Associate Attorney Abhinav Goel and Partner Lisa Brenman of our DC office were successful in obtaining an I-601 waiver for a client from India. The client came to our office after working with several attorneys.

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 a tourist visa on the advise of a local agent in India. 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. We successfully demonstrated that the refusal of our client’s admission will result in extreme hardship to his U.S. citizen spouse. The waiver application was supported by letters from family and friends of the U.S. citizen and our client, and U.S. Citizen's medical, financial, and psychological records. This evidence supported a finding that our client’s U.S. citizen spouse will experience medical, psychological, emotional, and financial difficulties if our client was removed from the United States. Additionally, we demonstrated that our client's U.S. citizen spouse would experience hardship if she relocated to India due to current country conditions, separation from family members in the United States, language and cultural difficulties, as well as her educational and medical issues.

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. We were able to prove that our client's U.S. citizen spouse would suffer extreme hardship and that our client 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 info@visas-us.com if you have any questions related to an I-601 waiver.

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