The Importance of Extreme Hardship

If you’ve read my articles on obtaining an I601 Waiver when you’re married or engaged and trying to immigrate to the U.S. with your partner, you know the basic reasons why you may be turned down for a visa and the process you must go through to have your denial waived.

The Importance of Extreme Hardship

Perhaps the most important part of the process designed to reverse the ban on your visa is where the Qualified Citizen, who would be either your spouse or fiancé, has to plead that your not being allowed to come into the country would cause them “extreme hardship.” When an extreme hardship case is made, it is done in writing and it requires logic, evidence and proper documentation.

In this article, I’m going to review some of the more persuasive extreme hardship circumstances that may apply to your partner’s situation. In my practice as an immigration attorney, I have found that in order to be successful at establishing and proving extreme hardship that a petitioner must be honest and persuasive. If you are the partner who possesses a visa, this article is specifically directed at you.

I601 and I601a Waiver Case

Examples of Extreme Hardship

Extreme hardship is related directly to your life and in creating this document you are giving real life circumstances that you can corroborate in which your life will be affected negatively in a major way. Here are five areas that can be utilized in your claim that the separation caused by the denial of your spouse’s of fiancé’s visa will cause extreme hardship or your foregoing the separation and residing in your partner’s country will greatly compromise your life.

Health and Medical Issues

Are you undergoing medical treatment that will be affected by your having to live in a different country?

Are special treatments involved?

Will the climate, cultural or living conditions cause problems?

How long is the treatment, is it ongoing or long term and might the condition be worsened by living in a foreign land?

Financial Considerations

Do you own a home or business that will be lost or adversely affected by living in another country?

Can you find employment in your spouse’s country?

If you do have to live in another land will that involve additional training, affect your standard of living and result in additional costs?

Do you have elderly family members in the U.S. who require your presence or will being away cause financial strain on you or them?

Educational Opportunities

Will you have less or a lower standard of education and training in your spouse’s country?

Are you presently enrolled in an educational program in the U.S. that will be interrupted or compromised?

Will you have to learn a new language to continue your learning process?

Personal Matters

If you live in the U.S. and your partner stays in their country how will that affect family life, especially that of your children?

If you stay in your spouse’s country, how will that change affect any children or close relatives?

Special Factors

Do you have specific and real cultural, religious, and ethnic challenges and/or fears regarding persecution, harassment, physical harm, or injury?

Might you and your family face social exclusion or stigma. Will you and your family be prohibited access to social institutions, public places or services?

Additionally, you should explain any other issue or circumstance that will cause excessive hardship. Petitions that include a wealth of legitimate, detailed evidence are most convincing. Including letters from professionals or experts, specific information regarding each situation and any other documentation will strengthen your case. Information such as statistics and reported trends from U.S. government sources is especially convincing.

Making Your Case

With so much on the line, your ability to make a convincing argument is essential. A knowledgeable immigration attorney can help guide you through this process. Please contact the Ranchod Law Group in California, if you have any questions regarding extreme hardship and the I601 Waiver process. We represent clients across the US and at Embassies worldwide.  To schedule a consultation contact us at (916) 613-3553 or at

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