Ep. 38 How can I apply for an I-601 "Extreme Hardship" waiver?

  • Approval of an I-601 waiver is needed for those who are eligible for a green card but facing immigration bars
  • USCIS issues this waiver but you have to give proof or convince them of any hardship

Raw Transcript:

Jacob: Hello everybody. Welcome to another episode of Ask An Immigration Lawyer. In today’s episode we’re going to talk about 601 extreme hardship waiver and this is a question from Meredith regarding her husband. Meredith wants to know what is a 601 Extreme Hardship Waiver and why you want to need it and how can you apply for one.

Well, this is a great, great question because you could be one of the individuals who are eligible for a green card but facing immigration bars on grounds of unlawful presence or maybe fraud. As long as you have those bars you can’t enter the US, you can’t apply for a visa, you can’t get your green card. And the only way out of this mess is to get approval of an I-601 waiver also known as Extreme Hardship that you can also, again, [inaudible 00:01:01] residency and get back to the United States.

So people have obtained over 180 days over legal presence in the United States after 1997, April, and have proceeded to leave the US. They’re going to be barred from coming back to United States for up to three years. Those who have obtained more than one year of illegal presence they’re barred for ten years. People who committed fraud are not able to come back to United States until they obtain a waiver. And the 601 waiver is based on extreme hardship to a qualifying family member which is a legal permanent citizen or US citizen a parent or spouse.

Being separated from your family and family members is hardship but we have to show something that has to be more than just separation. Convince. It has to be extreme. It has to provide evidence that there’s illness issues affecting employment, we have to show that it’s going to be an impossibility of financial hardship to be able to work if they leave United States; health conditions, things that really, really show that it’s above and beyond a mere separation. If we can establish those to the satisfaction of the USCIS a waiver will be issued and then the person can go back to the US consulate, if they are overseas, and apply for the visas.
These things may take a long time, several months to get process but it’s really important to understand the qualifications the criteria for waiver and work with a qualified attorney who’s going to be able to help you nail those and pretty much every single one of those criteria so you can actually get the waiver.

Once the waiver is approved it’s possible to still come back to the United States despite having a three or ten year bar and that’s why they’re so important. Right now we just discussed the general 601 waiver. There are new waivers that came out couple of years ago and we’ll cover them in our next episode.

So thanks for listening. If you have any questions email us and go to Ask An Immigration Lawyer to questions or on our Facebook page and we’ll be more than happy to answer.

Once again, remember, this is not an attorney-client relationship. We’re doing this as a service to the public. Immigration law change all the time, make sure to discuss your case with a qualified immigration attorney before you do anything.

Thanks for listening and we’ll see you at our next episode.