Proving Financial Hardship

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In September, we discussed an actual case in which health hardships qualified for the extreme hardship waiver. We now examine financial hardships.

Many immigration cases will require you to prove extreme hardship in order to obtain an approval. For example, cancellation of removal before the immigration judge and waivers for most crimes and immigration fraud all require proof of extreme hardship. For J1 Hardship waiver cases, financial hardship is one factor that will be considered in evaluating your case.

Extreme hardship can take many forms including emotional, health, and/or financial.

Today, we will be discussing how you can prove financial hardship.

It is a common misconception that to prove financial hardship you have to be the sole breadwinner for your family. This is simply not the case. Both a sole provider and an individual who provides essential financial support can prove financial hardship.

The types of papers you need to prove financial hardship include proof of income like pay stubs or your income tax returns. Also, proof of expenses for your family like rent/mortgage, utilities, food, transportation, and health related expenses (doctors visits and medication).

You will also need papers to prove your response to the following questions:

1. Why can’t you support your family from or in your home country?

This is a two part question. If your family can’t go back to your home country with you, why can’t you send them money to support them from abroad? If your family can go with you to your home country, why can’t you support them there?

The types of papers concern the poverty levels in your home country and papers to prove your qualifications and your potential income in your home country.

2. Isn’t there someone else who can take over your current financial responsibilities?

For example, why can’t your spouse work to make up for the income lost as a result of you returning to your home country? The types of paper needed to respond to this question could be papers to prove that your spouse can’t work because of other responsibilities (children, caring for an elderly parent, etc) or papers to prove that your spouse is in fact working and simply doesn’t make enough.

The response to this question could also be simply that there is no one else available to take over your financial responsibilities. This is often the case in single parent households.

Remember that a cancellation of removal case or a waiver case doesn’t hinge on just financial hardship. Immigration will look at the financial hardship, if any, in combination with other types of hardship like emotional and health, which we will be discussing on our blog soon. If you would like to discuss how your particular circumstances amount to hardship, please call us at (916) 613 – 3553. We have offices in Sacramento and San Francisco, Santa Clara and clients all over the U.S. and international.

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