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Unlawful Presence

The Waiver of Unlawful Presence (Form I-601) allows some immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who accrued unlawful presence to have their unlawful presence “forgiven” so they may consular process back into the United States as a legal permanent resident. In order to qualify for a waiver, the immigrant must have a qualifying relative who would suffer extreme hardship if the applicant were not allowed admission into the U.S. The fees for a provisional waiver cannot be waived. If your waiver is denied, however, you can appeal.

Who Is Considered A Qualifying Relative?

A qualifying relative can be U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent of the foreign national. Unfortunately, U.S. citizen or permanent resident children do not qualify.

What Constitutes Extreme Hardship?

There is not an exact definition of extreme hardship. Extreme hardship “is hardship that is ‘unusual or beyond that which would normally be expected….” Perez v. INS, 96 F.3d 390, 392 (9th Cir. 1996). Therefore, an applicant must demonstrate that their qualifying relative would suffer more than the average individual would.

The qualifyiing relative of the immigrant must demonstrate that he or she will experience “extreme hardship” if the immigrant’s waiver is not approved. The Board of Immigration Appeals delineated some the factors to be considered in determining extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, in Matter of Cervantes, 22 I&N Dec. 560 (BIA 1999), as follows:

  • Family ties of the qualifying relative in the United States
  • Family ties of the qualifying relative outside of the country
  • The country conditions in the alien’s home country
  • The ties the qualifying relative has to the alien’s home country
  • The financial impact to qualifying relative of alien’s departure from the United States
  • The health condition of the qualifying relative or even the alien as it affects the financial capacity to support the qualifying relative
  • The availability of adequate medical care facilities in alien’s home country or country of relocation

Wilson Law Group focuses on the following categories when identifying extreme hardship: health, emotional, financial, professional, educational and safety. By combining these areas of hardship, our immigration attorneys are often able to demonstrate that the combined hardship satisfies the extreme hardship standard.

Schedule A Free Consult With An Immigration Attorney

Our immigration attorneys offer a free initial case consultation and evaluation. To schedule your free appointment, call us at our office at 612-430-8022 or send us an email through our firm’s website.