Theme Crucial for Successful I601 Extreme Hardship Waiver Application

A successful extreme hardship waiver should have a strong theme that ties the whole application together. A theme provides a basis for the waiver and structures each argument.

While it is important to discuss each factor of extreme hardship:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Special considerations

It should not read as a disjointed application. Rather, each of the factors should support the main theme. Without a main theme holding the waiver together the application can seem fragmented and is more likely to get rejected. Thus, having a solid theme is crucial for a successful waiver application.

To illustrate by example, one factor such as health hardship might demonstrate extreme hardship the most. This one factor should be tied in with each of the other factors to make the waiver cohesive. Following the example, a major health issue might cause financial difficulty because of high medical bills, in home care, or expensive health procedures. The argument can go on to show how the health issue also causes financial hardship through a domino effect.

It is equally important that the supporting statements (declarations) of the applicant and their qualifying relative also reflect the same theme. The reviewing officer will read the theme in the argument, then also read the same theme in the statements. This hammers in the theme in the mind of the reviewing officer and leaves little room for her to find that there is not extreme hardship.

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