Deportation is something most noncitizen U.S. residents fear, and that fear is well-founded. As too many Michigan residents know, it rips families apart; it costs people their jobs and their lives as they know it. If forced to leave the country, deported individuals may end up in places they have never been before, or they left for good reason. While deportation is not always avoidable, some immigrants may be allowed to remain or be readmitted into the country if they can prove the deportation will cause their families to suffer extreme hardship. This is what a 601 waiver is for.

The government understands that deportation will cause people to experience hardships, but not all hardships are considered extreme. Typical difficulties resulting from removal include family separation and income loss. Extreme hardships, on the other hand, are anything beyond these normal difficulties such as a family member with a serious medical issue, one’s native country is at war or experiencing major political upheaval, or the move would make it impossible to pay debts — among other things.

While there are no strict eligibility guidelines for a 601 waiver, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has identified four different levels of arguments that may qualify a person to receive waiver approval. Those with Level 1 arguments are more likely to be granted 601 waivers. Legal counsel can provide more information on the different levels. Along with having an approved reason, the waiver applicant must have lived in the country for over a year before he or she files the request.

If a 601 waiver is awarded, the petitioner may avoid deportation or, if he or she has already been removed, may be allowed to re-enter the United States without having to wait out the 10-year reentry ban. While difficult to get, this waiver may certainly worth applying for. An experienced Michigan-based immigration attorney can assist immigrants, or their families, who are facing deportation apply for this or any other removal relief that may be available to them.