Many undocumented aliens, including those who have resided in the U.S. for a significant period of time face issues with inadmissibility that can bar them from taking advantage of certain lawful methods of remaining, entering or re-entering the United States. The Grounds of Admissibility define criteria that could become an obstacle for individuals seeking certain immigration privileges. However, in certain situations it may be possible to apply for an I-601 hardship waiver that could overcome certain inadmissibility issues.

Immigration Waiver Application Basics

In the majority of cases involving immigration waivers, applications are dependent on demonstrating that a member of the applicant’s immediate family who is either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident would suffer “extreme hardship” if the applicant were to be denied entry, re-entry or is removed from the United States. It is important to remember that the immigration waiver decisions can be very subjective because important concepts such as “extreme hardship” are not clearly defined. Because proving this concept and correctly structuring the required documentation is complicated, it is highly recommended that you consult with a licensed legal professional before proceeding with your application.

“Extreme Hardship” in I-601 Waiver Cases

Many applications are denied because there is insufficient evidence or grounds for proving extreme hardship. Proving extreme hardship requires a thorough understanding of how to pose valid arguments which are correctly supported by evidence. It is also extremely useful to have a legal professional who is familiar with the immigration proceedings so that if an application is denied, there is an understanding of how and when to file a motion to reopen or motion to reconsider which could alter the end result of the case.

Effects of Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

The possibility of denial of an I-601 immigration waiver is significantly higher if certain “aggravating facts” are evident. Aggravating factors are typically forms of immigration or criminal misconduct such as:

  • Previous Immigration Law Violations
  • Certain Criminal Charges
  • Arrests
  • Convictions
  • Marriage Fraud
  • Other factors

There are also “mitigating factors” which conversely increase the chances that a waiver application is accepted. Mitigating factors may also serve as a balance to certain aggravating factors. For example, a drug violation may be an aggravating factor which could be mitigated by showing participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation program.
When pursuing an immigration waiver, it is imperative that all aggravating and mitigating factors are clearly stated and defined. Leaving out an aggravating factor on an initial application that is discovered later in the process could have very negative repercussions which could affect an individual’s long-term immigration standing. A qualified immigration lawyer should be able to assist you in structuring your case that captures any and all aggravating and/or mitigating factors and presenting it in a way that gives your case the best results possible.

Immigration Waiver Assistance is Available!

Immigration waivers can be a realistic way for qualifying  individuals to overcome certain obstacles. I-601 Hardship waivers are sometimes referred to with different names. There are waivers for specific situations such as criminal activity or unlawful presence. To read more about different types of I-601 waivers, review our informational pages on:

If you are interested in learning more about immigration waivers or how our services may benefit you, call Pride Immigration Law Firm PLLC or send us a message online. We can help you understand your options by providing an initial in-person or phone consultation. Contact us to discuss your case today!

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Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.
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