What if My Fiancé Needs an Immigration Waiver?

If your fiancé's immigration application has been denied, they may be able to apply for an I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.
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by | Last updated Oct 31, 2019 | Published on Apr 1, 2015 | Immigration

Under certain circumstances, when your fiancé will apply for a visa, green card, or entry to the United States, it’s possible that he or she may be deemed inadmissible. This can happen at any stage during the immigration process.

If your fiancé is inadmissible, he or she can even be excluded from entering the United States, applying for a green card, or for any other type of visa or immigrant status.

If they are in the United States when their application is rejected, your fiancé will be forced to leave the country. They can be categorized as inadmissible for a number of reasons, but typically it is because the immigrant has violated immigration law, has a criminal or terrorist history, a record of drug abuse, or perhaps an infectious disease.

Even if your fiancé is a permanent resident and has secured a green card, if they leave the country for more than 180 days they can be determined to be inadmissible upon their return.

If your fiancé falls under one of these circumstances and their immigration application has been denied, they can apply for an I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.

Every person who applies, either to enter or to stay in the U.S, will be checked to ensure that they are admissible under the current standards.

This waiver will forgive or disregard the circumstance or factor that has categorized you as inadmissible. The most common factors that would cause your fiancé to be considered to be inadmissible include:

  • Communicable diseases
  • A physical or mental disorder that could possibly cause the person to inflict harm to themselves or others
  • Aliens with a history of drug abuse or addiction
  • Aliens who do not have the proper vaccinations
  • Convictions for crimes of moral turpitude
  • Violations of immigration laws
  • Prostitution
  • A history of multiple criminal convictions
  • A history of espionage
  • Terrorists
  • Participation in Nazi persecution
  • Aliens who will most likely become dependent upon government assistance programs

What to Do if Your Fiancé is Considered to be Inadmissible

Even if your fiancé is found to be inadmissible, they may be able to overcome the exclusion.

Depending on what factor your fiancé falls under, there are certain waivers available that may allow their inadmissibility status to be forgiven and would allow for their acceptance into the United States.

Waivers are available for the following circumstances:

  • Communicable diseases
  • A physical or mental disorder that could possibly cause the person to harm themselves or others
  • Aliens who do not have the proper vaccinations
  • Convictions for crimes of moral turpitude
  • Violations of immigration laws
  • Prostitutes
  • A history of multiple criminal convictions

In order to file a waiver of inadmissibility, your fiancé will need to show that a qualifying relative who is a United States citizen or permanent resident would incur an “extreme hardship” if they were denied or removed from the United States.

A qualifying relative is a U.S. Citizen or a lawful resident who can be a fiancé, spouse, parent, or child of the person trying to immigrate. “Extreme Hardship” is a subjective standard and has not been defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Typically, the application hinges on the strength of the evidence your fiancé will submit with their waiver of inadmissibility.

When their waiver is considered, the agencies will review the evidence presented in the waiver and then weigh those hardships against the original factors that deemed your fiancé inadmissible.

Determining Extreme Hardship

Typically, the difficulties of the separation of a couple are not enough to satisfy the extreme hardship requirement.

The aggregate level of potential hardships may help you meet the requisite level of extreme hardship, but it is sometimes preferred that you have a shorter list with stronger arguments.

Your waiver will most likely only be approved if you can include strong evidence that your qualifying U.S. relative will experience an extreme hardship in both the United States and your home country if you are denied admission.

Some circumstances that the government will take into consideration are:

  • You, the qualifying U.S. relative, has a medical condition and requires your fiancé’s care into the foreseeable future
  • The financial losses that the couple with incur if the waiver of inadmissibility is denied
  • Hardships that the either the immigrants or U.S. citizens relatives will incur if the waiver is not approved
  • The financial hardships that you or your fiancé would incur by the separation or if forced to move
  • The excessive costs of having to relocate
  • If the U.S. citizen is unfamiliar with your home country’s language, culture, or traditions
  • Children of the U.S. citizen who cannot relocate because the other parent denied their consent
  • U.S. children or citizens who need to be able to continue their education in the United States
  • The qualifying U.S. relative would be discriminated against in the foreign country

Your fiancé will need to include evidence with their waiver, which begins with their qualifying relative providing a personal statement detailing the hardship.

Your fiancé can also include a personal statement of their own to reiterate the conditions as to more appropriately outline the situation that would accrue in their home country.

Any argument that you make in the waiver about the hardship you and your fiancé would incur if denied must be supported by additional documents.

Documentation can refer to, but is not limited to:

  • Country reports or news articles that detail how the conditions of your fiancé’s home country can create extreme hardship.
  • Letters from medical professionals.
  • Tax returns and pay statements.
  • Financial statements that indicate any debts that need to be dealt with in the United States.
  • Copies of the relative’s education and professional qualifications.
  • Letters from relatives or professionals who can help to support your arguments.

Hiring an Attorney

Because applying for a waiver is often a difficult process, we recommend that you consider hiring an attorney. An experience attorney will know which legal arguments have a higher likelihood of success in the context of your life situation and immigration history.

Additionally, your waiver should be written in the appropriate legal jargon to make sure the concepts behind your arguments are communicated effectively.

While you may know that your particular immigration situation will cause extreme hardship if you are not reunited with your fiancé, unless you explain that in the legalese that USCIS understands, you may not have the same level of success a skilled attorney will have.

At the very least, if waiver issues arise in your immigration process you should consult an attorney.

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Jacob Tingen

Jacob graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law and was accepted to the Virginia Bar in 2012. Less than 30 days after being admitted to the bar, Jacob launched his own legal practice. Read More.

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