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Filing a Hardship Waiver for a Spouse Barred from the U.S.

I 601A waiver Immigration Lawyer 118-21 Queens Blvd, Forest Hills, NY 11375

If you are a U.S. citizen married to a foreign, and your foreign spouse is currently not permitted to remain in the U.S., you undoubtedly will be searching for a way to help him or her do so, most likely based on your marriage. “Barred” usually refers to the time bars that affect people who have overstayed a visa for more than six months and then left the United States.

Such people are prevented from returning to the U.S. for three years if their unlawful stay was between 180 and 365 days — and for ten years if their unlawful stay lasted more than a year. If your spouse has been barred from reentering the U.S. for a certain period of time, one possible option is to seek a waiver of this time bar, in combination with the green card application, based on “extreme hardship.”

Eligibility for the Extreme Hardship Waiver

In order to be eligible to file for an extreme hardship waiver, an immigrant must have a spouse (or a parent) who is a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien (green card holder).

The “extreme hardship” that your spouse alleges as the basis for the waiver must be a factor that substantially and directly affects the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse in a negative way. Whether or not an extreme hardship waiver is granted is totally up to the discretion of the officer considering the waiver application.

Factors That May Prove Extreme Hardship

There are a variety of factors that an immigrant can use to demonstrate extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, such as:

  • Medical reasons– In which the immigrant is responsible for caring for an ill spouse, or certain types of treatment for the spouse are not available in the immigrant’s native country.
  • Financial reasons– The U.S. spouse’s standard of living and income is dependent upon the immigrant remaining in the U.S. and supporting him or her.
  • Educational reasons– The U.S. spouse will be unable to continue or start a higher education program because it is only available in the U.S. or simply unavailable in the native country.
  • Personal reasons– The immigrant’s removal from the U.S. would result in undue separation of spouses and/or children, based on ages and relationships, would cause the U.S. spouse to be placed in harm’s way, or would affect his or her access to social institutions or religious or cultural norms.
  • Other reasons– There is room for discretion and unusual circumstances in this analysis.

Contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers in New York today at 718-407-0871 or online at if you need help with filing extreme hardship 601A waiver or any other solutions to your immigration problems.

Contributed by Svetlana Prizant, Esq., an Award Winning New York Immigration Lawyer
Call or visit Prizant Law at:
Prizant Law
118-21 Queens Blvd Suite 507
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 407 0871

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