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Thread: APPROVED: sample letters illustrating "extreme hardship" under I-601

  1. #21
    APPROVED
    Jordan/Rome--unlawful presence + I-212

    Here is a copy of Tikbj's hardship letter, submitted following a request for evidence from USCIS Rome; no other documentation was submitted with it. It was for previous unlawful presence for her husband, who is a citizen of Jordan.

    Attention: USCI Information Desk

    Re:

    DOB: 1/9/1978
    Case #:

    Or

    Here is the hardship letter that was requested for ........by your office.

    My name is ................... and I have married to .......for the last two and half years. We met, fell in love and married in the United States. It was to my shock to find out my husband was being forced to return back to his homeland due to legal technicalities that were beyond our control. I have been talking with my husband on a weekly basis and there is not a day that goes by that he doesn't regret entering the United States illegally, but all he wanted was to make a better life for himself and his mother. His father died when he was a very young boy and the burden that was placed on his mother to support the family was tremendous. He vowed to his mother to one-day take care of her the way she deserved. He thought that by going to America he could fulfill his promise to his mother. This is why he is such a wonderful husband and human being, because he always thinks of others and tries to help them better themselves.

    If he were allowed to come to the United States he would follow and support the laws of the country. I have never met anyone more honest; trust worthy, or caring then Mohammad. My love for him is great and I have remained a pillar of support for him through all this. Mohammad has asked me on several occasions to come to Jordan and live with him and build a family there, but I am afraid because the U.S department of State has put out a public announcement (most recently being August 12,2005) that there are on going security risks and threats of terrorist actions that may include bombings, hi*******s, hostage taking, kidnapping and assassinations in the Middle East against U.S Citizens.

    Also, Jordan is an underdeveloped industrial country. Jordan not economically supportive and must depend heavily on foreign aid. It is a small Arab country with inadequate supplies of water (ranked in the top 10 most deficient countries) and other natural resources. Debt, poverty and unemployment are fundamental problems. Jordan is considered as Food Insecure due to its limited resources. Per capita the income per year is $2000 and in many areas it is as low as $500 to $900 per year.

    The thought of raising a child in a country where the infant mortality rate is 61 deaths out of every 1000 births due to insufficient medical care and malnutrition. Child abuse and child labor remain a problem, polygamy is allowed, and violence against women is extremely concerning to me.

    There are also restrictions on freedom of movement, women's rights and societal discrimination against women that plague the Middle East. In Jordan there are significant restrictions on citizens' rights to change their government. Other human rights issues include police abuse, mistreatment of detainees, allegations of torture, denial of due process of law.

    I am deeply concerned for my husbands' well being, when we talk I can tell that he is trying to be strong and hide his hardship from me. Because we love each other very much the past few years have been very hard on both of us. I am unable to sleep, have extreme anxieties, and am having a hard time functioning not only at work but at home as well. Mohammad is also having a hard time eating, sleeping and finding employment. With him being in Jordan, a huge financial burden has been placed on our small closely woven family. Which includes his friends that he made while he was here, who ask about him all the time and prey that he will be allowed to return soon. Even his employer has left his position open for him if and when he comes back, because he knows Mohammad is a hard working, loyal and trust worthy man.


    Page 1 of 2 - August 23, 2005

    Attention: USCI Information Desk

    Re: ..............

    DOB: 1/9/1978
    Case #: ................Or

    .....

    Since meeting my husband I have become a better person, I truly believe he is my soul mate and I feel like a whole human being when I am with him. I am looking forward to starting our family together in the United States, because I know there are many opportunities for our children to become successful, productive, law abiding citizens, just like me and Mohammad.

    I am begging you to allow us to begin our family and life together as soon as possible. I could not bear to live the rest of my life without feeling his touch or looking into his soft beautiful brown eyes.

    At night when I am lying alone in bed I sometimes dream about him being next to me only to awake and find myself alone, having to start another day without my beloved Mohammad.

    I do not know if words could even begin to describe the true feelings that I have for my husband but I pray that as you read this you can feel the love I have for him.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,

  2. #22
    Here is Rheabs' hardship letter, which was approved in London on Dec. 30, 2005 for previous unlawful presence of over 180 days (3 year bar). Included are both the USC letter, followed by the UKC supporting letter.

    US Embassy
    London
    UK.

    To whom this concerns.


    RE: USC/UKC CASE NUMBER... LDN*********x


    I. HARDSHIP TO THE U.S. CITIZEN (USC) Mrs ****** *** ****** (UKC) MR ***xx ***xx ******

    Introduction

    The USC/UKC has been ask to file a waiver I-601 with a letter of any hardships the USC/UKC has accrued while waiting on I-130 approved visa.
    The USC/UKC will show hardships from extreme, unusual and some instances severe hardships to the USC/UKC
    If ALIEN were not admitted to the United States, USC really would suffer, (from) extreme, unusual, severe hardships.
    She would feel compelled by the powerful forces of her complete marital bond to do so.



    There are several interacting hardships#

    CHILDREN
    .
    USC has one child (******x *** ***xx) from her first marriage to (MR x. ***xx) who was born on August xx, ***x. They were divorced in September ***x. USC has primary custody of (******x *** ***xx) and visitation rights were awarded to (Mr x ***xx) every 2nd weekend of the month. They also are to split holidays during even and odd years. The custody agreement explicitly states USC is not allowed to take (******x *** ***xx) out of Florida unless it is under specific circumstances regarding benefits for the Childs welfare, employment related to the USC, or education purposes. This was established so that (Mr x. ***xx) could continue to have access to his child in close proximity.

    USC had her second child (****** x ******) (D.O.B xxth Nov 2***) from her now Alien husband and biological father Mr.x.x.****** (UKC)

    If UKC's waiver were denied, this would be extremely disastrous to USC and their children (******x x ***xx, ****** x ******). (Mr x ***xx USC) would sanction a move to the UK of his daughter (******xx) and will invoke court proceedings to stop any move to the UK. He has provided a written statement expressing this attitude of not providing permission for the re-location of his daughter. Upon beginning court proceedings with his former wife USC, this imposes, financially, emotional and psychological hardships on USC and there children.
    This would be as no benefit to anybody concerned.

    (Please see Letter From Former husband Mr x ***xx & Divorce degree attached)

    As stated the USC has also a son from the (UKC Husband Mr x x ******) who is the biological father of ****** x ****** (The USC son ******) has only seen his father for no more than 18 days in 22 months outside the USA. ****** who is now almost 3 yrs of age, and he needs his (UKC dad) in his life as all children needs both parents, to share both each other as a family unit.
    The USC has, had to do this all on her own for this last 22 months, of which it is so important that her (UKC) husband can be there for his USC son & his USC step daughter, ******xx ***xx and his wife. So that he the (UKC) can share the burdens of his USC family, every day.


    Medical

    Whilst the USC has no severe medical conditions; the same is not true for her 70 year old, USC mother. Her mother has a history of severe medical conditions spanning almost a decade.

    The USC mother Mrs x *********x was diagnosed with C.O.P.D. (Coronary (Obstructed Disease) and Emphysema about approx ten years ago. She had spontaneous Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) in 1995 where she had to undergo surgery for a thorecotomy (lung reduction)
    The USC Father who was the prime caregiver to the USC mother, suddenly passed away in September 1998 at the age of 69.
    The USC then became her Mother's health surrogate and power of attorney.
    The USC Mother has deteriorated through the years to whereby she is now completely oxygen dependant.

    The USC must maintain her mother's household as well as her own home. USC mother is, in/out of hospital on the average of two/three times a year for pneumonia associated with her condition. The USC mother is now experiencing difficulties in her walking. She is currently under observation for her lower back. She is now losing the use of her legs and is now having to use a cane to help herself.

    The USC must not only work for approx 60+ a wk, but also a to bring up her 2 children ages, 8 and 3yrs old, but also attend to her very sick USC mother.
    So as stated the USC is the sole caretaker of her sick mother, in all aspects of her stressful day-to day schedule.
    Just the simple things in life we all take for granted like i.e. going to the shops, post office, pharmacy, gardening, ect this is so not the case here for the USC sick mother as she is so dependant of the USC, to take her wherever she needs to go, on any one day.
    USC has a very close relationship with her mother. Without a doubt, when her mother reaches a state of decline whereby she requires regular assistance, USC wants to be one of those people who will offer a high level of assistance. If she would be unable to respond to her mother's need when the time comes, this would be an extreme hardship on USC.

    If there were a fine example of a severe/extreme hardship to the USC, this would be it as stated. (Please see attached medical history)


    FINANCIAL

    The USC has a huge FINANCIAL commitment within the USA. This includes, Home loan, student loan repayment, and credit card debts, car loan, total amount of over $150.000.

    As the USC just had promotion where she works at ********* College as a medical programme chair, and just recently had a pay increase from $29.000 to $39.000. This was most welcomed and deserved. The USC still finds herself living hand to mouth every month with the monthly outgoings payments.

    So much one of her several credit card debts was difficult to repay back with the high interest payment, her USC mother was kind to consolidate her credit card repayment to a lower rate. This was a constructive and financially good choice for the USC to do, as she was finding the $10.000 credit card dept, difficult to repay back every month. The USC now repays her mother $200.00 per month every month. This is one of many ongoing debts.


    This cannot be possible if it wasn't for her UKC husband who subsidises her financial needs, whenever possible. As he the (UKC) has also financial commitments of his own in the UK i.e. home loan, credit card ect.
    The (UKC) feels at the very least, sends to the USA from $500.00/$1.000 per month to the USA, to help out payments for his USC son's day care/clothes ect. This would be impossible financially for the USC, if it were not for her supportive (UKC) husband.
    This is the reason it is so important for her (UKC) husband to be granted into the USA, so that he can be there with his family, to share not just only emotionally, but all financial aspects of his family within the USA.

    If the UKC was granted the above, it will be a great weight off the USC & her family, where he (UKC) can then work, share the burdens of his USC wife & he then can help out whichever way he can to the USC sick mother whenever he is needed.
    (Please see attached financial incomings/outgoings expenditures)



    Employment/ Education

    The USC has a bachelor's degree in science and is currently working at ********* College as a medical programme chair and her duties are to supervise medical staff and look over all medical students and also to place students in work placement as part of there course in college.
    This job is very demanding but at the same time very rewarding. One she loves to do. To face challenges of the medical students and to pass on her own experience to them, so that they (students) can also move on forward with their goals in their lives. At the same time the USC has her own goals to move forward and get back into her beloved studies of maybe into the science research. This she can only do if her UKC husband was granted to come back to the USA, so that she can focus on such a dream.

    As stated the USC works at ********* College and her Knowledge of the science world is such a rare status for a single mother, would be such a loss to the USA. Her Employer Mr ********* is always singing her praise and he himself has always said that she is a fine asset to the USA, and it would be a crying shame to loose such a knowledgeable / Educational person as the USC.

    (Please read letter from Employment)



    Psychological


    If USC was forced to make a devastating decision to live in the UK. It would be an extremely and immoral choice for her. She would suffer a lot of emotional turmoil choosing between her family, country, work and her (UKC Husband) her devastating/immoral choice will be, first and foremost her USC daughter ******xx ***xx. Who her USC biological father, (former husband Mr ***xx have already stated that he will not allow his USC daughter out of the state of Florida. (Please see letter from Mr x ***xx)

    When the USC lost her father suddenly in September 1998. The USC then shortly afterwards went into a state of depression, finding hard to have a good relationship with her (former husband) the USC sort medical advice from her doctor and diagnosed her with severe depression, her doctor prescribed a anti depression drug ******, of which she took for approx four months.

    Although it can be expected that the average person, in an immigration USC psychological hardships have proven themselves to be particularly severe and have the potential of causing medical illness, hospitalisation, or even death. Thus, her psychological hardships warrant particularly in depth examination. Case of this nature would experience profound psychological difficulties,

    Due to the extreme hardship USC has experienced as a result of the separation from her husband, and will experience if forced to move from her family and country, USC has suffered psychologically. She misses the emotional support her husband provides in regards to celebrating personal achievements, such as a recent promotion at work and celebrating national holidays with each other and with their family. Each holiday, birthdays, and anniversary they do not spend together as a family sends USC, into a state of depression and aloneness.


    The majority of drawing cues indicate that USC is feeling inadequate and insecure. She is somewhat timid, dependent, and feels helpless and weak and tends to prefer to keep her feelings secret, for she does not trust easily. Her energy appears to be somewhat low at this time, perhaps because she is most likely to use her energy to over compensate for self-perceived weaknesses. She is also intensely feels the pressures and inhibitions of her environment. She clearly fears the future for herself and her children.

    USC is already suffering from sleepless nights, has presented high levels of anxiety, her work performance has been hindered at the college she works at and she experiences profound feelings of worthlessness because she feels that she can not give 110% to her Employer/students at this time of her life. (Please read letter sent by her Employer)


    Once a person, such as USC, has been exposed to the onset of major depression, that a person remains highly susceptible to re-occurrences. These re-occurrences are often triggered by extreme levels of stress or devastating events (such as the loss of her father) or moving to a foreign country in which one would become isolated or living away from a spouse and child). If forced to make such decision to move from her country, she would have to overcome tremendous anxiety problems as well as the possibility of developing a Full Major Depressive Disorder or an Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood. At the same time living without her (USC child ******xx ***xx) would have equally devastating affects.


    SUMMARY

    It needs to be emphasized that by issuing an approval of an I-130 for a spousal visa, the United States government has formally and legally recognized the validity of the marriage between Mr ****** (UKC) and Mrs. ****** USC. It is well documented that "family unity" is an important value unpinning the raison deter of the United States of America and that actions to "assure family unity' are part of the intent of the United States immigration law [for example see Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part II, section I, pp. 64 and 65]. Although, it is a function of law to provide legal definition and recognition to this marriage between USC and ALIEN, it is clearly the intent of law to support the complex nature of marriage.

    In other words, in this and other genuine marriages there are multiple social psychological, familial, economic, cultural, spiritual, etc. bonds, which are presumed by the law to exist conjointly with the legal presence of marriage. Support for these complex interacting marital bonds is a fundamental value of the larger society and a function of the law.


    Hardships are built upon the base of significant, although usual hardship. In other words, it is of note that USC misses her UKC husband painfully, she is anxious about their future and that of their children because it depends upon Mr ****** of being granted his I-130 visa. However, these are considered herein to be "simply " the backdrop of those other, previously listed hardships that, individually and when combined and interacting are severe. In other words, the enormous strain of being separated from her UKC husband constitutes a powerful hardship on USC. The other hardships on top of this one culminate in him being potentially and actually subjected to extreme and unusual hardship. These additional hardships include, but are not limited to USC elderly mother and fragile health, but the USC daughter; this will put the USC in an impossible and an immoral choice to choose her, USC 8 yr old baby girl, or her UKC husband in the UK.

    CONCLUSION

    Please Sir/Madam read this hardship letter several times if need be and come to the only right and just decision to approve this waiver. Because this marriage would not be full or complete and the impact on this separation is one of great emotional, social, familial, economical and spiritual influences, one must weigh heavily the consequences that would result if the ALIEN were not allowed to be reunited with US CITIZEN family in the United States. The US CITIZEN misses ALIEN painfully and is uncertain as well as frightened of her future as it is dependent upon the status of her husband. The enormous strain that this separation has and will continue to have constitutes a powerful hardship to the US CITIZEN. Due to the above stated subject matter we respectfully request the waiver to be approved and the ALIEN to be allowed to be reunited with his family in the United States.



    Subject to extreme and unusual hardship. We respectfully request the waiver be approved.

    ****** x. ****** (USC) Date
    ***xx x. ****** (UKC)



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Aliens...(Me UKc) Hardship..letter


    US Embassy
    London
    UK.

    To whom this concerns.



    RE: USC/UKC CASE NUMBER... ************x:



    I. HARDSHIP TO THE U.S. CITIZEN (USC) Mrs ******x *** ******x (UKC) MR ***xx ****** ******

    Introduction

    The USC/UKC has been ask to file a waiver I-601 with a letter of any hardships the USC/UKC has accrued while waiting on I-130 approved visa.
    The USC/UKC will show hardships from extreme, unusual and some instances severe hardships to the USC/UKC
    If ALIEN were not admitted to the United States, USC really would suffer, extreme, unusual, severe hardships.
    She would feel compelled by the powerful forces of her complete marital bond to do so.



    There are several interacting hardships#

    CHILDREN

    The (USC) has a child from her pervious marriage, who is a (USC) and her name is ******xx *** ****** (D.O. Aug xx 19xx.and a son ****** x ****** born on the xx/xx/xx in ********* Florida USA. The (UKC) Mr x x ******x is the biological father of the USC son ******x x ******x.

    Once the USC was divorced in September 20xx from her (previous) USC husband Mr ***xx ***xx. The Judge in his closing their case gave the USC Mrs ***xx *** ******, primary custody, to there child ****** ***x ***xx USC. Also the judge stating that the (Former USC husband) Mr x ***xx has visitation rights to his USC Daughter every 2nd wk-end of the month and they also must split the holidays with this, with odd/even years. The judge also mentions that the USC must not take the USC child out of the state of Florida, unless it is for the benefit of the child/USC for work/education reasons (only)
    This was put in place so that the USC (former) husband Mr ***xx ***xx would have access to his USC child ******xx ***xx, within the state of ********* Florida on them times stated above.

    If the UKC were not allowed to be admitted to the USA, this would be nothing short of disastrous to the USC & the children ******x & ******. This then will not only be an immoral choice for the USC to make, but almost impossible, as the USC (Former) husband would sanction such a move. And he would then precede with court action forth wit. If this was to happen of which the USC (hope not) this would an Emotionally, Psychologically, and financially strain on all. This would be as no benefit to anybody concerned.

    (Please see Letter From Former husband Mr x ****** & Divorce degree attached)

    As stated the USC has also a son from the (UKC) Mr x x ****** who is the biological father of ****** ******. (The USC son ****** x ******x) has only seen his father for no more than 18 days in 22 months outside the USA. ****** who is now almost 3 yrs of age, and he needs his (UKC dad) in his life as all children needs both parents, to share both each other as a family unit.
    The USC has, had to do this all on her own for this last 22 months, of which it is so important that her (UKC) husband can be there for his USC son & his USC step daughter, ******x ***xx and his wife. So that he the (UKC) can share the burdens of his USC family, every day.


    Medical

    Whilst the USC has no severe medical conditions; the same is not true for her 70 year old, USC mother. Her mother has a history of severe medical conditions spanning almost a decade.

    The USC mother Mrs x ********* was diagnosed with C.O.P.D. (Coronary (Obstructed Disease) and Emphysema about approx ten years ago. She had spontaneous Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) in 1995 where she had to undergo surgery for a thorecotomy (lung reduction)
    The USC Father who was the prime caregiver to the USC mother, suddenly passed away in September 1998 at the age of 69.
    The USC then became her Mother's health surrogate and power of attorney.
    The USC Mother has deteriorated through the years to whereby she is now completely oxygen dependant.

    The USC must maintain her mother's household as well as her own home. USC mother is, in/out of hospital on the average of two/three times a year for pneumonia associated with her condition. The USC mother is now experiencing difficulties in her walking. She is currently under observation for her lower back. She is now losing the use of her legs and is now having to use a cane to help herself.

    The USC must not only work for approx 60+ a wk, but also a to bring up her 2 children ages, 8 and 3yrs old, but also attend to her very sick USC mother.
    So as stated the USC is the sole caretaker of her sick mother, in all aspects of her stressful day-to day schedule.
    Just the simple things in life we all take for granted like i.e. going to the shops, post office, pharmacy, gardening, ect this is so not the case here for the USC sick mother as she is so dependant of the USC, to take her wherever she needs to go, on any one day.
    USC has a very close relationship with her mother. Without a doubt, when her mother reaches a state of decline whereby she requires regular assistance, USC wants to be one of those people who will offer a high level of assistance. If she would be unable to respond to her mother's need when the time comes, this would be an extreme hardship on USC.

    If there were a fine example of a severe/extreme hardship to the USC, this would be it as stated. (Please see attached medical history)


    FINANCIAL

    The USC has a huge FINANCIAL commitment within the USA. This includes, Home loan, student loan repayment, and credit card debts, car loan, total amount of over $150.000.

    As the USC just had promotion where she works at ******xx College as a medical programme chair, and just recently had a pay increase from $29.000 to $39.000. This was most welcomed and deserved. The USC still finds herself living hand to mouth every month with the monthly outgoings payments.

    So much one of her several credit card debts was difficult to repay back with the high interest payment, her USC mother was kind to consolidate her credit card repayment to a lower rate. This was a constructive and financially good choice for the USC to do, as she was finding the $10.000 credit card dept, difficult to repay back every month. The USC now repays her mother $200.00 per month every month. This is one of many ongoing debts.


    This cannot be possible if it wasn't for her UKC husband who subsidises her financial needs, whenever possible. As he the (UKC) has also financial commitments of his own in the UK i.e. home loan, credit card ect.
    The (UKC) feels at the very least, sends to the USA from $500.00/$1.000 per month to the USA, to help out payments for his USC son's day care/clothes ect. This would be impossible financially for the USC, if it were not for her supportive (UKC) husband.
    This is the reason it is so important for her (UKC) husband to be granted into the USA, so that he can be there with his family, to share not just only emotionally, but all financial aspects of his family within the USA.

    If the UKC was granted the above, it will be a great weight off the USC & her family, where he (UKC) can then work, share the burdens of his USC wife & he then can help out whichever way he can to the USC sick mother whenever he is needed.
    (Please see attached financial incomings/outgoings expenditures)



    Employment/ Education

    The USC has a bachelor's degree in science and is currently working at ******xx College as a medical programme chair and her duties are to supervise medical staff and look over all medical students and also to place students in work placement as part of there course in college.
    This job is very demanding but at the same time very rewarding. One she loves to do. To face challenges of the medical students and to pass on her own experience to them, so that they (students) can also move on forward with their goals in their lives. At the same time the USC has her own goals to move forward and get back into her beloved studies of maybe into the science research. This she can only do if her UKC husband was granted to come back to the USA, so that she can focus on such a dream.

    As stated the USC works at ******xx College and her Knowledge of the science world is such a rare status for a single mother, would be such a loss to the USA. Her Employer Mr ********* is always singing her praise and he himself has always said that she is a fine asset to the USA, and it would be a crying shame to loose such a knowledgeable / Educational person as the USC.

    (Please read letter from Employment)


    Psychological


    If USC was forced to make a devastating decision to live in the UK. It would be an extremely and immoral choice for her. She would suffer a lot of emotional turmoil choosing between her family, country, work and her (UKC Husband) her devastating/immoral choice will be, first and foremost her USC daughter ******x ******. Who her USC biological father, (former husband Mr x ***xx have already stated that he will not allow his USC daughter out of the state of Florida. (Please see letter from Mr x ***xx)

    When the USC lost her father suddenly in September 1998. The USC then shortly afterwards went into a state of depression, finding hard to have a good relationship with her (former husband) the USC sort medical advice from her doctor and diagnosed her with severe depression, her doctor prescribed a anti depression drug ***xx, of which she took for approx four months.

    Although it can be expected that the average person, in an immigration USC psychological hardships have proven themselves to be particularly severe and have the potential of causing medical illness, hospitalisation, or even death. Thus, her psychological hardships warrant particularly in depth examination. Case of this nature would experience profound psychological difficulties,

    Due to the extreme hardship USC has experienced as a result of the separation from her husband, and will experience if forced to move from her family and country, USC has suffered psychologically. She misses the emotional support her husband provides in regards to celebrating personal achievements, such as a recent promotion at work and celebrating national holidays with each other and with their family. Each holiday, birthdays, and anniversary they do not spend together as a family sends USC, into a state of depression and aloneness.


    The majority of drawing cues indicate that USC is feeling inadequate and insecure. She is somewhat timid, dependent, and feels helpless and weak and tends to prefer to keep her feelings secret, for she does not trust easily. Her energy appears to be somewhat low at this time, perhaps because she is most likely to use her energy to over compensate for self-perceived weaknesses. She is also intensely feels the pressures and inhibitions of her environment. She clearly fears the future for herself and her children.

    USC is already suffering from sleepless nights, has presented high levels of anxiety, her work performance has been hindered at the college she works at and she experiences profound feelings of worthlessness because she feels that she can not give 110% to her Employer/students at this time of her life. (Please read letter sent by her Employer)


    Once a person, such as USC, has been exposed to the onset of major depression, that a person remains highly susceptible to re-occurrences. These re-occurrences are often triggered by extreme levels of stress or devastating events (such as the loss of her father) or moving to a foreign country in which one would become isolated or living away from a spouse and child). If forced to make such decision to move from her country, she would have to overcome tremendous anxiety problems as well as the possibility of developing a Full Major Depressive Disorder or an Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood. At the same time living without her (USC child ******x ***xx) would have equally devastating affects.


    SUMMARY
    .
    It needs to be emphasized that by issuing an approval of an I-130 for a spousal visa, the United States government has formally and legally recognized the validity of the marriage between Mr ****** (UKC) and Mrs. ****** USC. It is well documented that "family unity" is an important value unpinning the raison deter of the United States of America and that actions to "assure family unity' are part of the intent of the United States immigration law [for example see Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part II, section I, pp. 64 and 65]. Although, it is a function of law to provide legal definition and recognition to this marriage between USC and ALIEN, it is clearly the intent of law to support the complex nature of marriage.

    In other words, in this and other genuine marriages there are multiple social psychological, familial, economic, cultural, spiritual, etc. bonds, which are presumed by the law to exist conjointly with the legal presence of marriage. Support for these complex interacting marital bonds is a fundamental value of the larger society and a function of the law.


    . Hardships are built upon the base of significant, although usual hardship. In other words, it is of note that USC misses her UKC husband painfully, she is anxious about their future and that of their children because it depends upon Mr ****** of being granted his I-130 visa. However, these are considered herein to be "simply " the backdrop of those other, previously listed hardships that, individually and when combined and interacting are severe. In other words, the enormous strain of being separated from her UKC husband constitutes a powerful hardship on USC. The other hardships on top of this one culminate in him being potentially and actually subjected to extreme and unusual hardship. These additional hardships include, but are not limited to USC elderly mother and fragile health, but the USC daughter; this will put the USC in an impossible and an immoral choice to choose her, USC 8 yr old baby girl, or her UKC husband in the UK.

    CONCLUSION

    Please Sir/Madam read this hardship letter several times if need be and come to the only right and just decision to approve this waiver. Because this marriage would not be full or complete and the impact on this separation is one of great emotional, social, familial, economical and spiritual influences, one must weigh heavily the consequences that would result if the ALIEN were not allowed to be reunited with US CITIZEN family in the United States. The US CITIZEN misses ALIEN painfully and is uncertain as well as frightened of her future as it is dependent upon the status of her husband. The enormous strain that this separation has and will continue to have constitutes a powerful hardship to the US CITIZEN. Due to the above stated subject matter we respectfully request the waiver to be approved and the ALIEN to be allowed to be reunited with his family in the United States.


    Subject to extreme and unusual hardship. We respectfully request the waiver be approved.

    ******x x. ****** (USC) Date
    ***xx x. ******x (UKC)

  3. #23
    APPROVED

    Here's my hardship letter for both I-601 & I-212 waivers, filed in Caracas, Venezuela and approved at USCIS Panama City on Dec. 22, 2005 for previous unlawful presence of 1+ years and deportation.

    ***Please note: I have reason to believe that this letter was not a major factor (if any) in the decision, based on a conversation with the adjudicating officer. Instead, she was more concerned with our relationship validity, his case history/circumstances/background, and my current at-risk pregnancy of which she requested documentation. The decision was made in the course of our conversation.

    .......................................................................................................

    May 6, 2005

    I, USC, declare under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the United States, that the forgoing is true and correct.

    I am submitting this affidavit in support of the I-601 Waiver of Grounds of Excludability for my husband, HUSBAND (A# xx-***-***, NVC Case # 2004******).

    HARDSHIPS TO ME, THE U.S. CITIZEN
    If HUSBAND is not admitted to the United States, I will suffer extreme and unusual hardship above and beyond what I have already suffered. Already since his departure, I have had to give up practicing real estate, a career for which I had worked very hard to become licensed in and professionally established. In the real estate practice, because I was not paid a salary and was dependant on commissions, ample savings were a necessity to fall back on. I was unable to afford to wait for those commissions after our savings were exhausted for legal fees associated with HUSBAND's deportation, and was forced to seek other career options.

    I feel deeply compelled each day to reunite with my husband and share our lives together as we once did and as we have every right to do. However, doing so in Venezuela would greatly endanger my safety, cause significant psychological stress, strain my relationship with my family, completely deplete our finances, eliminate my plans to pursue a graduate degree and end our dreams of starting a family of our own.

    I. GRAVE SAFETY CONCERNS
    I will face significant, potentially life-threatening risks to my personal safety if I move to Venezuela to join my husband. Due in part to the strained economic and turbulent political situation, there is constant unrest in most metropolitan areas of the country. There are regular riots and demonstrations, kidnappings, murders, robberies and ongoing violence. Even in the best of neighborhoods, there are regular incidents and police raids are common.

    Recent anti-U.S. and anti-Bush sentiments generated by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez have sparked additional violence against U.S. Citizens there. The web sites of the U.S. Embassy in Caracas and the U.S. Department of State contain lengthy warnings for U.S. citizens in Venezuela (see Exhibit A). On my 2 visits there, my husband has had to keep constant watch over me, never allowing me out of his sight, and trying to limit our conversations in public as I do not speak Spanish and would stand out immediately as a target. As difficult as it is for him to try to keep me safe for a short visit, if I were to reside there permanently, the toll this stress will have on both of us – the constant fear for my safety - is immeasurable.

    II. FUTURE FAMILY AND MEDICAL CONCERNS
    It is medically imperative that I start our family in the very near future. I have increased risks of infertility, miscarriage and pre-term labor due to a surgery I have had to my cervix. The surgery, a Cone Biopsy, was performed to remove abnormal (pre-cancerous) cells from my cervix after I was diagnosed with Cervical Dysplasia. I have not had further problems with the dysplasia at this time, but the surgery weakened my cervix, very potentially affecting my ability to conceive or hold a pregnancy (See Exhibit B).

    When I conceive, my doctors have told me that I will have to be very closely monitored. If my cervix is not strong enough, medical intervention will be necessary to prevent me from miscarrying or going into premature labor. If, however, I were unable to conceive due to scarring of my cervical tissue, infertility options would have to be explored first; all of them would require my husband's presence and ready availability. Most women are capable of bearing their first child without difficulty through the age of 35; fertility and uncomplicated pregnancy rates drop significantly after that. Due to my already present risk of severe complications, doctors have advised me not to wait any longer to attempt my first pregnancy.

    Here in the U.S., I am not only confident that I will have the expert care I will need and access to advanced medical facilities, but I also have excellent insurance through my employer which will cover my medical expenses. However, without HUSBAND's financial support (which is impossible to provide from Venezuela, where an average months pay is only about $150-$200), I would not be able to afford having a baby, especially if I am ordered to bed-rest throughout the pregnancy (therefore unable to work) to prevent pre-term delivery. Additionally, I can not raise a child alone, when my husband, who is my greatest source of emotional support and would be my only source of financial support, is 3000 miles away from me. This would be an extreme hardship for myself, as well as for my child who would have to grow up deprived of his/her father.

    If I am living in Venezuela on the other hand, I will not have medical insurance and it will be impossible to have access to even a remotely comparable level of medical technology and expertise. With infant mortality rates at 24/1000 births (4x higher than the 6/1000 in the U.S.), and inadequate technology to ensure a safe pregnancy to term, I will be placing my fetus or baby's life at risk if I try to begin my family in Venezuela. (See Exhibits C and B).

    It would be a cruel and extreme hardship to subject my child to the choices of growing up in the safety, security and proper education of the U.S. without his/her father or to grow up in a poverty-stricken Third-World country with him (see Exhibit E). Without HUSBAND's presence here in the United States, under these circumstances, I could not attempt to start a family.

    Also, if the pre-cancerous cells which cause cervical dysplasia recur, they may not be adequately detected with the technology available in Venezuela ("the healing and scarring process after a cone biopsy may make it difficult to identify abnormal tissue in the future"). If this condition is not treated, it often will grow into an invasive cervical cancer (see Exhibit B).

    Additionally, I have experienced many episodes of shortness of breath, severe palpitations, and insomnia in the past year. After ruling out a heart condition and other ailments with a physical, an EKG, and blood tests, my doctor concluded that my symptoms were indicative of anxiety attacks from great stress. If I cannot eliminate the stress (i.e. have my husband back), these attacks will continue and worsen, leading to Anxiety Disorder and Depression (See Exhibit D).

    THE HOLMES-RAHE SOCIAL READJUSTMENT RATING SCALE
    In 1967 Thomas H. Holmes, M.D. and Richard H. Rahe, M.D. published "The Social Readjustment Rating Scale" in the prestigious Journal of Psychosomatic Research. This scale measures vulnerability to medical illness as a result of stress. It is now famous and still widely used; its efficacy is well established. For instance, in December 2000 in "Educational and Psychological Measurement" Judith A. Scully, Henry Tosi and Kevin Banning re-evaluated the use of this instrument. The abstract of their article states:

    "The authors conclude that, in sum, life change events remain useful predictors of stress related-symptom scores and that the SRRS is a robust instrument for identifying the potential for the occurrence of stress-related outcomes and is, therefore, a useful tool..."

    The scale uses the weighting of Life Changes Units (LCU's) as a means of predicting vulnerability to medical illness. For instance, a marital separation would accrue 65 LCU's and an outstanding personal achievement would accrue 28 LCU's. In other words, significant life changes, positive and negative, are significant variables in the development of medical illness. It is not possible to predict exactly which illness might occur. However, degree of vulnerability can be predicted. Pre-existing conditions, (such as my previous bout with cervical dysplasia) are presumed to be highly vulnerable to exacerbation. The predictive ranges of the SRRS are:

    LCU 0-150: No significant risk
    LCU 150-199: 35% Chance of illness or injury in two year period
    LCU 200-299: 51% Chance of illness or injury in two year period
    LCU 300 +: 80% Chance of illness or injury in two year period

    The scale was applied on the assumed basis that I was forced to move to Venezuela. My score on this instrument was an astounding 501, with the following analysis, "This score indicates major life crisis and is highly predictive (80%) of serious physical illness within the next 2 years". On the other hand, if HUSBAND were able to return to the U.S., thus eliminating the hardships/stress factors, the score would drop dramatically to 64 (no significant risk).

    The Holmes-Rahe SRRS also demonstrates a very important fact widely recognized in the health sciences. Stress and other risk factors not only exist as independent influences, they interact dynamically. In other words, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I will be subjected to several factors whose interactions contribute exponentially to my experience of hardship. Each interacts with the other in a manner that heightens their mutual impact. Therefore, the totality of hardship factors exceeds measurement.

    III. FAMILY TIES IN THE U.S.
    I was born and raised in the U.S. and my entire family lives nearby. I have absolutely no family anywhere in South America. I am very close to both of my parents, my sister, and my 5-year-old niece who has lived with me or near me for most of her life. My mom and sister are my best friends; being separated from them would be devastating. Since neither of them drives, and my father moved away, they both depend on me for many essentials, including grocery shopping and getting to doctor's appointments. My niece, NIECE, is emotionally attached to me and gets very sad and upset when I'm away, even for a couple of days. If I were to move to Venezuela, it would cause her and my sister hardships in addition to my own. When her mother (my sister) works on evenings and weekends, I am the one who cares for her, plays with her, takes her on outings and tucks her in at night (her father lives 4 hours away and rarely visits). NIECE has become such a part of my life; leaving her would be like abandoning my own child. In addition, she loves and admires HUSBAND and asks for him every day, unable to understand why he isn't here. Between her father's absence and her grandfather's recent departure, HUSBAND's presence can provide a stable, daily male figure in her life that she does not otherwise have. If HUSBAND is not allowed to return, NIECE will suffer great distress wondering why another man she loves is gone.

    I love my family dearly and have never gone more than a couple of months without seeing them. I wouldn't be able to afford plane tickets, averaging $700- $1000, to visit my family (see below), and phone calls would be too expensive to make very often. This would also greatly add to the growing anxiety attacks I already experience, and is likely to trigger depression (See Exhibit D).

    Additionally, HUSBAND only has an aunt and 2 cousins in Venezuela who live in different cities. Due to my inability to speak Spanish, I felt alienated when I spent time with them, and will surely be isolated, and terribly lonely without friends and family to talk to. Being separated from my full, close and loving family will create great emotional distress and hardship to myself and to my family, all of whom are U.S. Citizens. If HUSBAND is not admitted back to the United States, I will never be united with my entire family at the same time.

    III. FINANCIAL HARDSHIP AND LACK OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY
    Here in the U.S. I am employed with an annual salary of $39,000 plus wonderful benefits including tuition reimbursement. I intend to begin graduate school to expand my opportunities in my current field (which I am ill-equipped for with my real estate background), especially since my employer will reimburse a significant portion of my tuition. If I were to move to Venezuela, I would have to leave my job with virtually no prospects to look forward to, and graduate school would no longer be an option (both since I don't understand Spanish). In addition to that, this would also shatter my chances of future employability in the United States once we are finally able to return. Since it will be impossible to maintain my career in Venezuela (due in major part to my inability to speak the language), my professional standing and career would be ruined.

    The unemployment rate in Venezuela is 18%. With about 47% of the population living below the poverty line, it is virtually impossible that I, an American who doesn't speak Spanish, will be able to secure any employment at all. The minimum wage is about $188/month, though many earn less and have no benefits. HUSBAND has had great difficulty finding any permanent employment, with offers of less than minimum wage, part-time or temporary work, and occasional contract assignments such as translating documents. Even with both of us working, this would not be enough to live on; with only HUSBAND working, it will mean certain poverty (see Exhibit E)

    It would also mean that my credit rating would be destroyed. With credit card bills nearing $10,000 (many stemming from legal fees related to HUSBAND's case), I would be unable to maintain any payments whatsoever (see Exhibit F). My current earnings allow me to pay my bills as well as provide money to my husband so that he may maintain a reasonable and secure standard of living. After making all payments, I have just enough money left over for phone calls to Venezuela and can barely afford the airfare to visit more than once or twice a year. In Venezuela, without my current salary to rely upon, not only would we be subjected to the extreme hardship of living in horrifically sub-standard conditions, but also we would have nothing to return to the U.S. with except damaged credit and debts. However, with HUSBAND in the U.S., he will be gainfully employed and, without the burden of maintaining a second household, our combined income would allow us to quickly pay our debts, buy a home and start a family; none of this will be possible if he is not here.

    IV. I DO NOT SPEAK SPANISH
    As I have indicated, I do not speak Spanish. This will contribute to and exacerbate the extreme hardships I have already discussed. My lack of Spanish language skills in Venezuela will:
    "’ nullify my efforts to find employment
    "’ make me more vulnerable to crimes targeted to Americans
    "’ make me extremely isolated socially
    "’ make regular activities such as shopping and going to church extremely difficult

    VI. HUSBAND 'S CASE FACTS:
    HUSBAND was brought to the U.S. by his mother with a valid non-immigrant visa when he was only 11 years old. His mother applied for political asylum but the case was denied. Her attorney filed an appeal and obtained an Employment Authorization Card for her while it was pending. When HUSBAND turned 18, he too received a Social Security Card and Employment Authorization. The same attorney continued to re-apply for the Employment Authorizations annually under the pretense that the appeal was still pending. After working lawfully in the U.S. and paying taxes for several years, the Work Authorization Cards were denied at renewal in 2002 because it was discovered that the appeal for asylum had been denied several years before.

    Their attorney had never informed them of the denial of the appeal and falsely misled them into believing that they were living and working legally in the U.S. for many years (see Exhibit G).

    HUSBAND and I were already engaged when his Work Authorization was not renewed in 2002, and married on November 12 of that year. While seeking legal advice, we discovered that a deportation order had been issued against his mother (and him, inclusively) in 1997 when he was only 14. He was 20 when we found out and realized too late that he had already remained in the U.S. illegally for all those years without having known it. We were advised by several attorneys to file the I-130 Petition promptly and wait for it to be adjudicated here in the U.S. Sadly, 1 ½ years into our marriage, while the I-130 was still pending, HUSBAND was detained during a routine traffic stop when his driver's license was checked, and was deported 6 weeks later following a painful and costly legal battle. Now, following his interview at the U.S. Consulate in Caracas, Venezuela, he respectfully seeks this waiver to return home to me.

    SUMMARY
    I ask you sincerely to take into consideration all these hardships and unbearable decisions that I face while separated from my husband. If HUSBAND is denied permission to return to the U.S., you will be placing me in an impossible dilemma, asking me to face risking my life and the lives, well-being and very existence of my future children – future citizens of the United States – by moving to Venezuela to reunite with my husband in fulfillment of our sacred, profound marital bond. I would also be forsaking my relationship with my family and my secure employment and career opportunities.

    Please take into consideration that HUSBAND was only a child when he came to the U.S. and was entirely ignorant of his own status until he reached the age of 20, when it was too late. He had no reason to question the valid Social Security Card and Work Authorizations he was given. He is an innocent victim of an unethical attorney. He did not choose to come to the U.S. at age 11 and did not choose to overstay his visa and remain here in an illegal status. He is a hard-working, law-abiding person who spent more than half his life in the U.S. and contributed greatly to his community with his musical talents and through his church.

    I need to have my husband here with me in the U.S. I love my country and am a very proud American citizen. I would not believe that my own country would keep me separated from my husband, when the government has fully recognized our marriage in approving our I-130 petition. Doing so would shatter the confidence I have in my own government to protect me, as keeping me separated from my husband would destroy me.

    Please allow HUSBAND to come home to me, so that we may once again live together as husband and wife. Please give us the opportunity to live the American Dream – to start a business together, buy a home, and raise a family – in the safety and security of the great U.S.A. that so many Americans take for granted every day.

    Sincerely,

    USC

    ..........................................................................................................

    Exhibit Contents and Sources

    Exhibit A - Safety concerns in Venezuela

    Consular Information Sheet on Venezuela
    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1059.html

    Current Situation in Venezuela (Consular Announcement)
    http://caracas.usembassy.gov/situation.html

    Latin America's New Fidel (Herald Tribune)
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/04/.../edbremmer.php

    More Friction Between US and Venezuela
    http://www2.rnw.nl/rnw/en/currentaffairs/region/southam...050325?view=Standard

    Murders per Capita - Venezuela 4th Highest
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_mur_cap


    Exhibit B - Reproductive health issues

    Letter from Dr. ***x, MD

    Medline Plus - Cold Knife Cone Biopsy
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/003910.htm

    Cone Biopsy...
    http://my.webmd.com/hw/womens_conditions/hw27835.asp

    Cervical Cancer
    http://www.oncologychannel.com/cervicalcancer/

    National Cervical Cancer Coalition
    http://www.nccc-online.org/

    Exhibit C - Infant Mortality Rates in Venezuela
    http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/.../print/ve.html

    Exhibit D - Anxiety Disorders
    http://adam.about.com/reports/000028_3.htm

    Exhibit E - Poverty, Unemployment, & Minimum Wage

    Poverty Line and Unemployment Rates
    http://worldfacts.us/Venezuela.htm

    Minimum Wage in Venezuela
    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050427/venez...wage.html?.v=1

    Exhibit F - Copies of 2 credit card bills

    Exhibit G - Copies of Hubby's Social Security Card and EADs

  4. #24
    APPROVED!!

    This is Camile1's hardship letter, processed in Jamaica. It was submitted May 5, 2005, an RFE was received in August, waiver denied in December, then approved after an appeal motion in early January 2006.
    Per Camile1: "Everything was well documented yet they still wanted more document for every single hardship that i claimed they also wanted a police report too."

    ************************************************************

    RE: *** Case Number: ***x

    I, ***s, declare under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the United States, that the forgoing is true and correct.

    I. HARDSHIP TO THE U.S. CITIZEN ***

    If my husband, ***x, is not admitted to the United States, I, ***s will truly suffer extreme and severe hardship. My health condition would prevent me from living in Jamaica with my husband. At the same time, I would feel compelled by the powerful forces of our complete marital bond to do so.

    There are several interacting hardships: Part 1 & 2

    MEDICAL

    After a near fatal automobile accident my life changed drastically. I sustained life-threatening injuries and can no longer care for myself. Three primary injuries have had devastating effects on my daily life and would prevent me from being able to safely continue on with my life.

    1. I have a brain hemorrhage (uncontrollable bleeding in the brain). As a result, I go through periods of instability and unconsciousness where I have to be on bed-rest or hospitalized. At some point surgery may become necessary. In brief, I have to take medication on a daily basis to control the internal bleeding on my brain that is associated with brain hemorrhage it can be said that a Brain Hemorrhage is a state wherein there is very little brain activity, and a person hovers between life and death.

    The continued separation from my husband has affected my health so much that by March of this year the hemorrhage had gotten so bad that I was hospitalize. My neurologist did not think I was going to survive as I went through the longest stint of unconsciousness since my accident. According to my neurologist my condition has been exacerbated by the denial of my husband's visa which has caused additional stress, headaches and internal bleeding on my brain.

    On my last visit to my neurologist, she showed grave concern about the magnitude of my brain hemorrhage. She has doubled my daily dose of medication since the denial of my husband's visa and warned me that I could suffer brain damage which is the leading cause of death for people with Brain Hemorrhage if the amount stress that I am presently experiencing does not reduce drastically. If this situation continues the consequence will result in a significant deterioration in my health which would be life threatening (Exhibit A Letter from Neurologist).

    2. I have developed respiratory problems. I have difficulty breathing and have to use a respirator to help me breath properly. My doctors fear that excessive stressor will cause condition to become worse if proper care is not attained. I could develop a blood clot, respiratory paralysis or a coma, all of which could result in death.

    3. I have spinal cord injuries which causes excruciating pain and discomfort in my daily activities I have to do daily rehabilitation exercises to try and regain voluntary movements in my body. For this reason, sometimes I am unable to walk without the help of crutches. Again excessive stressor will cause my health to further deteriorate and exacerbate because I require on going medical care my doctors are not sure if I will ever fully regain movement in my body (Exhibit B letter from Chiropractor).

    If my husband is not allowed to return my quality of life would radically decline. It is possible that I would spend most of my days trapped inside my house with no one to assist me, unable to leave without high levels of assistance because of my lack of mobility. These issues would result in additional risks to my health placing me in grave danger of death.

    Medicine in the United States is among the best in the world, if not the very best. Thus, as long as I remain in the United States and have my husband's support there is a high probability that my health will improve to some degree. However, medicine in Jamaica is inadequate in comparison. Jamaica's medical care facilities are not modern and doctors are not fully certified and properly trained to deal with my conditions.


    PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDSHIP -The thought of been separated from my husband for 10 years is psychologically and emotionally traumatizing to me his presence in my life is critical important. This would create an impossible situation, which is currently wearing on my psychological state, desire to live and ability to function. It is tearing me into two very distinct halves, and can only be resolved by reuniting these two parts in the United States of America. My rehabilitation programs and all of my medication coupled with my psychological counseling have proven to be only marginally successfully sometimes leaving me in more pain at times even suicidal.

    I have a major depression- a disorder that is characterized by feelings of inadequacy, dependency, helplessness and an inability to function. Depression is a "whole-body" illness, involving your body, mind, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years and in worst case scenarios develop into a full major depressive disorder. With the continued separation from my husband I have slipped in a greater state of depression and the sadness which has increased my negative tendencies.
    (Exhibit C letter from Clinical Physiologist).

    Currently, I have to take medication daily (Prozac) to try and cope with depression and the separation from my husband which have completely taken over my life and my ability to function. The separation from my husband has affected my health so much that my supervisor has recommend that I take administrative leave from my job and undergo in depth counseling (Exhibit D letter from Supervisor).

    At my last session with my psychiatrist he expressed concerns that at some point I will have a nervous breakdown or other major anxiety based trauma. Given my health conditions I would continue to feel isolated and incompetent. This would undoubtedly exacerbate the major depression with which I am already living. According to my psychiatrist, if stressors increase, major depression may result in profound feelings of worthlessness, which could hinder any kind of performance, and result in excessive guilt and even suicidal thoughts. Denial his waiver would cause more unlimited severe and extreme psychological hardship on me. There have been no recovery periods between these events and this fact alone can and may extend the period of depression and lead to major medical disorders.

    ECONOMIC-HARDSHIP- My financial status has been impacted severely by this hardship. If I am forced to live without my husband it would be impossible for me to continue support myself above the poverty guidelines with all my over due medical bills brought on by the separation and afford quality health care at the same time (Exhibit E Health insurance cards).

    The medical problems that resulted from my accident have limited my ability to function independently. I can no longer care for myself without my husband's financial assistance for my on-going treatments and rehabilitation cost (Exhibit F Invoice from chiropractor).

    I have to see a neurologist monthly for MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) a computer-generated image of my central nervous system without using any radiation. CT scan (Computerized Topography) an x-ray technique with minimal radiation to allow a computer to generate a detailed image of my brain (Exhibit G invoice from Cardio Stress Test).

    His income is crucial in providing the necessary health care stability and comfort for me to return my basic standard of living that I obtained previously in the U.S. when he was here. It is also imperative that I stay in the United States to receive the medical care I require, the psychological counseling I need, to allow me to continue my education, and to return my standard of living which I obtained in America prior him leaving to Jamaica.

    If I were forced to live apart from my husband, I would almost certainly lose my home and my continuation of a higher education because I would not be able to pay my mortgage. At the same time, I would not be able to pay all of my medical expenses and therefore would be expected to default and seriously damage my credit. Because of the gravity of my situation, in the worst-case scenario, there is the potential that without my husband I could lose everything and become homeless. This would also have adverse affects on my credit history, and my reputation as an accountable, responsible citizen (Exhibit H Mortgage Statement).

    This would be a very severe change in my standard of living and would further increase my levels of anxiety and depression. This would make my situation even graver and would impact numerous portions of my life: psychological, physical (see medical section), and even future family life. The ramifications would be catastrophic for me. The decline in my standard of living would be drastic, devastating and constitute extreme unusual hardship on me. There have been negative effects in my credit ratings since he has not been at home; my savings have been totally depleted. (Exhibit I Bank Statement).

    If ****** is allowed to return to the US, his additional income will allow me to not only restore my good credit, and pay all of my outstanding medical bills but rebuild my financial resources and. I had before he moved back to Jamaica. Rather than financial ruin, I will regain the financial stability that I had. His educational background leans towards electrical work there are several companies that would hire him immediately.

    LACK OF STUDIES/CAREER DEVELOPMENT-I am a student at one of the most prestigious Universities in America TESST College of Technology. To date I have taken out $13,248.73 in school loans towards attaining my degree. I am in the first year of a four year program pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science.

    Sadly, because of the fact that my husband has not returned here yet, I was financially unable to attend school this semester I was not eligible for any more higher education loans because I have already taken out $13,248.73 in federal school loans towards attaining my degree. My pursuit of a higher education has been severely halted. Upon my husband's return to America and securing a job, I will return to school to continue my education .The non-payment of these student loans will my destroyed my credit rating in the United States if I continue to default on payments, I will incur even more severe financial repercussions (Please see exhibit J Student loan paper).

    FAMILY UNITY- By issuing an approval of an I-130 for a spousal visa, the United States government has formally and legally recognized the validity of the marriage between my husband and me. It is well documented that "family unity" is an important value unpinning the raison d'etre of the United States of America and that actions to "assure family unity" are part of the intent of the United States immigration law [for example see Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part II section I, pp. 64 and 65]. Being unable to live together as man and wife would thus not only be contrary to the nature of a good marriage but would also be contrary to the United States government's stance on family unity. Therefore, in essence, being unable to live together should, in accordance with US policy, be recognized as an extreme and unusual hardship.

    He is my closest family to take him away I would be lost without him in my life it would be impossible to live without great risk to my psychological well-being. I feel extremely guilty and anxious as a result of the separation every day that goes by and he is not here. This will mean that I would not have children with the prospect of a ten year separation I am currently in my child bearing years ten years from now I will be not be in my child bearing years. Living without him and not been able to have children is unbearable and constitutes extreme hardship to me I do not know how I would be able to continue on what kind of life would I live. It is imperative that ***** be allowed to return to the U.S. as these severe interacting hardships will not only continue but will become even direr if he is denied.

    Because this is a full and complete marriage with intense emotional, social, familial, economic, and spiritual ties, my reciprocal bond with my husband must be granted great weight while accessing what would happen to me if *** was not admitted to the United States. I would lose my career, my home, my education and my health will continue to deteriorate, which could prove deadly for me given my health conditions (See medical section). Moreover, I would also be faced with an impossible dilemma and without the possibility to provide for myself given my fragile health.

    CITIZENSHIP -I am very proud Patriotic American I was raised in the United States; I have supported my country and will always support it. I am a citizen of the United States and am proud to be a part of its great nation. I fully support the United States with all that it is and all that it will be. To even consider be forced to depart from here would only exacerbate the pain and suffering of all the other hardships.

    PART II EXTREME HARDSHIP IN JAMAICA

    1.) POOR STATE OF JAMAICAN HEALTH CARE According to the Jamaican Gleaners newspaper hospitals in Jamaica suffer from a shortage of medical doctors, often leading to poor care and lack of proper medical treatment. At times patients are left in care of medical students, with no supervision from qualified medical doctors and a poor nursing staff. Unfortunately, in some cases, this has been known to result in death. As such, if I were to live in Jamaica my quality of life would radically decline (Exhibit K Jamaican Gleaners Newspaper reports).

    2.) The US State department has advised seriously ill United States Citizens to make sure they seek health care outside of foreign country. Medical facilities in third world countries are poor. Diagnostic and treatment equipment is most often poorly maintained and many medicines are unavailable. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are a common problem and may be difficult to distinguish from genuine medications (Exhibit L Department of State Report).

    3.) UN-AFFORDABLE HOUSING -If I had to live in Jamaica I would be forced to live with my husband's family, who reside in a small apartment. Currently, including my husband, there are five people living in this apartment. They are only allowed to use water twice a week, which would negatively affect my health. This would be a very severe change in my standard of living and would further increase my levels of anxiety and depression. This would make my situation even graver and would impact numerous portions of my life: psychological, physical (see medical section), and even future family life and have serious repercussions (Exhibit M www.paho.org report).

    4.) LACK OF EMPLOYMENT- (UNEMPLOYMENT RATE/MINIMUN WAGE) Jamaica has the highest unemployment rate in the Caribbean, being at 17.5% percent and a low minimum wage of $Ja20/hr –0.55Us$. The average income is $2,000-$4,000 month Jamaican which is equivalent to $50-100us dollars. Thus, even in the unlikely event that I would be able to find a job; it is highly improbable that I would be able to afford any quality health care (Exhibit N Department of labor report).

    5.) LACK OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES- From my research, there are no institutions in Jamaica that offer equivalent education or accept all the credits that I have accrued to date. My credits will not transfer if I have to leave the state of Maryland. With my age, lack of education and limited skills it would be impossible for me to maintain the same level of employment standard, or even a level that would allow us to live in a safe and healthy environment, that I could attained at home in the United States (Exhibit O Gleaners Newspaper report).

    6.) ON-GOING CIVIL UNREST-Crime, including violent crime, is a serious problem in Jamaica, particularly in ST. Catherine where I would live. While the vast majority of crimes occur in impoverished areas, the violence is not confined. The primary criminal concern of an American is being a victim of theft. In several cases, armed robberies of Americans have turned violent when the victims resisted handing over valuables. Crime is exacerbated by the fact that police are understaffed and ineffective. These conditions would make me petrified to live there (Exhibit P Washington Post Report).

    7.) FAMILY TIES.-I have an elderly mother she has chronic back pain her back pain sometimes makes her unable to walk and she has to use a wheel chair. I am her only child and without a doubt, when she reaches a state of decline whereby she requires regular family assistance, I want to be the one who can offer her a high level of assistance. I have no family in Jamaica other than my husband
    (Exhibit R letter from Mother).

    GOOD CHARACTER/ADMISSABILITY-The reason for having to file the I-601 waiver is based on the fact that my husband entered the United States unlawfully and overstayed for over one year. My husband realizes that entering the United States without inspection was a grave error. We are both aware that breaking the law was a big mistake, but it is not characteristic of him and will never happen again. Because of his mistake he is unable to come back to the United States, which has caused stress and difficulty in my life, and health. This has increased my husband's level of guilt. He is terribly sorry, deeply repentant and a changed man. My husband presents no danger whatsoever to the interests of the United States of America. He is a hard worker with a strong sense of integrity. He is goal oriented, decent, honest, focused, thoroughly ethical and law-abiding person he has no criminal record. If given a second chance, he would respect all laws of the United States; not only out of fear of reprisal, but also from a genuine love for the country and for his family.

    CONCULSION -I must have access to the rehabilitation services necessary for my extensive recovery I will face. Not only must I remain in the US to receive this necessary treatment, but my husband's return to the US is imperative to help me with the intense at-home exercises that will ensure the success of the treatment.

    My health issues, psychological hardship and stress that I would experience if my husband is not allowed to return could affect my physical health, and has already begun to do so. When considered in concert with the lower standards of living and levels of accessible care of my specific situation that I would encounter without him, it becomes evident that all of these hardships are interactive. Each hardship that is being experienced by me or would be experienced by me is difficult in nature, yet the interactive nature of the hardships is cumulative, resulting in even more dire circumstances that are both extreme and unusual. Most of all, without my husband, I would set into motion emotional, social, that could prove permanently damaging to my physical, psychological well-being that will destroy my life. I will suffer extreme and unusual hardship in my life if, my husband is denied entry into the United States. I respectfully request his waiver be approved.


    Sincerely,

    ***x

  5. #25
    APPROVED

    Another_I-601er's HSL submitted and adjudicated at Frankfurt, Germany, for CIMT. This letter was also accompanied by a personal "apology" letter (included at bottom).
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    USC
    PSC 2 BOX ***x
    APO AE 09012

    U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt
    Gieίener Str. 30
    60435 Frankfurt am Main
    Federal Republic of Germany

    Dear Honorable Consul

    SUBJECT: LETTER OF EXTREME HARDSHIP

    Case Number: FRN*********x
    Name (P): ***XX, CYNTHIA A

    I, USC, declare under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the United States of America, that the following is true and correct.

    Cynthia has been denied a visa under Section 212(a)(2)(A)(I) of Immigration and Nationality Act for having been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. She is seeking relief under the discretionary waiver I-601. USC is Cynthia's husband, citizen of the United States and serving in the United States Armed Forces (USAF). USC has military orders for Permanent Change of Station (PCS) to Dyess AFB, Texas in October 2005. Cynthia and 3 children (unborn baby expected due date, 01 January 2006) are authorized/scheduled to accompany USC to the next assignment (Exhibit A – Military PCS Order).

    USC writes this letter in support of the waiver. Because of his commitments to the US Armed Forces and marital bond, USC describes the following interacting extreme and unusual hardships that he would suffer, as would his 2 US citizen children ages 2 ½ years old, 1 ½ years old, and newborn baby due in 01 January 2006 (Appendix A – Statement of Pregnancy).

    MILITARY OBLIGATIONS/COMMITMENTS

    USC is currently serving on Active Duty with United States Air Force. USC is planning to continue to serve the Armed Forces to its full service (20 years). Proudly, USC is in his 7th year of service with the Armed Forces and has 2 more years before his next re-enlistment in 2007.

    USC received his new Permanent Change of Station (PCS) assignment in April 2005 and military PCS orders in August 2005. Prior to that, USC did put in for an Overseas Assignment (2004) but there were no slots available and USC had no choice but to select a CONUS (Continental United States) assignment hence, the new assignment only known in April 2005. Therefore, USC's military obligations prohibit him from being able to move to Malaysia. Moving to Malaysia without a proper military discharge would cause USC a dishonorable discharge, court martial and charge with AWOL (absence without leave). USC is extremely committed to his military obligations.

    FINANCIAL
    USC is the sole provider of his family; this allows USC to comfortably support himself, 2 small children and wife. USC's current rank is E-5 (Staff Sergeant). It would be extremely difficult for USC to maintain 2 households with his current pay grade. Weylin would not be able to afford meals, rents, needs and all other basic necessities for survival AND maintaining another household that involves Cynthia and 3 young children (newborn due 01 January 2006) in another country. USC would face extreme financial difficulties to support his growing family. It will be hard for Cynthia to gain employment because her last employment in Malaysia was in 2002 (Appendix B – Cynthia's Resignation Letter) with monthly earnings RM800.00 (Appendix C – Confirmation Letter) that is equivalent to USD 210.59 only (http://www.xe.net/ucc/).

    There are also other monetary and also non-monetary compensation and benefit elements (Refer Air Force Benefits Fact Sheets) established by statute and to which military members have a legal right to it but if USC opt for a discharge and lose all these basic necessities for survival, his current and future standard of living would be drastically decreased and totally impossible.

    I) Traveling
    The expenses involved in traveling between the United States and Malaysia would further be beyond his financial capabilities. With that in mind, USC would be completely destitute financially due to the cost of expensive airfares. USC's chances of visiting and seeing his children and wife would lead to only once a year or none at all.
    For example, the cheapest ticket available from Abilene, Texas, to Cynthia's home of record, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (East Malaysia) is between USD 2,465.00 to USD 4,219.00. (http://www.cheaptickets.com/) depending on seasons (low and high). This would further incapacitate Weylin financially. He would not be able to afford huge expenses that involve: maintaining his current standard of living, child support for his children and paying for expensive airfares at the same time.


    ii) Insurance
    USC's 2 children are both United States citizen. It is well documented in the Consular Information Sheet – Medical Insurance, that U.S social security Medicare does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. It also states that uninsured American citizens who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. Weylin would have to resort to obtain a civilian/private insurance provider. Medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000 and up, depending on location and medical condition. All these extra fees would definitely incur and would be subjecting USC towards extreme financial difficulties. (Exhibit B - www.travel.state.gov)
    Under TRICARE, USC DOES NOT pays for any fees or deductibles (Refer Exhibit I). Therefore, to purchase medical insurance for USC's 2 children and newborn in Malaysia would be totally impossible financially. Cynthia does not have insurance nor medical insurance in Malaysia to cover 2 children, a newborn (due in 01 Jan 2006) and herself. This alone would cause USC extreme unnecessary financial burden.

    LOSS OF EMPLOYMENT
    USC believes the United States Air Force offers job stability and security, career advancement and fixed income. USC is currently attached to the 735th Civil Engineering squadron specializing in Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). It took USC 7 years to be the best and excellent in his job and planning to continue to be in the military until his 20-year mark.

    Learning and performing an Air Force job will qualify USC for a very lucrative career after his military service in the United States. The loss of his career that took him 7 years to build upon would be devastating for him (Exhibit C - LES). USC would not be able to take part in any form of employment (also stated strictly forbidden) in Malaysia as per Immigration Department of Malaysia under the "MALAYSIA – MY SECOND HOME PROGRAMME" (Exhibit D -www.imi.gov.my/ENG/im_MalaysiaMy2Home.asp).

    USC is eligible to make rank from Staff Sergeant (E5) to Technical Sergeant (E6) in 2007. He is required to attend a technical class called 7-Level school for 6 weeks in Texas prior to his test year, 2007. If USC is forced not to reenlist, he will not be able to make rank and he would be forced to retire early as a Staff Sergeant.


    LOSS OF INCOME

    USC would have no chance of surviving or providing the financial needs for his family without ANY form of employment in Malaysia. USC would no longer be able to support and provide adequate care for his wife and 3 children (newborn expected due on 01 Jan 2006) in Malaysia because of low or virtually non-existent income.

    Taking into effect on Loss of Employment and Loss of Income factors, it would be unjustifiable and unusual extreme hardship for USC to leave such a high standard of living in United States. The option for not reenlisting in exchange for such meager and distinctively poor standard of living in Malaysia will also cause USC a very unusual financial, emotional and psychological hardship.

    EDUCATION

    Due to the constantly changing technical advances in his field of work and to advance in his career, it is necessary for USC to continue taking education courses on a regular basis. In the U.S and as a member of the US Armed Forces, USC receives 100% tuition assistance with no restriction on course of study and at the same time has the advantage of acquiring a no-cost professional training and upgrades it. High academic and technical skills desperately needed are closed to him in Malaysia because without taking classes of higher learning, his career now as well as any future career opportunities would be completely ruined and diminished.

    USC would not be able to receive continuing education in Malaysia due to language barrier and financial factors. English is being used as the primary medium of instruction at all private higher educational institutions. It is however, only used for postgraduate studies at the local public universities as all bachelor degree courses conducted at these universities are primarily taught in the Malay language, or Bahasa Melayu (Exhibit E -www.studymalaysia.com/education/edusystem.php?fn=edusystem). USC would not be able to afford tuition and miscellaneous fees for private institutions.

    i) Children

    Adding to his distress regarding Malaysian education, USC wants his children to be educated in the U.S military education system. The only way for his United States citizen children to be able to have an education of U.S standard is by sending them to an international school, which is very costly and totally unaffordable. For the children to attend a public school is not an option. It is not of U.S standard and Bahasa Melayu (Malay language), the country's national language, is the main medium of instruction (Refer Exhibit E -www.studymalaysia.com/education/edusystem.php?fn=edusystem). Hardships would befall on USC's children, as this will affect them developmentally, socially and psychologically.

    OTHER RELATED HARDSHIP FACTORS

    i) Dual Nationality

    Malaysia does not recognize or permit dual nationality (Exhitbit F -http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_960.html). USC, 2 children and unborn child are all of United States citizens. Since the Malaysian Government does not recognize dual citizenship, applicants granted citizenship are required to relinquish the citizenship of any other country.

    ii) Social Visit Pass / Visa

    In order for USC and children of U.S citizenship to stay in Malaysia on a long term, Cynthia has to apply for a Social Visit Pass under the "MALAYSIA – MY SECOND HOME PROGRAMME" however, it DOES NOT entitle a permanent resident status. Due to Cynthia being a Malaysian citizen AND the applicant, the rules and regulations stated ˜application from dependent other than dependent that is wife and children' would be considered; therefore, it's NOT guaranteed to get an approval (Exhibit G - www.imi.gov.my/ENG/im_MalaysiaMy2Home.asp). Total loss of family unity will occur due to permanent separation would be totally devastating not only to USC and Cynthia but to the young children and a newborn as well if this Malaysian visa does not get approve.

    iii) Income / Financial Requirements

    "Applicant and spouse MUST POSSES a fixed deposit of RM150,000.00 (for 5 years) from any bank in Malaysia; AND derive a fixed monthly income of not less than RM10,000.00 (from abroad). The fixed deposit account must be active during applicant's permitted length of stay under this programme". (Exhibit H -www.imi.gov.my/ENG/im_MalaysiaMy2Home.asp)

    That being stated, it is totally impossible for USC to have a monthly fixed income from abroad due to the fact that USC would no longer be employed would not be able to gain employment in Malaysia if he opts for discharge from the military in 2007. Cynthia does not have a fixed deposit of the huge said amount of money also due to the fact that she has not work since 2002. These huge financial requirements alone would place USC and his family in desperate financial destituteness therefore constitutes extreme unusual financial hardship.



    LANGUAGE ISSUES

    If forced to NOT reenlist and move to Malaysia, USC will have a profoundly devastating effect on him and his children's lives. USC and children do not speak, write and read Bahasa Melayu (Malaysian official language) so doing average things in their daily lives will be impossible and cause undue stress.

    Cynthia speaks, writes and reads English fluently and has successfully integrated into American society.

    MEDICAL, INSURANCE AND HEALTHCARE

    i) USC

    Being a service member of the US Armed Forces, medical care is provided to USC free of charge. USC is covered by TRICARE (Exhibit I -http://tricare.osd.mil) that basically provides medical insurance fees, prescriptions medications and dental.

    If USC is forced not to reenlist and move to Malaysia, USC will face a very significant reduced healthcare and medical services that are equivalent to U.S standards. "Any unforeseen medical problems and health issues requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollar or more" (www.travel.state.gov/travel). This will not only jeopardize USC's and children's life (due to the loss of time in traveling back to the United States by air) but will also cause a major financial and emotional devastation effects on USC.

    ii) Newborn and 2 Children

    In order for a newborn to have the best healthcare as provided by TRICARE (http://tricare.osd.mil), newborn has to be command sponsored. For that to happen newborn has to be on USC's military order's at all times. USC's newborn would lose this benefit. Periodic pediatric care and immunizations for newborn also is a must and essential in order for it to be healthy. USC's two young children, ages 2 ½ and 1 ½, are also at the stage where they both need the best healthcare i.e immunizations, pediatric checkups that they can receive.

    An innocent newborn and 2 toddlers would be subject to the detrimental effects of improper and inadequate healthcare that is needed. This would jeopardize their health and cause them unnecessary early childhood illnesses or possibly death. Preventions are better than cures and military healthcare can provide all these most needed preventive cares.



    TERRORIST THREAT TO AMERICANS LIVING ABROAD

    USC's wife home of record is Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, East Malaysia. (Exhibit J – Passport copy). The location of Kota Kinabalu (Exhibit K -www.kinabaluweb.com/kinabalu.html) is very much located along the coastal area therefore will affect USC's (if he is forced to move to Malaysia) and children's personal safety and life with the following interacting dangers:

    i) Safety and Security

    "The Department of State reiterates its ongoing concern about the safety of American citizens, especially those contemplating travel along the east coast of the Malaysian states of Sabah and ... The Department of State strongly urges American citizens to defer all non-essential travel to eastern Sabah's coastal areas and offshore islands."

    "There are indications of continued planning of kidnappings, including of foreigners, in eastern Sabah's coastal areas and offshore islands. Several kidnappings and piracy incidents have occurred in this area, most recently in March 2005. The terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), based in the southern Philippines, has been responsible for some of these incidents; other incidents have been attributed to unidentified criminals. Emergency assistance in the area may not always be available. For this reason, American citizens should defer all non-essential travel to eastern Sabah's coastal areas and offshore islands." ... Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. (Exhibit L - http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...cis_1040.html).

    ii) United States Embassy Location

    The nearest U.S embassy is in Kuala Lumpur, West Malaysia. The only way to get to the U.S embassy from Sabah, East Malaysia is by air that will take 2 hours and 45 minutes. From the airport, it will take another 1 ½ hour by taxi (depending on road traffic) to get to the embassy location.

    FAMILY TIES

    USC has no family ties in Malaysia except Cynthia and their 3 children (newborn due on 01 January 2006).

    USC and his biological sister are both adopted when they were small. USC has not seen his biological sister, adopted parents, adopted brother and sister for almost 5 years due to his overseas assignments and Cynthia does not have a visa to enter the United States. By moving to Malaysia, it would further cause permanent separation between his families. USC would feel an extreme desolation knowing he would be further apart from his only sister and families.

    USC's children have never seen their grandparents and relatives since they were born, 2003/2004. Total isolation from the children's relatives in the United States would cause the children not knowing that they have relatives who long to see them and love them very much. USC vehemently desires for his children to get to know the American side of his family. If USC is forced not to reenlist and move to Malaysia, this will become a total impossibility and feels the children will suffer from that lack of contact.

    Depriving the children at such a young age will cause them to be ignorant to their living relatives in the United States and also to their country, the United States of America.

    CITIZENSHIP

    USC is a very proud American; USC fully supports his country, the United States of America and very proud to serve in the Armed Forces. USC will continue to do so with all that he is and all the he will be and to imagine having to leave the USA would destroy the pride he have to the country. To even consider retiring early and departing the USA would only increase tremendously the exponentiations of pain and suffering. Also the status of his children's citizenship being an American citizen would be greatly affected and have serious repercussions i.e renunciation of their U.S citizenship to Malaysian citizenship (The country of Malaysia does not recognize dual citizenship).

    PERSONAL CONSIDERATION

    i). Emotional Issues

    If USC reports to his next duty station without Cynthia and 3 children (newborn due on 01 January 2006), a devastating emotional hardship and separation would occur between father and children, not to mention, husband and wife. USC and Cynthia have been married for over 3 years and during that time period they have never been separated except during USC's deployment in 2004 for 4 months. USC would be subjected to severe, deep, emotional hardship and further hardship would occur.

    USC's job involving Heat Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) requires his utmost attention. In his career field, he works on extremely high voltage. The emotional stress would distract his work performance hence decrease his ability to concentrate to a simple work detail. Thus would lead to lack of responsibility, poor behaviors and this is considered one of the human factors safety hazard in a workplace. Example of human factor: "Perform a task while distracted by personal problems or interpersonal situations" (Exhibit M – AFPAM36-2241V1). With poor work performance, USC would be jeopardizing his safety, life and his military career. He would be subject to a non-judicial punishment - Article 15 of the United Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). USC would face an involuntary separation based on such factor as unsatisfactory performance (Exhibit N - 6.15.3.3 Involuntary Separation, AFPAM36-2241V1). Therefore, this constitutes extreme unusual emotional hardship.

    ii) Children

    USC and Cynthia have 2 young children. USC KID age 2 ½ years old and USC KID 2 age 1 ½ years old. The children have a deep bond with their father and will suffer extreme emotional upset at being separated from him. Their children KID1 and KID2, need a strong male role model in their lives. Since they were born, they have never been separated with USC except during his 4 months deployment in 2004. Family unity is very important especially when it involves 2 very young children and a newborn (due on 01 January 2006).

    As stated by Migration Information Source, "The right to a shared family life draws additional support from the prohibition against arbitrary interference with the family. Finally, states have recognized that children have a right to live with their parents. Both the father and the mother, have common responsibilities as parents and share the right and responsibility to participate equally in the upbringing and development of their children". (Exhibit O -www.migrationinformation.org/Feature/print.cfm?ID=118)

    Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Exhibit P -www.unchr.ch/html/menu2/6/crc/treaties/crc.htm) :

    The States Parties to the present Convention,
    Preamble
    Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,

    Article 18
    1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents,....have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child.

    "Children living at home with both parents grow up with more financial and educational advantages than youngsters raised by one parent, as U.S Census Bureau statistics have long shown." (Exhibit Q - U.S. Department of Commerce).

    With the above recognition, it is imperative that USC and his family be together in the United States. If this waiver is not granted, USC will be involuntarily separated from his wife of over 3 years and his children will be torn away from their father with no idea of when they will ever be able to see him again.

    GOOD CHARACTER AND ADMISSABILITY

    - deleted unless required personally by member..... thanks for understanding...

    SUMMARY

    This marriage of over 3 years has come full circle, with 2 very young children and a newborn due in 01 January 2006, needs to be recognized for its family unity which is one of the foundations our nation was built on. Because this marriage has occurred in its full sense, profound forces will move USC to leave his homeland and sacrifice his promising military career. Yet, if he goes to his wife's country, USC would be unemployed. Devastating financial hardship will ensue once USCn move to Malaysia.

    It is imperative for USC to reenlist in 2007 and it is vital that Cynthia's waiver be granted. The opportunities to continue his military career and education are no longer available to him in Malaysia. There would be no income to support his family, provide for them a good standard of living, and ensure their good health.

    If USC were unable to live with Cynthia and his children, even greater unforeseen hardship would be expected to arise. He would be unable to receive the support and love inherent in a true marital relationship and would suffer daily from the lack of contact and familiarity with his own children. This creates an impossible situation: continue to serve in the Armed Forces and be apart from Cynthia and children OR opt for discharge upon his next reenlistment, move to Malaysia and suffer financially. It is tearing USC into two very distinct halves, and can only be resolved by reuniting of these two parts in the United States of America. USC is extremely committed to his military obligation AND to his family.

    It is well documented that "family unity" is an important value unpinning the raison d'etre of the United States of America and that actions to "assure family unity" are part of the intent of U.S. Immigration Law [for example see Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part II, section I, pp.64 and 65]. Keeping families together is a prime goal of the United States, since strong, united families make for a stronger country. With that guideline from the US Government, a married couple with children being forced to live apart would alone is enough to constitute extreme hardship.

    USC has and have been living an honest life as a US citizen and a member of the U.S Armed Forces. USC has and have been working hard to meet all his obligations and raise his family to the best of his ability. USC has and have been always paid his taxes, serving the military, performed his civic obligations and obeyed the law. USC is now humbly asking his government to recognize his sincere contributions as a U.S citizen and permit Cynthia to enter the United States of America by granting this waiver an approval so that his family can be made whole. USC and Cynthia are prepared to spend the rest of their lives together supporting each other. USC is still serving the United States Air Force and have the ability to fully support Cynthia and his 3 children (newborn due on 01 January 2006) if this waiver is approved and his family united.

    CONCLUSION

    Again, USC knows the Honorable Consul hears from thousands of people on a daily basis, but USC respectfully and humbly asks that the Honorable Consul consider this case and grant this approval.

    By granting this approval, USC would be able to continue his service in the Armed Forces and NOT BE FORCED to forsake his family AND country when the Global War On Terrorism is increasing everyday.

    Cynthia is a wonderful hands-on mother. USC know, if allowed entry to the US, Cynthia would not only continue to take care of his family, but be a positive contributor to the United States of America as well.

    Please consider our case and grant us this extremely needed approval.

    Yours respectfully



    USC

    My letter:

    -----------------
    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:

    I was totally wrong and made a big mistake for committing the offense but I am only human. I was and still am so miserable about my wrongdoing. It hurts me deeply before and still to this day, I could not forgive myself for the mistake I have done. I acknowledged that I was very foolish and totally acted out of my character. I should have known better and acted more wisely and maturely since I am already 28 years old and have a strict Christian upbringing.

    What I did was totally inexcusable and utterly unacceptable in the eyes of a normal and civilized society. What I did almost cost my husband's newly gained rank in the military and I have no intent to commit such offence ever again. I caused this family, especially my husband, to go through unnecessary troubles and stress. My mistake is also costing this family a possible, indefinite separation. My husband wants this family to be together always therefore he exhausted all his military chain of commands just to get a 6 months extension just so he does not have to leave his family due to his military obligation: reporting to his next duty assignment, Dyess AFB, U.S.

    My husband and I have 2 children and another baby due on 01 January 2006. My family are my life and very precious to me. I could not bear to be apart from my husband and children. Ever since we got married in 2002, this family has never been apart except during his deployment in 2004 for 4 months. It was the hardest thing to do and to go through. To be facing an indefinite separation would cause an adds on devastating effects to our marriage, solemn vows and especially our young children's upbringing and lives.

    Honorable Sir/Madam, I love the United States of America. I wholly support the country's beliefs, constitutions, systems and the U.S military. I am proud and honored to be a military wife. Please accept my sincere apologies and repentance. Even though I am of a Malaysian citizen, but I am a very patriotic person to the United States of America.

    Honorable Sir/Madam, only with your approval of my waiver can save this family togetherness. I beg for your discretion in approving this waiver, your Honorable Sir/Madam. Only by this much needed approval can make all things possible.

    Therefore, once again, I humbly ask and implore that your Honorable Sir/Madam would grant this waiver an approval and allow me to continue to care and love my family and the United States of America. Allow me to prove that I am a better, repented and an honest person. God Bless America.

    Thank you and yours sincerely

    Alien

  6. #26
    APPROVED, CIMT


    Here is MistyB's hardship letter for CIMT, submitted in Sweden, adjudicated in London.
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    Torgny ***XX
    St. ********* 6
    211 46 ***XX Sweden
    d/o/b: December x, ***x
    Case Number: STK*********xx


    September 12, 2005

    Hardship letter on behalf of United States citizen spouse Misty ***XX B***X

    We attest the following stated information is true and correct to the best of our knowledge.

    Torgny B has been denied a visa under section 212(a)(2)A(ii)(I) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for having been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude. He is seeking relief under the discretionary waiver I-601. Torgny B, a native and citizen of Sweden, states the following hardships to his United States citizen spouse Misty B and their three children, ages ten, five, and three years old.

    Background Information

    Misty met her husband Torgny in September 1997. They fell in love and became engaged in January 1998. They married on February 14, 1999 in North Carolina. She re-located to Sweden with her then four year old daughter, A, in December, 1999. She believed this to be the only feasible option. She consulted with two immigration attorneys in North Carolina prior to her move, and they both advised her Torgny would suffer difficulties obtaining a permanent residence visa.

    Since the re-location to Sweden, Misty has been forced to endure several interacting extreme hardships. The depletion of Misty's finances have rendered her exiled in Sweden away from her family and country. Sweden's poor job market and high cost of living has made it impossible for Misty to support herself or her children. Misty's difficulty in obtaining psychological care for her depression has severely impacted her mental health. Misty's survival in Sweden has become an impossibility due to her suffering from a barrage of extreme hardships. These extreme hardships will become more dire if Torgny's waiver is denied.

    Psychological

    Misty suffers from clinical depression combined with adjustment disorder. She was diagnosed in 1997 after seeking treatment from her local health department in North Carolina. "Depression is a "whole-body" illness, involving your body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things.

    Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years and in worst case scenarios develop into a major depressive disorder."
    (http://www.psychologyinfo.com/depres...cription.html)

    Interracting with Misty's diagnosed depression is the occurrence of a condition called Adjustment Disorder. This condition deeply intensified upon her arrival in Sweden. Adjustment disorder is a psychological condition where one cannot adjust easily to new surroundings or events and appears after certain identifiable stressors have triggered it. This condition alone causes a moderately depressed mood for up to six months.

    Upon incurring one stressing event after another with no recovery period between them, however, could extend the depression for a longer period. This, in turn, leads to a major depressive disorder. Misty has been besieged by stressing events since her move to Sweden, (see Stressing Events).

    In the United States, Misty will be able to acquire help for her depression at her local health department and pay a fee based on her income. She will have access to her former therapists and medication there. This care is crucial to her mental health. She has been unable to find adequate psychological care in Sweden due to being continually unemployed and not being able to afford private care. Her inability to speak the swedish language adds an additional complication and it increases her feelings of hopelessness. (Appendix A; medical reports & definitions)

    A. Stressing Events

    In the past few years, Misty has moved to a foreign country, has felt ongoing torment and grief by the death of her father, added two more children to her family, and is now constantly facing eviction threats due to her continuing financial difficulties. She suffers continual stress and anxiety over her inability to support herself and her children. She also feels profoundly worried regarding her mother Mary, who currently resides in the United States.

    Mary is Misty's only surviving parent. These factors and events have contributed heavily to Misty's depression. All these factors combined with the stress that accompanies them, could mean Misty will incur extreme health problems during the course of the next two years, according to the Holmes-Rahe scale.

    B. The Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale

    In 1967 Thomas H. Holmes, M.D. and Richard H. Rahe, M.D., published in the prestigious Journal of Psychosomatic Research, "The Social Readjustment Rating Scale". This scale is now famous. Its efficacy is well established. For instance, in December 2000 in Educational and Psychological Measurement, Judith A. Scully, Henry Tosi, and Kevin Banning re-evaluated the use of this instrument. The abstract of their article states:


    "The authors conclude that, in sum, life change events remain useful predictors of stress-related symptom scores and that the SRRS is a robust instrument for identifying the potential occurrence of stress-related outcomes and is, therefore a useful tool..."

    The scale uses the weighting of Life Changes Units (LCU's) as a means of being able to predict vulnerability to medical illness. For instance, a marital separation would accrue 65 LCU's, and an outstanding personal achievement would accrue 28 LCU's.

    In other words, significant life changes, positive and negative, which occur with frequency and intensity, are significant variables in the development of medical illness. It is not possible to predict exactly which illness might occur. However, degree of vulnerability can be predicted. (Pre-existing conditions are presumed to be highly
    vulnerable to exacerbation).

    The following are the predictive ranges of the Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale:

    "’ LCU <150: No significant risk of illness
    "’ LCU 150-199: 35% chance of illness or injury in two year period
    "’ LCU 200-299: 51% chance of illness or injury in two year period
    "’ LCU>300: 80% chance of illness or injury in two year period

    This scale was applied to Misty (on the assumed basis that she remains in Sweden with her husband Torgny). Misty's score on this instrument was "514". On the other hand, if she and Torgny were to move to the United States, her score drops dramatically to "171". (Appendix B-both scores)

    Medical

    Misty chronically suffers from a severe knee problem called Chondromalacia. Chondromalacia (also called chondromalacia patellae), refers to softening of the articular cartilage of the kneecap, and if left untreated results in arthritis of the knee.

    She first became diagnosed with this problem at age twelve, and was re-diagnosed in 1993, at age eighteen, by a physician with the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Misty underwent further treatment for this injury by her family practitioner Dr. Thomas A***xx in 1997. She received a second opinion in 1998 by Dr. T. S***xx at Winston X and X Surgical. The conclusion is Misty's knee is deteriorating and will eventually need arthroscopic surgery to repair. In the worst case scenario, she will need knee replacement surgery.

    At present, Misty is not under the care of an orthopedic doctor in Sweden. The waiting lists for orthopedic specialists in Sweden are extremely long due to the aging swedish population. Misty, being unemployed, can not afford specialist care.

    She has a doctor retained in the United States through a prior established relationship who is familiar with her medical history and could detect changes in her condition. She could receive an appointment with ease.

    An additional serious medical condition plaguing Misty is kidney stones. She became inflicted at age fifteen with the first stone. Since 1990, she has suffered from four stones, with one stone requiring surgery to remove it. This is a hereditary condition that must be monitored by a urologist to have any future stones detected and treated. It should be stated kidney stones can form by various causes. Stress definitely plays a major factor. It is not unusual for a stone to take years to develop or be "silent" causing major kidney damage.

    Currently Misty is not under the care of a urologist in Sweden. The waiting lists for specialists in Sweden are extremely long. Since Misty has been continually unemployed, she has been unable to afford private medical care. There remains a high probability Misty will suffer another kidney stone in her future due to both hereditary and stress factors. If untreated, it can cause kidney infections (pyelonephritis). Large stones can cause scarring leading to kidney failure. This in turn, would lead to chronic dialysis use. Misty already has an established relationship with L****** Urological Associates in the United States dating back to 1990. (Appendix C-medical reports & descriptions)

    Financial Hardships

    A. Unemployment

    Misty was employed part time prior to her move to Sweden. She was paying off her student loans and her credit card debt during this time. Misty's decision to move to Sweden has become a life altering mistake. Due to unemployment, she has been unable to continue eliminating her debt while residing in Sweden.

    She currently carries an outstanding balance on her student loans of $X. The non-payment of these student loans has destroyed Misty's credit rating in the United States and if she continues to remain in Sweden, she will incur severe financial reprocussions. Misty would have no difficulty in finding employment in the United States to aid in the elimination of her debt.

    Residing in Sweden and being unemployed makes Misty's financial situation impossible to improve. Sweden's unofficial unemployment figure for immigrants of around 25% means extreme difficulty in trying to find work. Another factor is Sweden's high cost of living index. In June 2005, Stockholm ranked as the 18th most expensive city globally to live while Winston-Salem, NC sustained a ranking of 119th place. Copenhagen, across the sound from M ranked 8th. This is according to Mercer Consulting. (http://www.finfacts.com/costofliving3.htm)

    Continual unemployment jeopardizes Misty's retirement plans as she can not contribute to her future, thusly increasing her chances of using welfare.

    Moreover, the sooner Misty and her husband are allowed to return to the United States, the quicker they can rebuild their finances. Her dismal financial situation has heavily contributed to her depressed mood. (Appendix D-loan & bank statements, employment figures, cost of living index)

    B. Language Barriers

    Contributing to Misty's unemployment, is her inability to speak the nordic languages. Her knowledge of the swedish language consists only of the basics. This inability to speak the native language has hindered her from finding adequate employment and becoming a productive member of the swedish society. English speaking jobs in Sweden are rare and heavily vied for.

    Contrary to this, in North Carolina, Misty never sustained difficulties in finding employment. Misty's husband Torgny is exceptionally fluent in the english language. He has vast knowledge and expertise in the computer field which will aid him finding employment quickly. They will have excellent opportunities to better their standard of living and that of their children's in the United States.

    C. Greater career opportunities in the United States

    Torgny already has established business contacts in the United States, freelance consulting for a firm in Florida named Mid*** Associates (www.mid***-associates.com), which could lead to full time employment. In addition to this, Misty has several close contacts through her former employers M***x-A***x, Inc.(www.m***-a***x.com) and A*** N***x, Inc. (www.a***xn***x.com), which will undoubtedly aid her employment search. She has no such contacts in Sweden and remains confined to her apartment due to the language barrier issue and her escalating battle with depression.

    As Torgny's occupation is a computer programmer, his yearly earnings will be substantially larger in the United States. Computer programmers are in high demand, with the average salary around $51,500 dollars per year. With their combined incomes, in their respective fields, Torgny and Misty will be able to provide a stable living environment while being able to secure their children's wellbeings and futures. (salary info: http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos110.htm; US Department of Labor)

    D. Childcare

    Adding to the problem of Misty finding employment in Sweden is the length of time in receiving a daycare place. In Sweden, you cannot place your child in a county daycare facility (dagis) until they reach the age of one year old. It took five months for Misty's son S to receive a place in 2002. Misty's youngest child, E, has been waiting eight months and currently sits twenty-fourth in line. The lines are expected to be even longer this year than in previous ones. This difficulty in receiving childcare interferes with Misty's ability to find employment in Sweden and support her family.

    In the United States, Misty would place her two oldest children in the YMCA's after school program since they will both be attending primary school. With Misty and Torgny's combined incomes, the afterschool program fees will be easily managed.

    Misty's mother Mary, has offered to babysit Misty's youngest daughter E (3), since she is too young to attend school or the program thusly freeing Misty's daytime hours. This will increase her chances of finding employment.

    Housing

    Due to their huge financial burdens Misty and Torgny and their three children, live in a one bedroom apartment in M. They have resided in this apartment since they first came to M in March 2000.

    The two oldest children, A (10), and S (5), share the only bedroom, while the youngest E (3), sleeps with Misty and Torgny in the living room on a fold-out sofabed. The small space and lack of privacy has begun to interfere with Misty and Torgny's intimate relationship. Moving into a larger apartment remains unattainable since Misty is unemployed and has substantial debt. Torgny only works part time so therefore can not afford a higher rent. (Appendix E-Floorplan)

    Misty and Torgny are having major problems paying their current rent as it amounts to the equivalent of nearly $685.00 dollars per month. (exchange rate: www.oanda.com). Currently, Torgny works only twenty hours a week and his meager salary insufficiently meets all their financial needs.

    At present, Misty and family's standard of living situation has become quite desperate. There have been several occasions recently where Misty had no food in her cupboards. Misty's mother Mary claims she mailed her daughter boxes containing food on several occasions in the past. (Appendix F-Excerpt from Mary's letter)

    The threat of eviction is a constant source of anxiety and stress for Misty. Misty feels that if she continues to reside in Sweden with her family, they will eventually become homeless. If evicted from their apartment, Misty and her family would be forced to return to rural L to live with Torgny's mother Rose-Marie and his stepfather, Uno. This would cause extreme hardship to Misty.

    L lies many miles outside L***xx, population 14,000, which is the next closest town of size. Job prospects in L are meager at best and not much better in L***xx. Rose-Marie and Uno live in a deeply forrested area with no public transportation nearby. Misty has no driver's license nor does she own a car. Therefore, she would be heavily reliant on Torgny's mother for transportation needs, and since Rose-Marie works full time in town located thirty miles away, this option is not feasible.

    Moreover, Uno does not speak english, is disabled and there are no neighboring children close by for Misty's children to play with, thusly forcing the family into an even further involuntary exile. (Appendix G-map, and house photo)

    Single Parent Issues

    If Misty returns to the United States without Torgny, accompanied by her three children, she will then be forced to become a single parent. She would certainly struggle to afford daycare and basic needs for herself and the children on one income. She would not be able to visit Torgny and take her children with her due to her inability to afford air fare for all four of them.

    However, leaving the children behind and separating her family is not a viable option for her. Torgny's presence in the United States with Misty, can be deemed as extremely crucial and necessary.

    Since Misty's finances have been decimated by living in Sweden, Torgny's income is crucial in providing the necessary stability and comfort for their large family. Their standard of living will vastly improve. Computer programmers in the United States earn considerably more than their swedish colleagues.

    Misty already has first hand knowledge of trying to raise her children within a one income family in Sweden. Before Torgny became laid off from his full time job in 2003, his monthly income hovered around $1,000.00 dollars per month. This insufficiently provided for his family. Torgny only works part time hours now and they have two additional children. The strife caused by Torgny losing his job, has succeded to greatly exacerbate Misty's depression and feelings of hopelessness.

    Emotional Issues

    If Misty returns to the United States without Torgny, a devastating emotional separation would occur between father and children, not to mention, husband and wife. Misty and Torgny have been married for six years and during that time period have never been separated. She is already being subjected to severe, deep, emotional hardship and further hardship would occur if separated from her husband by a subsequent return to the United States without him.

    The children have a deep bond with their father and will suffer extreme emotional upset at being separated from him. Their son S, needs a strong male role model in his life. His siblings are females and S would suffer emotional hardship at the lack of male contact. The oldest child A, has an extremely strong bond as Torgny is the only father she has ever known. (See section: A's bond with Torgny)

    A's bond with Torgny

    Misty became pregnant with her oldest daughter, A (10) when she was nineteen years old. A's biological father has never had any contact with her. He told Misty before she was born, he wanted no contact with her whatsoever. Since that phone conversation in 1994, he has been true to his word. He has never talked to her, sent her presents, asked about her welfare, etc. A was three and a half years old when Torgny first came to visit Misty. She immediately bonded with him.

    Torgny has been the only father A has ever known. She has spent more than half of her life with him now. If Misty returns to the United States without Torgny, A would be devastated. It would be extreme psychological hardship for her to lose a father a second time in her young life.

    She is an extremely easily influenced girl and needs a strong male role model in her life. She needs for her family to remain together. A has expressed a deep desire for her family to be able to immigrate back to North Carolina. (see A's letter)

    Family Ties

    Misty has no immediate family in Sweden. Misty is extremely close to her family in the United States. She is an only child. Misty and her mother are very close and try to keep in contact as much as possible since Misty's father died in 2000. Misty was unable to attend his funeral.

    The guilt and grief over his death deeply compels Misty to be with her only remaining living parent. The health of Misty's mother Mary has continued to deteriorate. She has been unable to visit Misty and her children in Sweden since September 2003 due to ongoing illnesses.

    Misty has not seen most of her immediate family since her move in December, 1999.
    If her husband's visa is denied and she remains in Sweden to be with him, she would be unable to visit her family in the United States.

    Airline ticket prices remain unaffordable to Misty due to the factors of her being unemployed and her being forced to pay for herself and ticket costs of 75% of the adult fare for each of her three children. This amounts to paying a total anywhere from an estimated $1,600.00 in low season to $3,000.00+ in high season. The burden of visitation in this instance would fall on Misty's mother Mary, an arduous task given Mary's declining health issues. In the United States Misty, therefore, would be unable to visit her husband due to the aforementioned inability to pay airfare and Torgny B would not be allowed to visit his family due to the inadmissibility issue. This would cause extreme hardship to Misty.


    Misty's children barely know their american family. They have never seen their cousins around the same age. Misty vehemently desires for her children to get to know the american side of her family. If she remains in Sweden this will become an impossibility and feels the children will suffer from that lack of contact.

    Misty's family also wishes her to return with her children. Misty's grandfather H states in his letter: "I share a birthday with E, my youngest great grandchild. I am eighty-three and want to spend my remaining years with my great-grandchildren!" (Appendix H-airfare comparison, excerpt from H's letter)

    Future Caregiver

    Misty's mother, Mary, currently suffers from numerous health afflictions. Among them, are high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), debilitating migraine headaches, underwent cholecystectomy (gall bladder surgery) in 2004, and recently has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.

    "Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the most serious and disabling types.", according to the www.arthritis.org website. The arthritis is already becoming so severe, Mary is having trouble walking. The arthritis is expected to worsen eventually forcing Mary into a wheelchair. Since Mary is Misty's only surviving parent, Misty feels duty bound to provide the necessary care Mary will inevitably need. Mary's health problems have alienated her from visiting Misty in Sweden since 2003. Due to Misty's decimated finances, she can not visit her mother. This causes extreme hardship to Misty. (Appendix I-Mary's medical records)

    Education

    There are several interacting hardships concerning Misty's educational objectives in Sweden. While Misty's financial situation continues to worsen, the daycare fees for Misty's son S are becoming increasingly difficult to pay. S is therefore in extreme danger of losing his current place. Since Misty's younger daughter E is not attending daycare, she currently has to provide the care for E herself. This situation prevents Misty from being able to advance her education. Neither child is old enough to attend regular primary school in Sweden, which begins at age seven.

    Barring the financial hardship issues, there are also time issues. If Misty wanted to attend M University she would first have to take the Swedish A & B beginner courses, encompassing a time span of one year. After that she would be forced to pay the equivalent of $300.00 dollars in order to be able to take a college entrance exam called the TISUS test. This particular test is very difficult for foreigners to pass.

    It is completely written in swedish and only offered at certain times of the year. Misty's swedish language knowledge insufficiently meets the standard to attend a swedish university. She would not be able to comprehend the class lectures and homework.
    This would severely impede her learning, therefore, resulting in her falling significantly behind the other students. (Appendix J-Tisus paper)

    Swedish universities offer courses taught in the english language, however, these classes are enrichment classes and do not lead to a degree in a specialized field. Therefore, Misty is unable to fulfill her life-long dream of receiving her bachelor's degree, and eventually becoming a teacher. Upon returning to the United States, Misty has plans to enroll in evening classes at S College and pursue her bachelor's degree. She has been welcomed again with open arms by the Dean. Incidentally teachers earn 150% more in the United States as opposed to teachers in Sweden. (Appendix K-3 University curriculums, email from S College)

    Need for children to be educated in the United States

    Adding to her distress regarding swedish education, Misty currently feels her oldest daughter A, is being deprived of her english language education and her american heritage. A is significantly behind in writing the english language, which is her native tongue. Misty devoutly desires for all of her children to be educated in the United States.

    Good Character and Admissibility

    For the sake of understanding Torgny B as a person and whole entity, his life can be best understood if taken in phases.

    A. Prior to his offense

    Torgny was raised in L, Sweden. A small, rural community in southern Sweden. He has one sister. He grew up in a two parent household and even had a dog. He lived a normal, happy existence until one day in late July in 1984. Torgny's father passed away unexpectedly at age thirty-four of a heart attack caused by an unidentified heart problem. This extraordinary event sent Torgny's life into a tailspin.

    B. His offenses

    The death of Torgny's father helped to begin a cornerstone of anger and depression. He lacked a proper male role model to guide him through his early childhood. By the time Torgny reached middle school, he lacked self-confidence.

    He went through high school dealing with bullies every day and his fellow peers constantly putting him down. He received no positive encouragement or understanding from his mother. This led to Torgny being easily influenced. He fell into the wrong crowd due to his need for a family. He took out the anger he felt from being bullied and hurt on damaging property and stealing from others. At the time of the offenses, Torgny was consumed by anger, depression and had little motivation to be a better person. He admitted his culpability and made retribution for his acts. These events took place when he was barely out of his teen years.

    He does not make excuses for the wrongdoings of his past but he is extremely remorseful and has turned his life around since then. Since at the time he was a first time offender, he received one year's probation and paid substantially heavy fines to the people he wronged.

    C. From the time of his offenses

    In the ten years since Torgny committed his offenses, he has been a law abiding citizen of Sweden. He lives by a set of morals and values. In the last ten years, Torgny begun to build his business acumen. He has been an exemplary neighbor, friend, and co-worker. He is a hard worker and has not been in trouble with the law. He met and married a wonderful woman, became a devoted stepfather to her oldest child, and created two beautiful children of his own. He is goal oriented and wishes to start up his own web design firm in the near future.

    He will be a tremendous asset to the United States with his skills and language knowledge, and can continue to improve himself overall. He can definitely show his children that someone can make a stupid mistake and go on to make something out of themselves with hard work. He is fully reformed and has consistently shown that in the past ten years since his offenses were committed by marrying, starting his family and building up his business. He has dealt with the issues surrounding his offenses and fully understands his wrongdoings.

    He harbors no wish to jeopardize the life he has striven to create for himself now by reverting to past criminal behavior. He presents no danger whatsoever to the citizens of the United States.

    Conclusion

    Misty and Torgny have full plans to spend their lives together. It is imperative they do so in the United States in order to provide Misty with access to proper medical care, the psychological help she requires, the ability to continue her education and that of her children's and to vastly improve her standard of living of that she had obtained in the United States.

    It needs to be emphasized that by issuing an approval of the I-130 the United States government has formally and legally recognized the validity of the marriage between Misty and Torgny B.

    It is well documented that "family unity" is an important value underpinning the raison d'etre of the United States of America and that actions to "assure family unity' is part of the intent of U.S. immigration law [for example see Title 8, Chapter 12, Subchapter II, Part II, section I, pp. 64 and 65]. It is a function of United States law to provide legal definition and recognition to this marriage between Misty and Torgny.

    The current enormous strain of living in Sweden with her husband, and possibly living in the United States without him, constitutes a powerful hardship to Misty B. The difficulty of Misty to obtain the medical care she needs, the looming threat of eviction, the continual alienation from her family and country pose extreme hardships to Misty. All of these listed hardships culminate in Misty being cruelly and unnecessarily subjected to extreme and unusual hardship.

    In short, if Torgny B is not admitted to the United States, Misty B would be placed in an impossible dilemma. Because the marriage has occurred in its full sense, profound devotion and loyalty will move her to remain in Sweden with her husband while striving to undermine the hardships that are inundating her life at present.

    Yet, if she returns to the United States without her husband, she will be placed in a dire situation. She will become a single parent trying to be both mother and father to her three children, while supporting them on one income. She will be solely responsible for their mental and physical wellbeings. She will be involuntarily separated from her husband of six years and her children will be torn away from their father. The fact Torgny B would be inadmissible to visit the United States as well as the inability of Misty B to afford the high cost of airfare to visit her husband means the family will be ripped apart never knowing when they will see each other again, if ever.

    The Holmes-Rahe scale score overwhelmingly indicates Misty has an 80%+ chance of developing a major illness over the next two year period due to the monumental stress, anxiety, and depression currently influencing her life in Sweden. Torgny B is a decent, honest, hardworking individual, who has shown over the past ten years of good behavior, abiding by the law, and raising his children to be capable of making responsible life choices.

    To his wife and children he has been loving and caring. He has been supportive in many ways. His friends trust him to house sit while they are away and to feed their pets. His co-workers have valued his opinions and work ethic. In the United States he was welcomed by Misty's family and showed he is a kind, courteous, and respectful man.

    He has exhibited repentant behavior and shown he is capable of turning his life in a positive direction. He loves his wife and his children and wants desperately to keep his family together (see Torgny's letter). Their quality of life will vastly improve in the United States. Torgny B' waiver must be approved. Thank you.

    Sincerely,


    Torgny B Misty

  7. #27
    Empirical research on hardhsip waivers, Duke University...


    (Although this research pertains to the J-1 hardship cases, the data here is extremely helpful in weighing factors for your hardship case- needhelpfast)


    Excerpt (notes omitted) from Bruce A. Hake and David L. Banks, "The Hake Hardship Scale: A Quantitative System for Assessment of Hardship in Immigration Cases Based on a Statistical Analysis of AAO Decisions," 10 Bender's Immigration Bulletin 403-420 (March 1, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Bruce A. Hake and David L. Banks. All rights reserved. Bruce A. Hake is a lawyer in Maryland. His practice concentrates on J-1 exceptional hardship waiver cases. See www.hake.com/pc. David L. Banks is Professor of Statistics, Duke University. First-person references in the text are to Mr. Hake.]
    THE HAKE HARDSHIP SCALE

    [First 11 pages omitted.]

    Genesis of the Idea

    I first started trying to invent a quantitative tool for the assessment of hardship in immigration cases in 1992, 12 years ago. The idea has finally matured.

    I never accept a hardship waiver case unless it meets certain criteria: (1) I personally believe it involves serious hardship; (2) there is a very good chance that it is approvable under established law and practice; (3) I am free to take the case at the time; and (4) there is no special reason to decline, such as a conflict of interest. Applying these criteria, I turn down the majority of people who want to hire me.

    Of those criteria, the most important is the estimation of approvability. For years my rule of thumb was not to accept a case unless I felt it had at least a 75 percent chance of success. Because I have so much experience in this narrow area, my own gut prediction about success is probably about as accurate as could be found anywhere. But it always bothered me that I did not have a stronger empirical basis.

    Before I completed this article, in thinking generally over my work and about the thickets of reasoning in the case law, I had thought that a comprehensive listing of relevant hardship factors would need to be very complex. In April 2002, however, I had an inspiration one night and discovered to my delight that the opposite is true. In fact, one can put the entire structure of pertinent hardship waiver factors on a single page.

    Original Version

    The original 2002 version of the Hake Hardship Scale was based on a systematic analysis of the major hardship factors in my last 50 successful Form I-612 hardship cases. I discovered through this empirical analysis that every single important hardship factor fell within just six hardship categories, with no loose ends. Altogether, one needs just 10 categories for a complete and practical analysis of hardship waiver cases:

    A. Three categories for persons involved in the case--

    1. U.S. citizen spouse or child?

    2. LPR spouse or child?

    3. Third persons facing very serious hardships?

    B. One category for the public interest--

    4. Significant public interest factors?

    C. And just six categories for specific hardship grounds--

    5. Medical hardships to spouse or child?

    6. Psychological hardships to spouse or child?

    7. Career or educational disruptions to spouse or child?

    8. Very serious financial hardships?

    9. Sociocultural hardships upon relocation to the home country?

    10. Significant risk of physical harm due to political violence?

    Usefulness of a Limited Number of Categories

    It can take great effort to establish the gravity or probability of different kinds of harms. For instance, it may take many documents to prove that a family faces a risk of physical harm from political violence that is so serious that it must be given weight. Moreover, there may be much overlap between related categories. For instance, certain extreme sociocultural factors (such as the ongoing genocide being inflicted on the Shia religious minority in Pakistan) may cause (1) a significant risk of physical harm due to political violence, (2) serious psychological hardships, (3) serious medical hardships, and (4) profound career disruption, and they may defeat J-1 program and policy goals by making futile any effort by the applicant to employ his U.S. training in the home country. Nonetheless, it is useful to realize that the fact development can be channeled into such a small number of main categories in every single case.

    The Hardship-Minimizing Travel Alternative

    A major reason why people lose at J-1 hardship waiver applications if they try on their own or with an inexperienced lawyer is due to ignorance of the USCIS "two-step" analysis, which is the central dogma of J-1 hardship waiver law. One has to prove that the U.S. qualifying relatives would face hardships in the home country if the entire family were to relocate together, but usually this is easy and in any event it is not sufficient. The core of the case is to show that the U.S. qualifying relatives would face comparably exceptional hardships if the family were to adopt the travel alternative that minimizes hardship to the qualifying relatives, which typically involves several of the family members staying in the United States. (If the applicant's spouse is not a U.S. citizen or LPR, then the analysis is somewhat simplified, but one still needs to prove that the children could not stay in the United States for two years.)

    Therefore, in using the Hake Hardship Scale to assess the approvability of a case, the primary focus is on whether or not the situation scores a sufficient number of points under the hardship-minimizing travel alternative. In many cases (including most of the ones involving a U.S. citizen spouse), the hardships would be even more serious if the entire family relocated for two years or more to the applicant's home country. But the key is the hardship-minimizing travel alternative.

    In practice, it is often difficult to maintain clarity about distinctions under the "two-step" analysis, especially where there are more than two hypothetical travel alternatives. I make a point to discover the most likely alternative that the family really would follow if forced to choose (one has to find out; real answers are all over the map), and I tend to emphasize this reality, while giving less attention to the merely hypothetical alternatives.

    Scoring the Various Hardships

    Once one has identified the major hardship factors in a case, one needs a way to score them to make an assessment as to whether the case is likely to be approved. The scoring perhaps may give a modicum of credit to the lawyer's belief about what the law "should" be, but to be useful in practice it should be based almost entirely on an objective and accurate reflection of the government's action in real cases.

    It is crucial to emphasize that one must be extremely skeptical and conservative in assigning point totals for categories that permit a range. Only the most clearly serious facts justify the higher numbers, and only when those facts can be supported by authoritative evidence. For instance, the mere fact that one can articulate some kind of "medical hardship" does not necessarily get you even one point.

    Details of the Scoring System

    After much thought, one night of inspiration when years of fuzzy thinking seemed to snap into clarity, and then two years of working with the scale, I propose that the factors should be weighted (scored) as follows:

    1. U.S. citizen spouse or child? Five points for a U.S. citizen spouse and/or five points for a U.S. citizen child. One point for each additional U.S. citizen child. If I were the adjudicator, I would give five points for each U.S. citizen child, but in practice the government does not decide like that. If that were the actual rule of decision, a hardship finding would be made by the USCIS in every case involving two or three U.S. citizen children, and that is plainly not the reality (notwithstanding the authority cited above regarding the dependence of the probability of approval on the number of citizens involved). If a spouse or child obtained U.S. citizenship through naturalization, subtract one-half point. Under the law, all U.S. citizens are equally deserving of protection from their government. In practice, however, the government gives somewhat less weight to the suffering of naturalized citizens. In AAO decisions, for example, during terse summaries of the material facts, the AAO nearly always goes out of its way to mention that a spouse was naturalized where that is the case.

    2. LPR spouse or child? Four points for an LPR spouse or child. One point for each additional LPR child. The scoring here is based on the bedrock principle of American immigration law, which has been consistently affirmed by the Supreme Court in many cases for over 100 years, that aliens's rights increase over time as their ties to the community increase. The fundamental American legal principle is equality before the law and morally all persons are equal, so I'm uncomfortable to give less weight to the suffering of a green card holder than to a citizen. Nonetheless, in practice the government gives less weight. Indeed, as noted above, it sometimes seems to give less weight to naturalized citizens, and such discrimination sometimes appears to reflect ethnic biases.

    3. Third persons facing very serious hardships? One to five points (per person). These situations are unusual and very fact-specific. In the great majority of cases one could not assign any points in this category. Even in cases involving significant suffering to third persons, such as extended family members, one usually could not accurately assign more than one or maybe two points. Nonetheless, in a few of my victories the only significant hardship has been extremely serious hardship to a third person, such as a grandparent of a qualifying relative dying of cancer. Such rare cases may merit four or five points.

    4. Significant public interest factors? One to three points. The statute requires that all J-1 waiver approvals must be grounded on a finding by the Attorney General that it is in the public interest. All cases involve some degree of public interest in view of the ties of the applicant's family to the community. One or rarely two or three points should be assigned here in unusual cases where there is some special, strong public interest factor. My favorite example is a client who was asked to serve on a special project to develop an anthrax vaccine during the time of the anthrax terrorist attacks in 2001. My preference would be to permit higher scores in this category in certain cases, but my impression is that the government typically will not do so.

    5. Medical hardships to spouse or child? One to six points (per person as appropriate). This is the big enchilada. One has to be very skeptical and honest in assessing the evidence. An assignment of five or six points requires a definite life-and-death risk. If there are several qualifying relatives with medical hardships, one adds up the points for each. Note that the State Department's Waiver Review Division routinely sends claims of medical hardship to a separate bureau for an opinion on whether the medical condition can be treated in the home country, so it is crucial to provide documentation from credible medical authorities in the home country.

    6. Psychological hardships to spouse or child? One to five points (per person as appropriate). Again, one has to be very skeptical and honest in assessing the evidence. An assignment of four or five points requires an extremely serious risk of catastrophic mental breakdown or suffering that would be unconscionable to inflict. In practice, it is difficult to prove to the satisfaction of the government that a psychological hardship is exceptional. This topic alone could support an entire article. In brief, I rarely use psychiatric letters unless there is a pre-existing, substantial history of clinical psychiatric illness. Exceptional cases may require a report from a forensic psychologist. In the rare cases where there is no apparent outward hardship, but there is in fact very serious and unusual inward hardship (based, for instance, on past trauma such as torture in Bosnia or suicide of a brother), I have had success relying on legal authorities insisting that the government must look at the individual's actual circumstances, with analogies to the "thin-skinned plaintiff" rule in tort law (a tortfeasor is ordinarily liable for all the plaintiff's injuries, even if most persons would not have suffered injury from the same act). Reports from treating mental health professionals are often of little use in proving psychological hardship, but they are useful to prove the fact of treatment. In practice, the USCIS and the State Department are often more reluctant to tear asunder the bond of an existing, prior relationship with a mental health professional than with a spouse or child.

    7. Career or educational disruptions to the spouse (or, in theory, child)? One to two points. This factor has strong support in the case law. There must be real proof of disruption.

    8. Very serious financial hardships? One point. Only rare cases get even one point for this usually disparaged factor. In the 50 cases I analyzed for the first version of this article, only 13 identified this as a major hardship. My rule of thumb is whether there is a real risk that children may go without essential needs or that a mortgage could not be paid.

    9. Sociocultural hardships upon relocation to the home country? One point. This factor includes things like mistreatment of women in Muslim societies, language problems, educational deficiencies, and the like. There is quite a bit of discussion of factors like this in the case law, and some lawyers give great emphasis to this category. I personally assigned just one point in this category in only seven out of the 50 cases I analyzed for the first version of this article. Some lawyers will differ with me, but I just do not think this category is compelling or effective. When "sociocultural" hardships are sufficiently extreme to be counted on the hardship scale, I think it is usually better to treat them as psychological or occasionally medical hardships, or in terms of the risk of physical harm due to political violence.

    10. Significant risk of physical harm due to political or sectarian violence? One to three points. No matter how white-hot the danger, such risk is always inherently attenuated. If the applicant has been specifically singled out for harm, a better option may be to file on Form I-612 for a waiver based on risk of persecution. My preference would be to sometimes permit up to five points in this category. In practice, the government usually does not give that much weight. I assigned the full three points in this category to only 10 of the 50 cases I analyzed for the first version of this article. Proof of the danger in this category can require extensive documentation, organized into numerous subcategories. In Pakistan, for example, an applicant's family may face significant risks (1) due to the danger of kidnapping, (2) due to their religious affiliation, (3) due to their American ties, (4) due to past political affiliations, and so forth. Nonetheless, this all falls under one core category, where the key concept is risk of physical harm due to political (or sectarian) violence.

    11. Adverse factors. U.S. immigration law has many kinds of applications for relief where the government performs a balancing process, weighing positive factors ("equities") against adverse factors. In my latest work on the Hake Hardship Scale, I have started to use an additional column to record adverse factors, which cause a reduction in the total points scored for a case. As noted above, I deduct one-half point for a naturalized spouse. I deduct one point for each specific problem, of the kinds likely to be articulated by the AAO as negative factors. Examples include absence of documentary evidence for specific points, recency of marriage of a J-1 exchange visitor to an American, and so forth. In addition, I deduct FIVE points if the J-1's program was supported by U.S. government funding.

    Enough to Win

    What does one do with those scores? It might appear that an exceptional hardship finding should require just 10 points, but in practice one needs 11 or more. A score significantly above 11 should be approved quickly and smoothly. A case scoring less than 10 points is not even in the ballpark and should not be accepted by a lawyer.

    In my view, a case involving a U.S. citizen child and a U.S. citizen spouse (10 points), and nothing more, should always be enough. Clearly the government does not agree. One also needs at least one substantial articulable hardship in one of the six hardship categories. Therefore, one needs at least 11 points.

    My final hypothesis is that a winnable case requires (1) at least 11 points, plus (2) at least one clearly exceptional and provable hardship (or, one might say, 11 points and a good story), plus (3) if the J-1 program was funded by the U.S. government, then substantial special additional factors must exist, such as spectacular levels of hardship to qualifying relatives or spectacularly high-level political help.

    What about a case involving one U.S. citizen child with a very serious medical hardship, and no other hardships? If it really is a very serious medical problem, that application will almost always be approved. That is why I have the medical hardship category weighted up to six, because five for the child plus five for a serious medical hardship would only total 10, not enough compared to the previous example involving a citizen spouse and child. Five for the child plus six for the very serious medical condition would total 11, which is sufficient. If one clearly scores 11 points, one does not need to go extensively into all the other hardships that may exist for the family.

    In reviewing cases to compile the scoring ranges for the Hake Hardship Scale, I posed many such comparisons. I tried my best to give accurate numbers. So, for instance, childhood asthma without a history of hospitalization might get a 1 or maybe a 2, but not more. Scoring each case as accurately as possible, in the preliminary version of this article I found that all 50 approved cases did in fact score 11 or more. Moreover, the range of scores that significantly exceed 11 accurately reflects my subjective impression of the seriousness of the cases, and in most of them the government's response time was appropriate. The highest score on the list was 27, in a case where a permanent resident spouse, a wonderful woman, died in childbirth giving birth to the applicant's fifth child. On my emphatic urging, that case was approved by the State Department's Waiver Review Division 40 minutes after its arrival from the USCIS service center.

    Usefulness of Case Law

    I have always tried in each case to identify and emphasize a small set of "main hardship factors." My main tools are intuition and empathy. Over the years I have been as confused as anybody by the case law in this area. As discussed above, I have a low opinion of most of the case law in this area. But knowledge of the case law does prevent certain mistakes. For example, the average man on the street, faced with the prospect of being forcibly separated from his wife and children for two years or more, would probably regard the pains of spousal separation, and the emotional and developmental hardships of parent-child separation, as the dominant hardships. The USCIS, however, has always followed the cruel rule that such hardships do not count in the Form I-612 context, because they are imagined to be normal. Similarly, people are often greatly traumatized by things like worries over the decreasing chance of having children that could result from a two-year interruption of infertility treatments. But this argument has nearly always fallen on deaf ears. There is no point beating these dead horses. Aware of the case law and actual administrative practice, one must simply state the truth about these kinds of hardships (for these kinds of real suffering must be treated with dignity), but these factors must not be emphasized. Instead, one focuses on the factors that will "work," ever mindful of the need for absolute fidelity to the truth of the family's situation.

    Latest Supporting Data

    As noted above, the first version of the Hake Hardship Scale was based on an analysis of my 50 previous approved J-1 hardship waiver cases. The first published article included a spreadsheet summarizing the hardship factors in those 50 cases. This analysis was useful. Among other things, it confirmed that 11 points did appear to be the accurate breakpoint between likely success and likely failure. None of the 50 successful cases scored less than 11 points, and the overall range was from 11 to 27.

    But there are problems with that data set. First, one needs to review comparable numbers of approvals and denials in order to speak with scientific authority. Second, since all 50 cases were prepared by me, it is impossible to know whether the result is biased by my personal reputation or skills. For instance, it is conceivable that other lawyers, not knowing my manner of presenting a case, might not also consistently win cases that score 11 or 12 points. Third, this data set is inescapably biased toward my own impressions as to what are the most important factors in hardship waiver cases. It is conceivable that other lawyers might win cases by looking at very different kinds of factors that I tend to ignore.

    Accordingly, over the past two years I have thought about ways to base the Hake Hardship Scale on better data. I could not rely on my own cases. First of all, I did not have enough comparable denials, because I've had only 19 denials in 11 years, and 12 of those came during the anomalous year of 1999. Further, even if I had sufficient denials to compare, I could not avoid the other possible biases caused by using only my own cases.

    The best alternative data set I have been able to assemble consists of 140 decisions of the AAO spanning the years from 1985 to 2002. Of those 140 decisions, 85 are denials and 55 are approvals. All are decisions on the merits on Form I-612 hardship waiver applications.

    I coded all 140 decisions using a 30-line coding sheet. The data were analyzed in several ways by statisticians at the Institute of Statistics and Decision Sciences at Duke University. This article focuses on the results from fitting a logistic regression model to the data.

    This data set is far from perfect. First, it only includes cases that were initially denied by the INS. Therefore, it does not include cases initially approved by the INS. This significantly skews the varieties of major hardship factors identified in the decisions. I am certain from my own experience that the most significant kind of hardship is serious medical problems of a spouse or child. Such cases are often approved comparatively quickly, and they almost never require an appeal to the AAO. Therefore, this most important kind of hardship factor rarely appears in the 140 AAO decisions I analyzed. My initial data set of 50 of my own cases contains a more accurate distribution of the most important hardship factors.

    Second, this AAO data set is silent on the question whether the cases were ultimately approved after favorable recommendation of the USIA or State Department. It is certain that many of the 55 cases approved at the AAO level had to be subsequently denied by the INS after negative recommendations from USIA or DOS, especially those cases that involved U.S. government funding of the exchange program. My initial data set of 50 of my own cases was also superior in this respect, since it only included cases that were finally approved after favorable recommendation of both the INS and the USIA or State Department.

    Third, many of the 85 denials were of very poor quality. Some involved waiver applications that never should have been filed in the first place, because there were no qualifying relatives and thus the government did not have statutory power to approve. Many were filed in ignorance of the "two-step" rule described above and thus actually did not identify even one exceptional hardship under the hardship-minimizing travel alternative. Such cases have little value in assessing the significance of different kinds of hardship claims.

    Nonetheless, this AAO data set is probably the best and most neutral data available on the question of which factors are important in Form I-612 hardship waiver cases.

    Using an established technique called logistic regression, the statistical analysis found that the Hake Hardship Scale is a significant predictor of approving or denying cases. . . . The interpretation is that the results are highly significant. If the Hake Hardship Scale were not related to the probability of success, then there are only approximately two chances in a million of obtaining a result that supported its value so strongly as does this data. This is so notwithstanding the potential problems with the AAO data set identified above. Results in all cases may very well match the Hake Hardship Scale even more closely.

    In short, the structure of the Hake Hardship Scale, and its assignment of weights to different factors, is highly accurate from a statistical perspective, at least insofar as it predicts the results in the analyzed cases.

    [statistical chart omitted]

    Of the 140 cases analyzed, 16 scored exactly 11 points. Of those, 15 were approved, representing a 94 percent success rate. That is an even higher success rate than indicated by the chart above.

    Of the 140 cases analyzed, 55 scored 11 or more points. Of those, 50 were approved, representing a 91 percent success rate.

    Moreover, of the 140 cases analyzed, 129 turned out to have results that are consistent with the predictions of the Hake Hardship Scale. Only 11 decisions had contrary results. In particular, six cases were actually granted for which the Hake Hardship Scale would have predicted denials. Those cases scored 9, 10, 10, 10, 9, and 10 points, respectively.

    Five cases were actually denied for which the Hake Hardship Scale would have predicted approvals. Those cases scored 15, 13, 12.5, 11.5, and 11 points, respectively.

    Of these 11 "outlier" decisions, all are close in score to the predictions of the Hake Hardship Scale, except only for the denials that scored 15, 13, and 12.5 points. In my opinion, those three cases are clearly anomalous and wrongly decided.

    As described above, there are three main components to a score on the Hake Hardship Scale: the total for the persons involved, a possible score for special public interest factors, and a total for the exceptional hardships involved in the hardship-minimizing travel alternative. As noted above, statistical analysis showed that the total score on the Hake Hardship Score is highly significant statistically. An additional statistical analysis that regressed the logit(P[granted]) over the three main components showed that the total for persons, as well as the total for hardships, are also highly significant statistically. In other words, not only is the Hake Hardship Scale's overall score highly statistically significant, but the balance among the two main components of the score also is statistically accurate.

    The score for public interest, in this data set, was not found to be statistically significant. However, this factor should not be overlooked. Of the 140 decisions, a special public interest factor or factors was recognized by the AAO in only 10 decisions. Of these, 6 cases were denied and 4 were approved. Of the 4 that were approved, 3 of them needed the public interest points in order to reach 11 points on the Hake Hardship Scale. Sometimes this one detail means the difference between victory and defeat. This fact, incidentally, is also supported by many of the published precedent decisions in this area.

    Unfortunately, the AAO data set did not permit much in the way of intelligent nuancing of the originally proposed Hake Hardship Scale, because the range of hardships represented in these decisions turned out not to be particularly representative of what one observes in practice. Additional statistical analysis found that only three specific hardship categories--psychological hardship to a spouse, psychological hardship to a child, and financial hardship to the qualifying relatives--were statistically significant. Moreover, the data set was too small to permit refinement of the range of scores that are permitted within particular categories on the hardship scale. Nonetheless, the statistical analysis showed very clearly that the overall system is highly accurate at predicting success.

    Role of U.S. government funding. Of the 140 AAO cases that were analyzed, 72 (or approximately 50 percent) involved U.S. government funding of the exchange program, according to the AAO. Some of these specifications of U.S. government funding, especially from the earlier cases, may be inaccurate, but the overall total is probably fairly close to accurate. Of the 72 that were said to involve U.S. government funding, 53 were denied and only 19 were granted. Note further that of these 19 that were successful at the AAO level, many or most were probably ultimately denied after USIA or State Department review, because it is the latter agencies that are primarily concerned with the so-called "program and policy" considerations, unlike the Immigration Service, which is primarily concerned with the existence or not of exceptional hardship to qualifying relatives. These totals clearly confirm the almost overwhelming problems posed by U.S. government funding. My estimate that the existence of U.S. government funding should be assigned an adverse weight of five points appears to be remarkably accurate, at least in terms of predicting the chance of a case being recommended for approval by the Immigration Service. It is unknown whether that number accurately reflects the final results after State Department review.

  8. #28
    This is some advice from Laural Scott ( Immigration Attorney who specializes in I-601 waivers) for writing your own hardship letter. I have copied it from www.immigrate2us.net

    DO NOT OVERWHELM THE ADJUDICATOR WITH LOTS OF WEAK ARGUMENTS.
    You want to give the adjudicator your strongest three to five arguments for hardship and PROVE your hardship with documentation. Don't 'bury' your stronger arguments among lots of weaker ones. Start with the strongest arguments first and include weaker ones later in the brief. Same thing with supporting documents. Support your points, but don't overwhelm. If you have a doctor's letter explaining your medical condition, you don't need 20 pages of lab reports.

    SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENTS WITH EVIDENCE
    If you say your mom has a medical condition, supply a doctor's note. If you say you have unusual job skills specific to the US, get a letter from your employer. If you say your ex-wife would not allow you to take your mutual child abroad, get a letter from her if you can. Getting supporting documents can be a pain in the ###, but DO IT! If you ask the doctor for your records and he doesn't return your call, CALL AGAIN! If your mom's psychiatrist says he needs a release form from your mom, get her to sign one! If you're embarrased to tell your boss that the reason your performance has been slipping is because your wife was deported, bite the bullet and tell him and ask for a letter. Note: if you have a very strong argument, but you absolutely cannot get evidence - e.g. your spouse was the victim of a hate crime in her home country, but never reported it - include the argument anyway and give LOTS OF DETAILS. Telling a very detailed story with names and dates can sometimes substitute for lack of evidence if it is credible that no evidence would exist (e.g. you had a surgery ten years ago relavant to your current state of health, but the hopital has purged the records).

    KNOW YOUR STRONGEST ARGUMENTS
    Below are just examples of various arguments on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being the strongest and 5 the weakest. It is not an exhaustive list.

    Level 1 arguments:

    (a) you have a MAJOR medical condition (e.g. brain tumor, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy) which makes you unable to move abroad and for which you really need your spouse in the US to help take care of you,
    ( you are caring for an elderly, chronically ill, or disabled relative who needs constant care and whose condition is bad enough that you either MUST live with the relative or you MUST spend at least an hour a day assisting the relative with things like hygiene or physical therapy, and this makes you unable to move abroad and makes you really need your spouse in the US to help you care for your relative and manage your other responsibilities, or
    © your spouse's country is in a state of war or major political upheaval (e.g. Liberia).

    Level 2 arguments include:

    (a) you are the primary caregiver for your child(ren) from a prior relationship and the child(ren)'s other parent will not allow you to take the children out of the country AND the child(ren) have formed an emotional attachment to your new spouse or fiance(e),
    ( you have a serious medical condition that makes it very difficult for you to move abroad and you need your spouse to come help you (e.g. you need to have major surgery sometime in the next year, with an expected recovery time of several months),
    © you are caring for a moderately disabled relative who normally can care for him/herself but occasionaly has episodes in which he/she needs a lot of help from you and during those time you, in turn, need help from your spouse,
    (d) a relative is unusually financially dependent on you (e.g. your mother has just gone through a nasty divorce with your father in which she got nothing and because she has never worked, she doesn't qualify for social security, so you are supporting her in the entirety for the rest of her life),
    (e) you have a child that you are putting through college or are about to put through college, or
    your spouse's country is on the verge of major political unrest (e.g. Boliva) or negative political change (e.g. Iran) or the country is known for oppression of one sort or another (e.g. you are a Christian woman and your husband is from Saudi Arabia), or it is in the infant stages of post-war recovery (e.g. Afghanistan).

    Level 3 arguments include:

    (a) you are the non-custodial parent of a child from a prior relationship and you have an actual relationship with that child and the child's other parent will not allow you to take the child out of the country but your spouse or fiance(e) does not have a relationship with the child at this time,
    ( you have a significant condition that makes it inconvenient for you to move out of the country (e.g. severe asthma and your spouse lives in Mexico City),
    © you have been diagnosed by a licensed psychologist/psychiatrist with clinical depression due to your spouse's immigration problems (I've argued to the Administrative Appeals Unit that this condition should be taken more seriously by adjudications officers, but at this time I am listing it as a 'moderate' argument),
    (d) you and your spouse have young children together or you have full custody of your child and can bring him/her abroad and your spouse's home country has bad public health conditions and bad public education,
    (e) your job requires a license in both the US and abroad and it will be very difficult to get licensed abroad (e.g. attorney),
    you have job skills that are very specific to the US (e.g. a tax accountant with extensive familiarity with US tax law),
    (g) your spouse's country has a very bad economy (e.g. Chad),
    (h) you have a close relative who is partially dependent on you financially (e.g. your mom gets social security but needs your extra $500 per month to stay in her present apartment) or physically (e.g. your mom pretty much gets around ok, but her health has been declining and you expect her to need more of your help in the near future).

    Level 4 arguments include:

    (a) you have debts you wouldn't be able to pay if you moved abroad,
    ( your spouse's country has a high unemployment rate,
    © your spouse's country has a high crime rate,
    (d) you've been depondent since your spouse left the country, but haven't sought professional help,
    (e) your parents are getting old.

    Level 5 arguments include:

    (a) you got a high score on the Holmes-Rahe scale,
    ( you and your spouse want to have children in the future (but are not currently pregnant) and either the wife is getting older or the foreign country has a high infant mortality rate.


    Don't get discouraged if all you have is two Level 3 arguments and a couple of Level 4 arguments. While one Level 3 argument by itself might not make a strong case, a few put together can be very strong in the aggregate. Just present your case in the strongest possible light. If all you can think of is a couple of Level 4 and Level 5 arguments, I recommend that you pay for a consultation with an attorney to at least see if you can brainstorm some stronger arguments.

    Note: whenever you claim that a relative is dependent on you either for direct care or for money, you must explain why no other relative such as one of your siblings can provide the same care or support.

  9. #29
    Here is a link to the 601 waiver guidelines that Laurel Scott has written. It gives a rating on how each consulate is doing.

    http://www.visacentral.net/I601Memo.pdf

  10. #30
    Filing a Waiver

    How Do I File A Hardship Waiver?

    If you are an immigrant fiance or spouse with a criminal history, you should obtain and bring your court
    records with you to your visa interview, because the consulate will ask to see them. If you have the records
    with you, it helps to make things move faster. If your visa is denied, you may be eligible to file for a waiver. (but
    you cannot file for a waiver until you have been denied the visa) If you are reasonably sure that you will require
    a waiver, your US citizen fiance/spouse can go ahead and download the I-601 waiver form and compose a
    letter indicating why you should be granted the visa. Your US fiance/spouse should send the letter and form to
    you to take along to the interview. Then, if you are told you need to file the waiver, you will have the waiver
    form and letter all ready to hand in right at the interview, thus saving some more time.

    The US citizen has to show to the satisfaction of the consulate that there is hardship to the US citizen
    because of your denial and why he/she cannot live in the foreign country instead of the US. There are
    several things that may validly be used as reasons in the letter that the US citizen writes for the waiver:



    U.S. citizen children who need schooling in the US.
    U.S. citizen children who cannot leave the US due to previous spouse not granting immigration consent
    U.S. citizen children who would have to stay behind in the US that you would not be able to visit
    frequently.
    U.S. citizen inability to speak the language of the foreign country.
    U.S. citizen's lack of employment in the foreign country.
    U.S. citizen's need to care for aging parents or relatives in the US.
    U.S. citizen's ownership of properties in the US that he/she does not want to sell or cannot sell for
    specific reasons.
    U.S. citizen's preference that you want to live in the US because it is your native country and you are a
    citizen of that country.
    excessive cost involved in moving your household members and goods to the foreign country, including
    plane fares and transport of goods.
    U.S. citizen's financial loss due to the separation.
    get character reference letters from anyone who can provide these for the immigrant fiance/spouse.
    get letters from doctors, clergymen, and the like, regarding emotional suffering that the US fiance/spouse
    is experiencing as a result of the separation.
    Any letters submitted are best notarized and should include the name, address, social security
    number, date and place of birth of the person writing the letter.
    Below are cases which go into defining "extreme hardship", I suggest that you read and study
    these for more information on what kinds of things may be helpful in defining "hardship":
    --- http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/efoia/bia/...dfDEC/3298.pdf
    --- http://www.usdoj.gov/eoir/efoia/bia/...ended/3380.pdf
    --- The Kao/Lin Case 5/4/01, a new decision that is worth reading
    --- The Agwu Okpa Case, 6/7/01, another new decision you will find informative
    Remember: The goal is to show hardship to the U.S. Citizen, NOT to the immigrant fiance or
    spouse!

    The US citizen may file the waiver form without attorney assistance, however using an attorney may
    improve the chances of success, in order to be sure that the case is presented in the best light. Attorney
    assistance is generally recommended for filing a waiver.


    What Does the Law Say About Crimes?

    The following links provide additional information on the law regarding moral turpitude:

    http://travel.state.gov/visa;ineligible.html
    http://foia.state.gov/masterdocs/09fam/0940021aPN.pdf

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