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What is extreme hardship?

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2021 | naturalization & citizenship

One type of immigration waiver available to you is an extreme hardship waiver. This waiver is applicable if you want to claim extreme hardship from deportation. It is known as a 601 waiver, according to FindLaw. 

The 601 waiver can help you to avoid banishment from the U.S. for 10 years and delay deportation. Defining extreme hardship is not easy because the government does not clearly define it, leaving interpretation up to immigration courts. 

Four levels

What the law does do is define four levels of hardship. These range from level one to four, with one being the most severe or extreme. Officials will usually want you to have at least one level one qualification and several others from the other levels to grant you’re an extreme hardship waiver. Ideally, you would need to have serious situations in your life or plausible fears about returning home to claim an extreme hardship. 

Levels explained

Level four, which is the lowest level, will involve issues with minor things, such as age or ability to pay debts. Level three is slightly more severe and includes issues with the economy in your home country or a sick family member. 

Level two includes more pressing issues that would require you to stay in the U.S., such as a family member having a medical condition and requiring your care or the potential for political issues in your home country. Level one, the most extreme hardships, would include anything that makes it unsafe for you to return to your country, such as war or the inability to safely travel.