Extreme Hardship Waiver

An individual seeking citizenship in the United States who is may face the threat of deportation to the person's country of origin. There are certain life circumstances that can qualify such a person for a cancellation of deportation called an Extreme Hardship Waiver.

An extreme hardship waiver requires a thorough evaluation of an individual’s family, work, and community situation and psychological factors such as current stressors and coping abilities, and health and financial issues of immediate family members.

If children are involved in the case, the assessment incudes evaluation of their potential psychological, physical, medical and educational needs, whether the child requires services for disabilities, and social, cultural and language factors. 

What is an Extreme and Exceptional Hardship Waiver?

In some cases, deportation of the applicant would result in "extreme or exceptional hardship" to an individual who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident who is the

  • Spouse
  • Fianc√©
  • Parent or
  • Child
  • of the applicant (not the applicant him/herself).

    Extreme hardship can occur in these (and other) areas:

    • Health
      • When ongoing treatment for a medical or mental condition is not available in the country of origin;
      • When social and emotional ties contribute to the well-being of the family or continued support or services of a family member.
    • Finances
      • If financial dependence on the deported spouse requires relocation of the family.
    • Education
      • If deportation leads to discontinuation of special education services to children;
      • When a child's inability to read or write in the language of the destination culture inhibits completion of education.
    • Family Issues
      • If deportation would mean discontinuation of essential care of an elderly parent or sibling;
      • If deportation would lead to separation anxiety or depression in children who remain in the U.S.
    • Spousal Abuse
      • Hardship waivers can be requested when the residency status of a non-naturalized person is threatened after divorcing a citizen or legal permanent resident who was abusive.
      • The victim can for cancellation of deportation based on a record of domestic abuse.
      • Abuse can take the form of verbal, physical, sexual or financial abuse.
      • Abuse can range from mild to severe.
    • Political Asylum
      • An individual can request an extreme hardship waiver in cases of a documented history of abuse, mistreatment, or the potential for grave harm or threat to life upon return to the destination country ;
      • A history of torture;
      • A history of religious, ethnic, gender or, political persecution.