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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawI-601 Waivers of Inadmissibility: What Constitutes "Extreme Hardship"?

I-601 Waivers of Inadmissibility: What Constitutes "Extreme Hardship"?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we're going to be discussing the I-601 Waiver. There are multiple other videos on this channel which discuss various aspects of the I-601 process. This video specifically is going to be touching on the issue of so-called "extreme hardship". 

In the provisions of the INA, there are ways in which findings of legal inadmissibility can be overcome through use of an I-601 waiver but in order for an applicant to overcome a finding of inadmissibility and be granted an I- 601 waiver they need to show that a qualifying relative would suffer an extreme hardship were the I-601 not to be issued and a visa not to be issued to allow that person to come to the United States.

As we deal with in another video on this channel, we discuss qualifying relative in a relatively lengthy monologue if you will, and then in this video I just wanted to briefly touch on extreme hardship because there is often the question, "What is Extreme Hardship?" Well, it is going to depend on circumstances. There are various things that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Officers look at when adjudicating extreme hardship and when adjudicating extreme hardship, mere separation of say spouses by not issuing the visa, is not necessarily enough to show extreme hardship, so what is enough? I am not trying to be purposefully opaque but again it is going to depend on the specific set of circumstances in a given case. 

Relationship with American citizen children or parents can also have an impact if there are multiple qualifying relatives but again this extreme hardship issue still needs to be shown, sort of a notion of like just general loss of consortium may not in fact get a person, may not in fact get an applicant over the threshold necessary to show extreme hardship and thereby get an I-601 approved.

These I-601 cases, this is not a matter of processing paperwork or the mere processing of paperwork; this is advocacy on the part of the attorney in question. Now it may not be sort of Perry Mason courtroom advocacy but case files, filings for I-601 waivers are as thick as phone books in some cases. It's an exercise in not only proving that failure to issue an I-601 waiver would result in serious problems but you need to really go into great depth and detail and support with evidence your case for the fact that this would cause an extreme hardship to deny the application for the I-601 waiver. For this reason, I'm not often over the top in suggesting that legal counsel be retained to assist. In these cases it is definitely beneficial and there are certain aspects of immigration law that can be dealt with almost in a do-it-yourself post of context.  I wouldn't recommend it with respect to something like an I-601 waiver. These are serious cases, they require a high level of technical understanding of both the law regarding immigration as well as the procedural apparatus which operates when adjudicating these cases so for that reason it is probably a good idea to consult a legal professional or get legal professional advice before even undertaking an I-601 waiver and probably a good idea to have an Immigration Attorney represent an applicant for an I-601 waiver and act on their behalf.