An Extreme Hardship Waiver Only Applies Where the Hardship Affects the Applicant’s U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident Parent or Spouse — Kids Don’t Count

An adult U.S. citizen petitioned for her parents. The mother had been in the U.S. without legal authorization for over a year, so when she had to leave to process her case for an immigrant visa with the U.S. consulate in her country, she became subject to a ten year bar.

Because the mother had been unlawfully present and left, she could not return for ten years without obtaining a waiver of that bar. The father had never been in the U.S., and so he wasn’t subject to that bar.

They processed the case for the mother. They paid the required several thousand dollars to the government in application processing fees, had three separate interviews, and finally the waiver was denied. Of course it was.

Obtaining that waiver requires showing extreme hardship to the applicant’s U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent or spouse—kids don’t count for that one. The mother had her U.S. citizen daughter, but no U.S. citizen or permanent resident parent or spouse. The daughter petitioned for her mother, but it was the mother who was applying for the visa and who was inadmissible to the U.S., and needed the waiver of being inadmissible.

They lost years of delay, separation, stress, money, based on wrong advice that should’ve been known up front because she never qualified for the waiver in the first place. It was our opinion they should’ve done the father’s case first, since he wasn’t subject to the waiver. Then the mother would have a lawful permanent resident spouse, and if they could show the requisite hardship to him, she would then qualify for the waiver.