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US immigration law: How a hardship waiver can help you stay

Undocumented immigrants in Louisiana often worry that they will never have a path toward remaining in the United States legally. However, if faced with deportation, these individuals have a couple of options they can take advantage of. Depending on the situation, they could either leave the country or apply for a hardship waiver. Getting a hardship waiver means that individuals must meet certain requirements under U.S. immigration law.

If a person has lived undocumented in the United States for a year or longer, he or she may leave the country, serve a 10-year ban on re-entry and then become a legal resident afterward. This is not a viable option for everyone, so some may choose to file a 601 waiver, which is commonly referred to as a hardship waiver. If granted, the person would be able to avoid the 10-year ban on re-entry.

The hardship waiver is not based on the person's own needs, but rather on those of the individual's immediate family. The family member can either be a citizen or a legal resident, although legal residents must be either a spouse or parent to qualify for this waiver. Examples of a hardship include a family member who has a significant medical issue that prevents the individual from traveling abroad. If a person's parents are aging or would not be able to keep up with paying outstanding debts after moving abroad, a hardship waiver might also be appropriate.

Receiving a hardship waiver is a complicated process. Individuals must collect enough information to properly demonstrate the hardship their family would experience because of their removal. Rather than leave this up to chance when there is a 10-year ban on re-entry on the line, immigrants in Louisiana may want to speak with an attorney who is well-versed in U.S. immigration law. Doing so can help these individuals feel more confident in submitting their waiver application.

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