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Case Status Update: Approvals- I-601a Waiver, E-2 Renewal, 10-Year Green Card

I-601A, Unlawful Presence WaiverApproved: Last week, we received an approval notice for an I-601A Unlawful Presence Waiver for our client, (hereinafter, Client "X"), who is a native and citizen of Ecuador. X illegally entered the country in 2001 and has not left since. X has been married to a U.S. Citizen since 2004 and the couple have 4 U.S. Citizen children together. Because X did not lawfully enter the U.S., despite the fact that she has an approved marriage petition, X cannot get her Green Card without first leaving the country.

What are the benefits of a I-601A Waiver?

Prior to the creation of the I-601A Waiver, the only option was to file a I-601 Waiver of grounds of inadmissibility. In order to file a I-601 Waiver, the applicant must 1st leave the U.S., then apply for the waiver and wait outside of the country for it to be adjudicated. This can take 6 months to a year or longer. Then, if the I-601 Waiver is approved, the applicant can finish the immigrant visa processing with NVC and hopefully be able to re-enter the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident. If your I-601 Waiver is not approved, then you will be stuck outside of the country facing a bar of up to 10 years depending on the type of immigration violation.

Who is eligible for a I-601A Waiver?

Obtaining approvals for I-601A and I-601 Waivers are no easy task. There are a number of eligibility requirements that must be met, including good moral character and at least 1 qualifying relative (who must be a U.S. Citizen or LPR). The hardest eligibility requirement to prove is the showing of "extreme hardship" to a qualifying relative. Factors considered by USCIS in determining if an Extreme Hardship exists, include:

  1. Health

  2. Financial considerations

  3. Education

  4. Personal considerations, and;

  5. Special Factors.

A totality of the circumstances is used, meaning you not one factor is required to prove extreme hardship, you can present evidence on as much as the above 5 factors that you have. For further explanation of these factors, click here.

Back to X...

In X's case, we were able to prove that her U.S. Citizen husband would suffer an extreme hardship if she were to be removed from the country based on a combination of the 5 above factors. Out of these factors, health was the primary concern. This case at first appeared to be relatively straight-forward and simple: X was diagnosed with a brain aneurism and relies on her husband and approximately 20 other U.S. Citizen and LPR family members who live near-by to assist in taking care of the kids when she is unable to do so herself and to help with her husband who suffers from diabetes and related illnesses.

The problem was, the extreme hardship cannot be to the applicant, it must be borne by the qualifying relative. We thus had the much more difficult task of proving that X's husband and children will suffer immensely psychological harm due to the fact that X will not have the medical care and family support and help if she were to return to Ecuador without her family (we also had to prove that her family would suffer an extreme hardship if they left the country with X, and thus leaving the U.S. permanently with her was not a realistic option). The seriousness of X's illness meant that she needed others to help take care of herself and without their assistance, her fate alone in Ecuador was grim. It took many months to prepare the evidence, which required us to provide documentary evidence relating to all facets of X and her family's life.

What is next for X?

X will finish submitting her immigrant visa application and affidavit of support and wait for the NVC to schedule her interview in Ecuador. At that point, X will depart the country and go back to Ecuador where she will attend her immigrant visa interview. Absent any surprises, X will be able to re-enter the U.S. as a Lawful Permanent Resident.

Form I-797C, I-601A Approval Notice, Page 1

Form I-797C, I-601A Approval Notice, Page 2

E-2 Treaty Visa Extension Approved: Last week we also received an approval notice for an E-2 Visa extension for our Client, (hereinafter "Y"), who is a native and citizen of Georgia. Y and his family came to the U.S. on B-2 Visitor Visas and then changed their status to E-2 (and E-2 dependents) in 2015.

Y was able to secure his E-2 Visa after he committed a substantial and irrevocable investment in a new trucking company in the United States. Y also had to prove, among other factors, that he would be creating jobs for U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents, and most importantly that the money he used to invested in his U.S.-based business came from clean sources, i.e., income earned, gift or loan. 2 years later, despite facing a major loss when one of his truck drivers got into an accident, totaling Y's truck, Y was able to extend his authorized stay by another 2 years by showing that his business was active and continuing to grow. E-2 Visa holders are not eligible to obtain Green Cards based on their E-2 status, but there is no limit on the number of renewals that an applicant may request.

Form I-797C, Notice of Action - I-129, E-2 Approval Notice

Conditions Removed, 10-Year Green Card Approved: Finally, last week we received another approval notice for an I-751 Petition to Remove Conditions or Permanent Residence. This approval came for our client, (hereinafter Client "Z"), who is a native and citizen of Japan. And the approval came without Z and her husband being called in for an interview! Z and her husband met in 2012 and began dating. The couple wed in June of 2013 and Z's U.S. Citizen husband filed for her Green Card shortly thereafter. Z and her husband are avid surfers and live together in Long Beach, NY.

What is next for Z?

Z can now apply for naturalization because on July 14 she will have been a LPR for 3 years and she is still married and living with her U.S. Citizen Spouse!

Form I-797, Notice of Action - I-751, Approval Notice

**If you need representation in Removal/ Deportation proceedings or with help filing for immigration benefits, contact an experienced immigration attorney at The Shapiro Law Firm today to get started!**

(*please note that all identification information has been removed in order to protect our clients' privacy and in order to fully comply with attorney advertising rules and regulations*)