Success Stories: NC Office Obtains I-601 Waiver for Client
Our office was successful in obtaining an I-601 waiver for a client whose case had been pending over nine years, first with the Immigration Service and then with the Immigration Court. The client came to our office after working with several attorneys and after having been placed in removal proceedings before the Immigration Judge.
The client was married to a U.S. citizen and sought adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence based on his marriage. However, the client was inadmissible to the U.S. based on a misrepresentation he made while applying for political asylum many years ago. Section 212(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides a discretionary waiver for immigrants who are subject to a ground of inadmissibility based on fraud or misrepresentation in procuring or attempting to procure an immigration benefit, such as giving false information to an immigration official or on an immigration form. To be eligible for the waiver, the client must convince the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or an Immigration Judge that if they were not granted lawful permanent resident status, then their qualifying relative, such as a U.S. citizen spouse, will suffer “extreme hardship.”
Extreme hardship is a legal term analyzed by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in Matter of Cervantes. The BIA lists many factors to consider in determining whether “extreme hardship” exists.
To establish “extreme hardship” in this case, our office submitted over 300 pages of evidence and prepared the client and witnesses for testimony before the Immigration Judge. We worked with the client’s health care providers, financial institutions and employers to obtain and submit the necessary evidence. The waiver application included detailed evidence including affidavits from the U.S. citizen spouse, friends and relatives addressing issues such as the U.S. citizen’s medical issues, family ties in the U.S., economic and emotional factors, as well as current and past country conditions in the applicant’s home country. Even after presenting all the supporting evidence to establish extreme hardship, the waiver applicant must also prove to the Immigration Court or USCIS that they merit a favorable exercise of discretion. Our client was able to prove that their U.S. citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship and that the applicant merited a favorable exercise of discretion based on the totality of the circumstances, weighing the fraud against the hardship to the U.S. citizen spouse.
I-601 waivers can be very complicated and approval can be difficult. In preparing your application, be sure to obtain the assistance of an immigration attorney experienced in I-601 waivers. Call us at 919-932-4593 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions related to an I-601 waiver.