Extreme hardship, whatever it is (and there is no precise definition), is a form of hardship that far exceeds ordinary hardship. You must prove that your qualifying relative will suffer extreme hardship either if you leave the US without them, or if they are forced to relocate abroad to be with you. And remember — the hardship that matters is the hardship suffered by your qualifying relative, not by you.
Some examples that might qualify as “extreme hardship” are described below:
- Your qualifying relative suffers from a serious medical condition and you provide them medical care.
- You provide critical financial support to your qualifying relative, and you will have to quit your job and stop providing financial support to your qualifying relative if you are not granted an I-601A waiver;
- Your native country is experiencing political upheaval or would otherwise pose a critical danger to your qualifying relative if they were forced to relocate there.
Many other examples are possible, because “extreme hardship” is an ambiguous term that can mean different things to different immigration officials.
Your Qualifying Relative’s Personal Statement
Your qualifying relative’s personal statement, one of the most important parts of the I-601 waiver application, must be carefully drafted. It is best for you to retain an immigration attorney to draft this statement based on information provided by you and your qualifying relative.
Insist on Working with a Professional, Not an Amateur
Yes, you might be able to save some money by hiring an “immigration consultant or a “notario” — but the consequences for your chances of obtaining an immigrant visa could be as disastrous as hiring a Physician Assistant to remove a brain tumor. Many of these people do little more than fill in immigration forms and write personal statements on behalf of people with limited English language skills.
Suppose, for example, that you hire an “immigration consultant” to draft your qualifying relative’s personal statement in which detailed reasons for the claim of extreme hardship are explained. A small error in writing this statement could result in your waiver application being rejected, with potentially lifelong consequences.
Alternatively, suppose your “immigration consultant” mistakenly applies for an I-601 provisional waiver when you need an I-601 provisional waiver? It’s simply not worth the risk, and the same advice applies to just about any immigration-related application or petition.