Musings on Immigration

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Waiver Basics


So your lawyer has told you that you need a waiver. What does this mean? In all likelihood, you are inadmissible to the United States for one of a myriad of reasons. In other words, even if your application is approved, you still cannot come to or remain in the United States because of a breach of the law which occurred in the past. This breach could be anything from remaining in the United States without the correct documentation or committing fraud to gain entry. A waiver is essentially a request to be forgiven for these breaches of the law. In most cases you will have to prove “extreme hardship” to a US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent or child. “Extreme hardship” is very vaguely defined as greater than the normal hardship than a similarly situated spouse, parent or child can be expected to experience should their alien relative be refused a green card. The likelihood of approval depends on the hardship that will occur if your application is not approved. If your immediate relative has a serious medical problem or if you are the sole care giver for a relative who needs constant care- you have a strong case. Likewise, your case will be strong if the country to which you would be deported would be considered unsafe for your US citizen relative. The adjudicator would also be more likely to improve a case if a relative had medical or educational needs which cannot be met in your home country. Although language difficulties and financial strain can be considered in aggregate with other hardship factors; these arguments are not in themselves strong enough to warrant an approval based on extreme hardship. Work closely with your lawyer and inform them of any factors that you think might assist him or her improving hardship to you and your family. Remember that the success of a waiver depends on the strength of your underlying evidence.

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