Hiring a legal expert to assist with a hardship waiver is among the wisest investments you can make. This is because these waivers can have such a massive impact on you and the future of your family. A hardship waiver literally has the power to transform your family’s future, and consequently these documents should not be approached lightly. What’s more, an expert can give you the type of critical information you need to maximize your probability of success. In this post, we will discuss 5 tips you can use to produce a winning waiver application.
- How Immigration Courts View Extreme Hardship
Understandably, every person seeking an I-601 Waiver feels that hardship will be endured if the waiver isn’t processed. But the USCIS requires a particular standard or level of hardship when it grants this type of waiver. To grant a waiver, a person needs to demonstrate that extreme hardship will be suffered without it. There is no precise way or mathematical formula which can be used to predetermine whether a person’s situation qualifies as extreme hardship; however, courts have referenced different hardship levels which can be useful for thinking about a person’s situation in a relative way.
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The levels are: unconscionable hardship, extreme hardship, exceptional or unusual hardship, and ordinary hardship. You can think of ordinary hardship as being just like “average” hardship, so this is something which 50% of people might expect. So, in order to pass for a waiver, you should know that you will need to clearly show that you will suffer hardship which is more severe than what is expected in 50% of cases. Knowing that you have to set yourself apart (and be “above average”), we encourage you to hire a firm with a proven track record of successful waivers.
- Hardship Waivers Focus on Qualifying Relatives
Under the current law, hardship waivers focus on the hardship potentially suffered by “qualifying relatives,” rather than the applicant. And only a couple of people fall under the qualifying relatives category. Right now, only spouses and parents can fall under this classification. When you fill out your application, you need to remember that you are focusing on the hardship which would be endured by your qualifying relatives. This isn’t your personal story, it’s a family story, and so that needs to be the focus. And yes, our firm is renowned for its outstanding waivers because we incorporate the entire family!
- Learn to Tell Your Entire Story
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When you complete an application for a waiver, remember that you are not a number. Use this opportunity to tell your entire story to the reviewing authorities. Include as much detail as you can. Under the “totality of the circumstances” test, your hardship is determined on a cumulative basis. This means that all the facts and circumstances of your case can be added together to generate your overall hardship level. Dig deep and pull out all the relevant facts of your case. We’re proud to say that we have a 100% success rate with waivers—and it’s because we know how to tell your story how USCIS wants to see it!
- The Importance of Community Service
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Many applicants think that the community service contributions made by themselves and their relatives will have little to no impact on hardship waiver decisions. But this is not the case. The truth is that such contributions can tip the balance in your favor when it comes to receiving a decision. Community service contributions can take a variety of forms: church leadership, volunteering, sports coaching, school participation, and so forth. The purpose is to show that the community itself would suffer if it were to lose your relatives. And even if you don’t volunteer right now, a skilled waiver drafter like those on our team will show that you are a valuable member of your community—volunteering isn’t the end-all-be-all (many of our waiver grants involved zero community service yet we could still show the immigrants’ importance!).
- Do Not Exaggerate Your Story
Another important tip is to avoid exaggerating on your application. Remember, your application will be reviewed by an experienced adjudicator. If you engage in exaggeration in order to push your claim regarding hardship, this will only serve to backfire against your case. Ultimately, the adjudicator will recognize the exaggeration, and this type of dishonesty will end up working against you. Tell your full story, including all the harsh details, but don’t exaggerate. At the end of the day, the reason we have been so successful in our waiver cases is because we show that ordinary lives have extraordinary impact—we want to do the same for you, too!
Contact Our Firm to Learn More
As you can see, there is plenty of information to absorb on the issue of hardship waivers. This post is only meant to serve as a useful introduction to this topic. If you’d like additional information, reach out to New Frontier Immigration Law today to learn more by calling 623-742-5400.