Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Extreme Hardships

One of the biggest reasons for returning to the States for a longer period of time right now is because of our lack of "extreme hardships" in our visa waiver application.  After I got the fortune of meeting with the woman who approves and denies the waivers in El Salvador, she informed me that by living in E.S. with my husband, it was showing that I have no hardships.

For those of you not familiar with what I am talking about, I will break it down for you:


I–601 waivers may be granted for a variety of reasons, and apply to different types of entry visas. The condition for obtaining such a waiver is if the visa applicant can demonstrate that failure to grant the visa will result in an “extreme hardship” to the United States citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) spouse or parent of an I–601 waiver applicant.
There is no set formula for obtaining a waiver; instead, the granting or denying of a waiver is at the discretion of the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
The “extreme hardship” requirements are very stringent. First, applicants must bear in mind that the “hardship” in question refers only to the United States citizen or LPR who is residing in the United States, and not to the applicant. The applicant for the waiver must demonstrate that the hardship to the United States resident (a spouse or parent of the applicant) will occur not only if the applicant is not admitted to the United States, but that it will also occur if that spouse or parent relocates to the country in which the I–601 applicant resides. (which I can now prove first-hand why we cannot live in E.S.)
Further, the applicant must support the claim of hardship by documentary proof, or by a sufficiently detailed explanation of the purported hardship with adequate evidence to support the explanation. (this is the hard part!)


Naturally, a child or spouse of a United States resident who is barred from visiting their parent or spouse may find the separation emotionally trying or may find that it creates some financial difficulties. However, these difficulties, by themselves, do not suffice to meet the definition of an “extreme hardship” for purposes of an I–601 waiver regardless of how close the relationship is between the separated parties; neither are speculative or perceived harms enough. (how screwed up is that!??)
Instead, in order to overcome the disqualification imposed by the condition or conditions that led to inadmissibility, the I–601 waiver applicant must generally document some other factor which demonstrates hardship, such as an ongoing medical condition that requires special care or treatment; financial hardships created by caring for an elderly, infirm, or special needs parent or child; or other factors that suggest that the separation presents special and extraordinary difficulties that amount to an extreme hardship."
So as you can see from reading that, I sometimes feel as though I am screwed.  But no matter how much I feel we lack "extreme hardships", I have hope and faith and believe with all my heart we will be approved.  But, it doesn't come without a lot of work on my part.
Being back here in Indiana, I have three main goals:
1.  To re-write my hardship letter and gather as much evidence as possible as to why Eduardo should be allowed to come back here.
2.  To make money for our family in El Salvador to survive and for us to survive.
3.  To improve the physical and emotional health of Liliana and myself.
I started writing my new letter tonight and it feels good to even have started.  It's such a daunting task.  Now I get to be creative and find ways to prove that I am in desperate need to have my love back here.  I promise I won't let my family down!!


Rebecca said...

Isn't sad that you actually have to find the worst things possible so you can be together. I remeber when we were thinking baout our hardships and i remember thingking "it is not fair i dont have some sickness that cant be treated elsewhere" It is sad to wish for something like that

Stephanie G said...

This is what I am really worried about, Miguel and I do not have kids together, I have 2 from a previous marraige and we are here in Mexico with him, living in Monterrey among all the cartel fights. I had thought that would count for something but, after reading your posts, I see it won't and we have no other hardships except the emotional ones that would happen to All 4 of us if the kids and I went back to the US and it would be worse for the kids, for them Miguel is their Daddy and they think he walks on water. Good luck to you and your family, you are in our prayers. If you need anything, petitions signed or anything feel free to email me. I know of a couple of people who petitions did help.

lisa n javi said...

IT is so sad the way the system works. Good luck to you and your family Kelsey, I will be thinking about you guys and praying for the approval.

Kelsey said...

Thanks ladies! I have done the same thing, Rebecca. I've had times that I have wished something bad would happen so I could have a reason for my husband to come back. Isn't that horrible that the system can make us feel that way?! It's not what we truly want, but we will do anything to have our families together. We are the most courageous women I know :)

Stephanie - It may be different for Mexico. I don't know. I do know there are a lot more women living in Mexico than are living in El Salvador with their husbands. Things seem to be so different country to country.

Lisa Hernandez said...

Kelsey, I've been following your blog for a while now and just wanted to let you know that my family is a success story with the El Salvador I-601.
My husband was in El Salvador from October 2006 to August 2008. We went to visit him every 3-4 months. One of our babies was born 6 weeks before he came home. I found out our waiver was approved while I was in labor with her.
We did not have any really significant hardships either. I don't know whether they have become more strict now or not, but if not, I would guess you will be okay.
Hope Liliana is doing well with the move to the new house! Lisa Hernandez

Kelsey said...

Thanks for the encouragment, Lisa! It really helps. I think they have gotten more strict because the gang violence has gotten worse there. I'm not sure why that makes them deny more people, but it seems to be like that. I know he will be home soon enough! We've made it almost a year and a half. I'm praying by New Year's he will be here with us. We will stay the summer here and then go back to ES with him for a while. Thanks again!!