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Hardship Letter

The law requires that the "qualifying US Citizen" (the USC fiancé(e) or spouse) proves "extreme hardship" to them, the USC, if the fiancé(e) or spouse visa is not ultimately approved and as a result they need to relocate permanently to their fiancé(e) / spouse’s country. Extreme hardship is vaguely defined as "greater than the normal hardship the qualifying relative can be expected to experience if the alien is denied admission".

Hardships and Evidence:

The USC needs to write a clear and detailed letter explaining each situation and circumstance that will cause "extreme hardship". It is not enough to say that the US Citizen will feel sad or miss the fiancé(e) / spouse – this is "normal" hardship. The details provided in the letter as well as the evidence / documentation are the key, vital issues in the waiver process.

The best way to approach the hardship letter and evidence is for the USC to think about every aspect of how their life would change if they had to relocate permanently to their fiancé(e) / spouse’s country. These arguments form the basis of the hardship letter. Again, each argument must be supported with evidence". Extreme hardship can be demonstrated in many aspects of your life such as:

HEALTH / MEDICAL - Ongoing or specialized treatment requirements for a physical or mental condition; availability and quality of such treatment in your fiancé(e) / spouse’s country, anticipated duration of the treatment; whether a condition is chronic or acute, or long-or short-term.

FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS - Future employability; loss due to sale of home or business or termination of a professional practice; decline in standard of living; ability to recoup short-term losses; cost of extraordinary needs such as special education or training for children; cost of care for family members (i.e., elderly and infirm parents).

EDUCATION - Loss of opportunity for higher education; lower quality or limited scope of education options; disruption of current program; requirement to be educated in a foreign language or culture with ensuing loss of time for grade; availability of special requirements, such as training programs or internships in specific fields.

PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS - Close relatives in the United States; separation from spouse / children; ages of involved parties; length of residence and community ties in the United States.

SPECIAL FACTORS - Cultural, language, religious, and ethnic obstacles; valid fears of persecution, physical harm, or injury; social ostracism or stigma; access to social institutions or structures.

Any other situation that you feel may help you meet the burden of extreme hardship.

Include as much legitimate, detailed evidence as possible. For example, in discussion of medical conditions of the USC, include personal letters from your doctor, nurses, therapists, medical records, prescription information, etc. Always try to include information from US government sources.