of the Slowik & Robinson team, to discuss the possibility of applying for an I-601 waiver of inadmissibility.