On October 6, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted several sections of the USCIS Policy Manual, for public input and comments. The USCIS Policy Manual is the agency’s centralized online repository for USCIS’s immigration policies.
You may submit comments by email until November 23, 2015. Include: Volume 9, Part B: Extreme Hardship (DRAFT) as the Subject Line of your email; refer to a specific portion of the document; explain the reason for your recommendation; and include relevant and supporting data, information or authority. Click here for more information about the Comment Submission Process.
Here are some highlights:
The reviewing officer should complete the following steps when adjudicating a waiver application that requires a showing of extreme hardship to a qualifying relative:
This is usually an immediate relative (spouse, unmarried minor child or parent) who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. Read our blog post regarding waivers here, for more clarification.
- Qualifying relative need not be visa petitioner
- Petition survives death of qualifying relative. This includes related applications, such as waivers for inadmissibility
- Hardship experienced by a person who is not a qualifying relative (including applicant) can itself be the cause of hardship to a qualifying relative
EXTREME HARDSHIP FACTORS
Common consequences of deportation (family separation, economic detriment, difficulties readjusting to life in new country, lack of quality educational opportunities, inferior quality of medical services and facilities, inability to pursue chosen profession abroad) alone would be an insufficient basis for an extreme hardship finding. However, the sum of these common consequences together could meet the extreme hardship standard.
Below is a list of factors and considerations to be used by adjudicators in the Qualifying Relative Extreme Hardship determination. These are non-exclusive and are merely examples of factors that can support findings of extreme hardship. Other factors not discussed could support a finding of extreme hardship, under a totality of the circumstances.
For guidance on suggested documentation to submit with your waiver application, click here.
For examples of possible successful scenarios, please click here.
The waiver application process is lengthy and complicated. If you are an immediate relative of a US citizen looking to apply for a waiver, it is important to seek the advice of an immigration attorney to evaluate the best course of action and present your case in the clearest and best possible light.
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