What are the grounds for a hardship wavier to deportation?

An undocumented immigrant seeking permanent legal residence may have a long wait in store. Under normal immigration rules, anyone who has maintained an illegal presence in the United States for over a year may be required to leave the country and wait 10 years before lawfully reentering.

Fortunately, an extreme hardship exception may be available through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The USCIS provides examples of situations that may qualify for the reprieve from deportation, also known as a 601 waiver. Admittedly, deportation is always tough because it uproots individuals from families and jobs. In the eyes of the USCIS, however, additional factors must be present before a waiver will be granted.

As a preliminary matter, the hardship is evaluated from the perspective of a legal resident who is a spouse, parent or child. If an individual's deportation would cause an extreme hardship to one of those qualifying relatives, USCIS might grant a waiver.

USCIS classifies four levels of potential 601 waiver arguments. A Level 1 argument is the most persuasive, and includes a country at war or a relative with a major medical issue that prevents safe travel. Levels 2 through 4 include other medical or financial conditions that would result in a significant decline in the relative's standard of living, the cost of caring for an elderly parent, specialized educational considerations for a child, or a fear of persecution in the home country or violence in a politically unstable environment.

Our immigration law firm has discovered that many individuals facing deportation have uniquely serious concerns. Even if the exact parameters of a Level 1 hardship are not present, the USCIS will consider a combination of factors from all levels. If you are facing deportation, our lawyers will help you prepare the strongest case for a waiver of inadmissibility.

Source: FindLaw, "Extreme Hardship and the 601 Waiver: Can I Avoid Deportation?" copyright 2016, Thomson Reuters

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