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Often criminal convictions, health problems, and especially time spent in the United States without lawful immigration status can make a person ineligible for a green card or other immigration benefit. Fortunately, in most cases the law provides for a kind of pardon, or waiver of ineligibility. To obtain a waiver, the applicant usually must demonstrate that a close relative, already living in the United States, will suffer “extreme hardship” if the applicant is not permitted to live here legally as well.

Often, an immigrant visa applicant who is already living without immigration status in the United States, but who must apply for her visa at an American Consulate overseas, must apply for such a waiver. For many years, the applicant could not apply for the waiver until she had first left the United States and reported to an American Consulate overseas for her visa interview. Consequently, the applicant often found herself separated from family and friends in the United States for years while she waited for a decision on her waiver application. If the waiver was denied, the applicant faced a long exile from the United States.

Now, however, certain immigrant visa applicants can apply for waiver applications here in the United States, “provisionally”, BEFORE visiting an American Consulate overseas to apply for their immigrant visas. Thousands of immigrant visa applicants can now avoid those long separations from loved ones in the United States that used to be part of the visa application process.

But what must an applicant do to qualify for a waiver? In fact, depending on the type of waiver, the process can be difficult. The applicant must often collect hundreds of pages of documents to demonstrate how her family in the United States will suffer if she is not permitted to live here. In some cases, but not all, if the waiver is initially denied, the applicant can appeal. Finally, how much hardship an applicant must show to demonstrate “extreme hardship” to a family member is constantly changing.

Mark Monaco can help you navigate the often treacherous waiver application process. At an initial consultation, he will explain 1) whether a waiver is available to you; and 2) if you are eligible to apply for your waiver here in the United States. If so, he can tell you how to apply and the kinds of evidence you will need to qualify for the waiver. Once the application process begins, he will personally guide you through all the necessary steps. Although no one can guarantee whether a waiver will be granted, Mark Monaco will help you assemble the strongest application possible given the facts of your case.

Accessing this website does not create an attorney client relationship. Before acting on this information you should consult with an immigration attorney.

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