Proving Extreme Hardship: Health

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In September, we discussed an actual case in which health hardships qualified for the extreme hardship waiver. We now return to that topic to explain how to prove an extreme hardship based on health.

Certain immigration cases require proof of extreme hardship. Cancellation of removal before the immigration judge and waivers for most crimes and immigration fraud, for example, all require proof of extreme hardship. J1 waivers require proof of exceptional hardship. The immigration authorities are looking for hardship beyond that which would typically be expected if you are separated from your loved one..

Previously we discussed emotional and financial hardship. Today we will discuss a third type of common hardship, hardship related to medical conditions.

We often have clients tell us that their family members do not have any health issues but this is rarely the case. Some of the common health issues we see include:

High blood pressure
Infections (respiratory, ear, etc.)
Stomach or digestive troubles
Issues during pregnancy or child birth
Any medical complications whatsoever

Clients often forget to mention or overlook some or all of the above but each piece of information is critical to supporting your case for extreme hardship.

For example, what if your child suffers from an occasional ear infection? You may think it is no big deal, you get him the antibiotics and in a few days he is fine. But what will happen in your home country? Will you have the same access to doctors and medications? What about the money to cover those medical expenses?

Another example would be if your spouse suffers from allergies or asthma. Here it may be no big deal but perhaps in your home country the air quality is worse and access to medical services limited.

While a more severe medical problem might be enough by itself to prove extreme hardship, more minor medical issues still help build your case. Allergies and asthma in and of themselves are probably not enough for a finding of extreme hardship but perhaps in combination with other factors might be sufficient.

Related to our previous posting on the topic of emotional hardship it is important to discuss mental health issues. If one of your immediate family members suffers from depression or anxiety it is important to document this for your immigration case. We’ve also helped clients whose children suffer from attention deficiency or autism. We also have the sensitivity to help clients whose family members are afflicted by other serious mental health issues like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

The types of papers that can help prove hardship related to health conditions include letters from doctors and specialists. Also, copies of past medical records and tests, and copies of prescriptions and medical labels can be used. We will research each medical issue on your behalf and not only provide the immigration authorities with all of the information they need but also explain to the authorities the gravity of the condition in terms that they understand. Immigration adjudicators are not health professionals, we take it upon ourselves to inform immigration about your case and try to persuade them in your favor.

Remember that an I-601 waiver, a J1 waiver, or a cancellation of removal case doesn’t have to hinge on just health issues. Immigration will look at the medical conditions, if any, in combination with other types of hardship like financial and emotional hardship. 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, Santa Clara and San Francisco and clients all over the U.S. and abroad.

Published by: Ranchod Law Group

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