What is extreme hardship?

WHAT IS EXTREME HARDSHIP IN IMMIGRATION LAW?

A challenge some immigrants face is how to prove extreme hardship so they can remain in the United States. Extreme hardship is a waiver that can, under certain circumstances, allow immigrants who illegally entered the United States and have been living in the country for more than a year to avoid the standard 10-year ban to reentry. Extreme hardship falls under the I-601 Waiver and requires the applicant to show that deportation would lead to an extreme or insurmountable hardship.  If you are needing to prove an extreme hardship case, contact a deportation attorney at Carman Fullerton who can help.  Our skilled and experienced lawyers can guide you through the process.  Call us at 859-971-0060.

WHAT IS EXTREME HARDSHIP IN IMMIGRATION LAW?

Extreme hardship is a status for foreign nationals already living in the U.S. who otherwise would have been denied admission into the United States. Like the U visa, extreme hardship allows those who would not otherwise qualify for residence to remain in the United States under certain circumstances. Unlike the U visa, however, you don’t have to have been the victim of a crime in order to qualify for extreme hardship. You only have to be able to show that your deportation would cause an extreme hardship for a member of your immediate family.

WHAT IS AN EXTREME HARDSHIP WAIVER?

You may be asking yourself, “what is an extreme hardship waiver?”  This is a legal decision that bans you or a family member from being deported or denied reentry into the United States.  If you apply, your case must be an extreme hardship. Extreme hardship does not include the typical effects of deportation. Things like losing your job, being forced to move, and separation of parents from children are all considered “typical” hardships by the USCIS. These things are not considered an extreme hardship, and in order to qualify for an I-601 Waiver, you must be able to show that deportation would lead to an extreme hardship on the part of your immediate family.  If you need help with your case, call us at 859-971-0060.

EXTREME HARDSHIP APPROVAL RATES

It’s hard to know the exact extreme hardship approval rates in the United States because there are so many factors in play.  Generally, the more fully you or a family member meet and can prove elements of the guidelines for extreme hardship, the greater your chances are for getting a waiver.  Here, having documentation and other essential data is crucial.  This is when an immigration attorney can be of greatest help because he or she knows how to apply persuasively for a waiver and back it up with documentation.

HOW LONG DOES A HARDSHIP WAIVER TAKE TO GET APPROVED?

The more complete the application, the faster it will likely be approved.  A skilled and experienced immigration attorney can create a complete packet for you that you can then take to the appropriate authorities.   The key is to create the inescapable conclusion that a waiver must be granted.  Any missing paperwork or poorly written communication can slow down the approval process.

WHO QUALIFIES FOR EXTREME HARDSHIP?

Eligibility for extreme hardship is not clearly defined, but the USCIS categorizes it into four levels. Level one is the strongest case, while level four is the weakest. USCIS offers the following examples for each level:

  • Level 1: A member of the immigrant’s immediate family has a serious medical problem and cannot safely travel. In this case, the applicant would need to stay in the U.S. to take care of the sick person.
  • Level 2:This could occur if the applicant’s country is on the verge of a major political crisis. It could also happen when an immigrants’ family member has a medical problem which would make moving abroad difficult.
  • Level 3: This can occur if the immigrant’s family member has a serious medical issue, rendering moving abroad very difficult, and if the home country has an extremely poor economy that would cause the family member to miss out on necessary medical assistance.
  • Level 4: This can happen if there is a sick family member and the relatives of the immigrant do not have the ability to pay for care, or if the sick relative’s parents are aging.

As you can see, extreme hardship generally concerns illness in immediate family members.

HELP IN APPLYING FOR AN EXTREME HARDSHIP WAIVER

If you are in the United States without status and need to stay in the country in order to prevent your immediate family from suffering an extreme hardship, you need to find a way to get a waiver in order to keep yourself from being deported. Please give Carman Fullerton, PLLC a call today at 859-971-0060 or fill out the online contact form to get help now.