Update on Extreme Hardship from USCIS

USCIS Issues Policy Guidance on Determinations of Extreme Hardship to Qualifying Relatives Seeking Waivers


Certain inadmissibility grounds can bar an prospective immigrant from being admitted to the United States. However, many of these (for example, the 3-and-10-year inadmissibility bars for unlawful presence, bars for crimes involving moral turpitude, and bars for certain types of immigration fraud) can be waived if an applicant can show that “refusal of admission ‘would result in extreme hardship’ to one or more designated relatives.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS Policy Manual. [Washington, District of Columbia] :U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Print. Applicants seeking to prove extreme hardship must demonstrate that “refusal of admission would impose more than the usual level of hardship that commonly results from family separation or relocation.” Id. Until recently, the process by which USCIS balances competing policy considerations to determine whether extreme hardship warrants a waiver of inadmissibility has been opaque. 


    Effective December 5, 2016, the USCIS has updated its policy manual to provide guidance on how it makes extreme hardship determinations. These updates provide some clarification of factors USCIS considers in determining whether hardship rises to the level of “extreme.” Factors considered include, but are not limited to, “family separation,” “economic detriment,” “difficulties of readjusting to life in the new country,” “the quality and availability of educational opportunities abroad,” “inferior quality of medical services and facilities,” and “ability to pursue a chosen employment abroad.” Id. Additionally, USCIS clarified that officers must “consider all factors and consequences in their totality and cumulatively.” Id. If an individual would experience multiple “common” consequences which individually might not rise to the level of extreme hardship, they may cumulatively be considered “extreme.” For example, the hardship to a person who would be separated from his family and also suffer from lack of access to advanced medical care for a health condition may be considered “extreme” when USCIS considers the totality of his circumstances.


Additionally, the updated guidelines emphasize the value our country places on preserving family unity. The guidelines “clarify[y] that hardship to two or more qualifying relatives may rise to the level of ‘extreme’ in the aggregate, even if no single qualifying relative alone suffers hardship that by itself is severe enough to be ‘extreme.’” Id. For example, if a woman is denied admission to the United States and would be separated from two qualifying relatives, her mother and her aunt, and this separation would result in the “ordinary” consequences of family separation, not any additional suffering or harm, the hardship experienced by the mother and aunt may be considered, in the aggregate, to rise to the level of “extreme.” 


If you have questions about how these updated guidelines may apply to your case, please contact Elliott Immigration Law, LLC at (404) 890-0372 to set up a consultation to discuss specific information.

 

Posted on December 15, 2016 .
Posted by Erin Elliott

Consequencias de la Eleccion

Para nuestros clientes, amigos y familiares que están potencialmente afectadas por los resultados de las elecciones de ayer: los apoyamos, estamos con usted y estamos más decididos que nunca a tomar medidas.


Ya hemos hablado con muchos de ustedes en las comunidades de inmigrantes, LGBT y musulmanes, en particular, y entender que son temerosos y preocupados por los próximos cambios. Nosotros también compartimos este sentimiento, pero por favor, sabemos que nuestros sentimientos se han desarrollado rápidamente en una determinación más fuerte para continuar abogando por usted y estas comunidades.


Aunque todavía queda mucho por saber, nos gustaría ofrecer algunas reflexiones sobre lo que puede esperar.

Esperanzas de heredar:

  • La inmigración promulgada por la reglamentación, como OPT STEM, H-1B, exenciones provisionales de inadmisibilidad, etc., no se puede deshacer sin extensos períodos de comentarios y revisión.
     

  • Trump tendrá la capacidad de cambiar DACA y cierta orientación fiscal sin tales período de comentario u opinión; por lo tanto, este tipo de orientación es el mayor riesgo.
     

  • Anticipamos que puede haber un cambio en la aplicación de la familia y la detención.
     

  • No anticipamos ningún cambio sobre la legalización del matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo ya que esta decisión fue dictada por el Tribunal Supremo de EE.UU. en Obergefell v. Hodges y no debe ser revocada por el director legal de un tribunal unida a su propio precedente.

    Lo que puedes hacer:
     

  • Si usted cree que usted es elegible para un beneficio de inmigración, buscar orientación y, posiblemente, la acción en la consecución de este beneficio.
    Mantente informado.


    Lo que haremos:
     

  • Continuar seguir involucrado e informado con las organizaciones que abogan por el cambio y apoyan estas comunidades.
     

  • Proporcionar orientación a usted a través de los medios sociales tan pronto que reciben las actualizaciones.
     

Si le gustaría hablar de preocupaciones acerca de cómo los resultados de la elección pueden afectar a usted, vamos a ofrecer consultas gratuitas de 30 minutos los viernes de los meses de noviembre y diciembre para discutir los posibles beneficios para los que puede ser elegible.

Estamos dedicados a apoyar a nuestra comunidad de inmigrantes y valoramos sus contribuciones en los Estados Unidos.

Posted on November 11, 2016 .
Posted by Erin Elliott

Immigration Impact - Post Election

To our clients, friends and family who are potentially negatively impacted by the results of yesterday’s election:

We support you, we stand with you and we are more determined than ever to take action. 

We have already spoken with many of you in the immigrant, LBGT and Muslim communities, in particular, and understand that you are fearful and concerned about upcoming changes.  We too share this sentiment, but our feelings have quickly developed into a stronger determination to continue advocating for you and these communities.

Although there is still much unknown, we would like to provide some thoughts on what to expect.

Expectations:

·      Immigration enacted by regulation, such as STEM OPT, H-1B, Provisional Waivers of Inadmissibility, etc., cannot be undone without extensive comment and review periods.

·       Trump will have the ability to change DACA and certain prosecutorial discretion memos without any such comment period or review; thus, these deferred actions are most at risk. 

·      We anticipate that there will be a change in enforcement and family detention.

·      We do not anticipate any near changes to the legalization of same-sex marriage as this decision was rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges and should not be overturned per the legal principal of a court adhering to its own precedent.

What you can do:

·      If you believe that you are eligible for an immigration benefit, seek guidance and possibly action in pursuing this benefit.

·      Stay informed.

What we will do:

·      Continue to stay involved and informed with organizations that advocate change and support these communities.

·      Provide guidance to you via social media as soon we receive any updates.

·      If you would like to discuss concerns about how the results of the election may affect you, we will offer free 30-minute consultations on Fridays for the months of November and December to discuss possible benefits for which you may be eligible.

 

We are dedicated to supporting our immigrant community and value your contributions in the United States.  

Posted on November 10, 2016 .
Posted by Erin Elliott