We Filed the I-601 waiver!
I know a lot of you are wondering what the I-601 waiver is. The I-601 waiver is a form and packet of evidence that allows a “qualifying relative”(Mrs. Spanglish) that will suffer “extreme hardship” if the loved one(Mr. Spanglish) is not admitted in the U.S., to prove to the U.S. government that they need their(in most cases) spouses to be with them.
What is “extreme hardship”?
The heartache and difficulties that NORMALLY happen when a couple are separated are not enough to meet the required “extreme hardship” level that the government requires for approving I-601 Waivers of Inadmissibility. A couple MUST prove that they cannot be separated NOR can live outside of the U.S. in order for the waiver to be approved. There are different levels and elements for which hardships are accepted as EXTREME hardships. So, just “missing” your spouse is not enough, you need to prove that is a extreme burden on the U.S. citizen if they have to live without their spouse.
Examples of different forms of hardships:
HEALTH – A physical or mental condition that you need continual treatment for. (i.e. Cancer, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a required surgery in the near future)
FINANCIAL/ECONOMICAL – Future employability and financial losses if the waiver of inadmissibility is not approved. (i.e. Debt, own a house and can’t sell it, owning a business in the U.S.)
PERSONAL – Hardships that your close relatives will suffer if the waiver of inadmissibility is not approved. (i.e. A family member of the qualifying relative depends on you for financial support, family member has a special condition in which you help with and can’t leave the U.S.)
EDUCATION – If you cannot continue with your education goals and the impact it would have on your earnings. (i.e. Different countries have different standards and it is unlikely that you will be able to have a certification in both country abroad and U.S.)
SPECIAL FACTORS – Cultural, language, religious, and ethnic issues.
These are only some of the hardships that can be shown as “extreme hardship”. There are different levels of severity for each element of hardship you may be facing. Health being one that is usually weighed with more of a hardship than that of just not knowing the local language of the other country.
So, when I say that I have been working on Mr. Spanglish’s case, I was really gathering documentation to support that I face extreme hardship because he is not here. There was a lot of time and effort that went into preparing to send the waiver to USCIS. We even have a lawyer who did all the final statements and put together everything.
So, when will Mr. Spanglish be able to come back home?
This is a very hard question to answer and it is the one that I get the most often. There is no equation to sort this one out. It is all in the hands of the government now(GOD really lol). The government attempts to get the waivers approved in 3 months, but that SO doesn’t happen. The current processing time for a waiver to be approved or given and RFE* or denied(we REALLY don’t want to be denied) is 6 months and that does not even include the time Mr. Spanglish will have to wait to get his actual visa so he can come finally come back to the U.S.
*RFE(Request for more Evidence)- this is when the NSC adjudicator (or the lockbox official) looking over Mr. Spanglish’s file feels as though there is not sufficient evidence to prove that I, Mrs. Spanglish need Mr. Spanglish in the U.S. with me. The NSC may do this to avoid denying your case without warning. It is basically like a 2nd chance. An RFE does not necessarily mean it will be complicated it could be simple oversight such as a missing signature.
Most common reasons for RFEs:
- missing signatures
- missing fees
- evidence is too old
- missing hardship evidence
- missing police reports for cases with criminal history
- additional background, government checks
So, here is an overview of what the timeline looks like:
I-601 Waiver processing time ——————————————–6 months
Approval letter in mail——————————————————2 weeks
Visa issued——————————————————————–1-2 months
Total time until Mr. Spanglish COULD be home———————8-9 months(and that is IF we do not get an RFE)
The diagram below, by looking at the current processing times of the USCIS, is my best guess of when Mr. Spanglish will be able to come home. It could be longer if the USCIS changes their processing times again. I know that I have given people hope that Mr. Spanglish could be home by a certain time and I hate to do it because the times keep changing, but now that we have our waiver in, things shouldn’t change THAT much for us now.
We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
Now all we do is wait, wait for the Lord to do what he’s gonna do in our lives.
“Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD” Psalm 27:14 NLT