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Proving Extreme Hardship for I-601A Provisional Waiver for Unlawful Presence

Thumbnail image for USCISLogoEnglish.jpgAt the beginning of the year, USCIS introduced the I-601A Provisional Waiver for Unlawful Presence. This post will focus on the extreme hardship standard that must be met for this type of waiver. If you qualify, you must be able to prove extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen spouse or parent. This person is known as the qualifying relative.

“Extreme hardship” must be proved by showing that the hardship the qualifying relative will experience if the alien is denied admission will be more than normal. It is important to prove two things: (1) why the qualifying relative cannot move abroad, and (2) why the qualifying relative cannot live in the U.S. without the alien.

The following are a couple of strong examples of extreme hardship:

1. Qualifying relative with a major medical condition that requires the alien’s care and does not allow him/her to move abroad. You must be able to explain why no other relative would be able to provide the same level or care or support to the qualifying relative.

2. Alien’s country of citizenship is in active war or is currently experiencing a major political upheaval.

It is necessary to do more than simply state that there is a problem. You must explain how the problem affects the qualifying relative and how the problem will be made worse by qualifying relative’s presence in the alien’s country or the alien’s absence from the U.s
It is important to note that waivers are discretionary decisions. Extreme hardship may be one of the most important elements, but it is not the only one taken into consideration. It is possible for a waiver to be denied on discretion even when extreme hardship has been proved. Therefore, consider speaking to an attorney who can evaluate your circumstances and advise you on the best way to proceed.