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Hardship Waivers

Overview

A petitioner/applicant may have received an approval from the Government on a petition/application and an immigrant visa is immediately available. However, this approval does not necessarily guarantee that the foreign national “beneficiary” will obtain permanent resident status. The beneficiary seeking to enter the United States may be denied the immigrant visa due to their criminal history, unlawful presence, misrepresentation, fraud, prior “J” visas status, etc., which renders him/her inadmissible or excludable for immigration purposes. In some instances, exceptions may be made to allow this beneficiary to enter the United States despite being inadmissible. These exceptions require additional application(s) for a “Waiver”.

Requirements

Extreme Hardship Waiver

In order to obtain this waiver, an applicant must prove that a qualifying relative will suffer extreme hardship if the applicant is not allowed to immigrate to the United States. Some United States’ consulates and embassies overseas have special programs to handle extreme hardship waiver cases.

J “Waivers”

Some Exchange Visitors (J-1), are subject to the requirement which requires them to return to their home country for at least two years at the end of their exchange visitor program. For those unable or unwilling to return to their home country to fulfill the two-year requirement, they must obtain a waiver, approved by the Department of Homeland Security prior to obtaining permanent resident status or certain categories of visas in the U.S.