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Immigration Law Blog

Friday, January 4, 2019

Deportation: Extreme Hardship and the 601 Waiver

If you have illegally resided within the United States (“U.S.”) for more than one year, you will likely receive a 10-year reentry ban. This ban means that you cannot return to the U.S. for a 10-year period. Similarly, if you have been deported for reasons of crime or immigration fraud, you will also receive a reentry ban, although this ban could be permanent in certain instances. If you have been deported, or are being deported, you may be able to claim extreme hardship and file an application for a 601 waiver. The 601 waiver may allow you to remain in the U.S. or legally reenter the U.S. despite being inadmissible.

When considering a 601 waiver application, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) policy manual requires the officers to “make extreme hardship determinations based on the factors, arguments, and evidence submitted. The extreme hardship must be shown in relation to a qualifying relative – not just to the applicant. A qualifying relative is a member of your immediate family (e.g., daughter, son, mother).

Overall, the USCIS officer must consider the totality of circumstances when determining the presence of extreme hardship. While there is no express identification of what constitutes extreme hardship, such circumstances may include:

  • Family separation
  • Economic detriment
  • Difficulty of readjusting to life in the new country
  • The quality and availability of education opportunities abroad
  • Inferior quality of medical services and facilities
  • Ability to pursue a chosen employment abroad

While these factors alone do not rise to the level of extreme hardship, they may be used cumulatively to establish extreme hardship for the 601 waiver. The USCIS officer will also consider the following factors:

  • Family ties and impact – necessary care for the qualifying relative, age of the qualifying relative, and prior or current military service of the qualifying relative.
  • Social and cultural impact – certain aspects of the applicant’s home country, such as fear of persecution or societal discrimination, and availability and quality of educational opportunities for the qualifying relative in the country of relocation.
  • Economic impact – the impact to the local economy, such as the termination of a professional practice and the ability for creditors to recover their loans.
  • Health conditions and care – whether the qualifying relative requires the ongoing care of the applicant and whether the qualifying relative can leave the U.S.
  • Country conditions – conditions such as the applicant’s home country being in an ongoing war or subject to serious political instability may be considered.

Once the 601 application is submitted, a USCIS officer will consider the cumulative factors and make a final determination on whether to grant the waiver.

 

 

 


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