Thursday, October 22, 2009

CIS issued revised I-601, waiver application

USCIS has revised the Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility "to make it easier for applicants to complete."
    The I-601 is used by visa applicants who are "inadmissible" to the US for any reason. The most common ground of inadmissibility is a prior overstay, rendering the visa applicant inadmissible for 3 or 10 years. To qualify for a waiver, the applicant must show that not returning to the US would cause extreme hardship to the US citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent of the I-601 applicant. Family separation and financial inconvenience alone do not necessarily constitute extreme hardship. 
    As one consulate explains:
    Extreme hardship can be demonstrated in many aspects of your spouse or parent’s life such as: 

  • HEALTH - Ongoing or specialized treatment requirements for a physical or mental condition; availability and quality of such treatment in your 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 and /or your country; 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

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

  • CIS press release on the new form here.

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Stores pull "Illegal Alien" costume after protests

    Various groups have protested the sale of Halloween costumes that depict "Illegal Aliens".  The costumes are bright orange jumpsuits, with the words "ILLEGAL ALIEN" stamped on the chest, a bug-eyed alien mask, and a fake "green card."  Not surprisingly (duh!), many advocate groups found the costumes very offensive.  

    As of Saturday afternoon, Target had pulled the products, and said that the "Illegal Alien" costume was inadvertently uploaded to its web site due to a "data entry error."  A Google search for "illegal alien halloween costume" just now showed that Walgreens, Toys "R" Us, and other stores were selling the costume.  However, the links all seemed to be broken.

    What do you think of the costume?