When a potential client calls to discuss their 601 waiver case, it is always essential to discuss with them what constitutes extreme hardship for the purposes of the 601 waiver.  Frequently, the client will assume that his or her particular situation clearly qualifies as extreme hardship, and simply wants to know how long it will take to get the waiver approval. Unfortunately, US immigration officials typically view extreme hardship more narrowly than many green card applicants and their families. As far as the US government is concerned, extreme hardship is much more than the customary hardship you would expect a family to suffer when one member is living apart from the rest. It is my job to make sure that the client submits enough evidence in the 601 waiver package to convince immigration officials of the extreme nature of the family’s hardship. Applicants who do not hire an immigration attorney, because they assume that officials will immediately see the extreme nature of their case, often wind up having to re-apply once their first 601 waiver is denied.

How Extreme Hardship Relates to the 601 Waiver

Green card applicants who are inadmissible to the United States due to prior immigration violations, misrepresentation or criminal history must have a 601 waiver approved by immigration officials before they will be approved for a green card. When adjudicating the 601 waiver, immigration officials first look to see if the applicant has proven that a qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship if the alien were not given a green card. If the applicant proves extreme hardship, the adjudicator will then weigh the hardship against the wrong committed by the alien. If the official believes that the scale tips in favor of the hardship, the 601 waiver will be granted and the applicant will get a green card.

Proving Extreme Hardship

In order to prove that the qualifying relative would suffer extreme hardship, the 601 waiver attorney will develop a package of evidence that shows the type of and severity of issues and problems that will arise if the alien were not allowed back into the US or the qualifying relative were forced to move to the alien’s home country. Decisions about what evidence to gather and, ultimately, include with the 601 waiver are made only after the immigration attorney has fully interviewed the applicant and qualifying relative to determine how the family’s particular circumstances mirror the situations of other families who have successfully proven extreme hardship for a 601 waiver. To discuss how we can help with your 601 waiver package, please contact us today for a free consultation.