06 Apr I-601 Waiver Approved at Lithuanian Consulate
Our client left the U.S. a few years ago after overstaying her visa for more than one year. Overstaying for more than one year caused her to be inadmissible to the U.S. because persons with more than one year of “unlawful presence” are not allowed to reenter the country for 10 years unless they are eligible for and are granted a “waiver,” essentially meaning that their previous immigration violation is forgiven. Many immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally and who were later ordered removed/deported, or who simply left the U.S. voluntarily after accumulating more than one year of “unlawful presence” are never permitted to return to the country. The legal standard for such waivers is “extreme hardship” to a U.S. citizen spouse or child and while one would think that any spouse or child of an immigrant would experience “extreme hardship”as a result of being separated from their spouse or mother, various court cases have established that separation alone does not meet the standard. Our client married a U.S. citizen who she had met while she was living in the U.S. He had suffered from a heart condition and had been treated at the University of Pennsylvania’s Children’s Hospital (CHOP). I obtained a significant amount of documentation regarding his medical condition including his complete medical records, and found numerous articles from credible sources that explained the causes, treatments, and prognosis for his particular medical condition. Combined with detailed affidavits of both our client and her husband as well as other evidence, the USCIS Office in Moscow granted our application for a waiver of our client’s “unlawful presence.” We have been informed that she will likely be scheduled for a second interview to receive her immigrant visa within two weeks. Many immigrants think that it is impossible to return to the U.S. after leaving the country due to a previous immigration violation, but with careful preparation and the right set of circumstances, waivers may be approved even where the facts are less compelling than in this case.