I-601 Hardship Waivers and Immigration Lawyers
I’ll begin by saying that there is no requirement to work with an immigration lawyer on your I-601 hardship waiver. That’s right. I’m an immigration lawyer and I’m telling you that you may not need a lawyer for your hardship waiver.
Before you decide whether you should hire a hardship waiver lawyer, you should begin by understanding why many people will find the assistance of a lawyer to be very helpful.
How An Immigration Lawyer Can Help With Your Waiver Application
First, there is a technical legal definition to the term “extreme hardship”, which is what must be shown in order to qualify for the waiver. Many people will focus on hardships to people who are not “qualifying relatives.” It does not matter how difficult a family separation will be to your children if they are not considered to be qualifying relatives for your unlawful presence or misrepresentation waiver. If you focus your waiver package on the hardships to the wrong people, you won’t be able to win your case. An immigration lawyer can help you make sure that your hardship waiver package addresses the legal issues that you need to show to prove extreme hardship.
It can also be very difficult for someone to evaluate the hardship factors in their own life or to evaluate which factors present the strongest legal case. For example, many people who are applying for a waiver are very concerned about the financial hardship of a forced family separation. As a result, there is a tendency to present the financial hardship first. However, in most cases the financial hardship is not the strongest hardship factor and it would be best to present other factors first. What is of most concern to you may not be your strongest legal arguments. A lawyer can help you by providing an objective evaluation of your hardship factors and can help you identify hardship factors that you didn’t even realize applied to your situation.
An immigration lawyer can also assist you with identifying what evidence should be included with the waiver package. It generally isn’t enough to just discuss the hardship factors in your personal statements. You need to prove that the hardship exists by presenting documentary evidence. At the same time, you don’t want to include information that isn’t helpful to your case. If you do, your strong arguments will get lost in all the information that isn’t relavant or helpful. In addition, what you include in the waiver package could also influence what happens at the visa interview. You need to be careful to not introduce issues that could raise questions of whether your husband is admissible to the United States.
If you do decide to work with an immigration lawyer…
Your I-601 waiver case is important. Before you talk to a lawyer or spend a lot of money on your application, make sure that you learn as much as you can about the process. This will make the I-601 waiver process much less stressful and will allow you to prepare the best waiver application possible. You can learn more about the waiver process by reading the free Immigration Waiver Guide available on this website and checking out the USCIS information on I-601 hardship waivers.