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Can you avoid being deported because of extreme hardship?

For an immigrant whose roots are planted here in the United States, the prospect of deportation can be one of the scariest ideas imaginable. You have gainful employment here, you have children in school here and you feel American in everything but name. However, U.S. immigration laws prohibit living illegally here for over one year. After that year, you can be banned from coming back to the country for 10 years.

Immigrants can file what is called a 601 Waiver in an attempt to avoid the 10-year ban. The 601 Waiver essentially petitions the government to consider the individual's case and the extreme hardship a ban would place on the individual or his or her family. Getting a 601 Waiver is no easy task. The USCIS provides a hierarchy of cases in which an immigrant may attempt to apply for the 601 Waiver. In order of importance, they are:

  1. The immigrant's country of origin is at war, or a relative is so sick that the immigrant must remain in the country to provide care.
  2. The immigrant's country is in political turmoil, or the immigrant has a relative about to undergo surgery that requires the presence of the individual for support and recovery.
  3. The immigrant's economy is in a terrible condition, or the immigrant has a family member whose health conditions make it unhealthy to move back to the country of origin.
  4. The immigrant's relative would be unable to remit payment for debts if he or she had to move out of the country.

These issues are highly complicated and rely on an intimate knowledge of the law and the system. For this reason, it may be a good idea to speak with an immigration attorney.

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