Another Win for Cunningham Lopez LLP


Cunningham Lopez LLP has successfully obtained another Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver, I-601A.  Attorney Geraldine Arruela was able to obtain an I-601A waiver for Ms. L, a woman from Mexico who had two Lawful Permanent Resident parents who were faced with potentially losing their daughter to the 10 year-bar.   

The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) created the three-year, ten-year, and permanent bars on admission to the United States.  Depending how long an individual has been present in the United States without authorization, the individual can trigger the three or ten-year bar once they voluntarily depart the country.  The creation of these bars has made it very difficult for individuals who need to consular process to obtain a lawful permanent resident card because these individuals would trigger the bar once they depart for their consulate interview.

Prior to 2013, an individual who needed a waiver of inadmissibility for unlawful presence had to leave the United States and wait many months outside of the United States to wait for a decision on the waiver.  Since 2013, United States and Immigration Services has allowed certain individuals who only need a waiver for unlawful presence to file a Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver (I-601A) forgiving the three or ten-year bar while still in the United States.  On August 29, 2016, the I-601A waiver has expanded to anyone who is statutorily eligible for a waiver of unlawful presence waiver and who has a Lawful Permanent Resident parent or spouse for immigrant visas, employment-based immigrants, and diversity visa immigrants. 

An individual filing an I-601A waiver must demonstrate extreme hardship to their qualifying relative (Lawful permanent resident parent or spouse or a U.S. citizen parent or spouse).  There is no concrete definition for what “extreme hardship” means and an immigration attorney must look at every case individually to determine the best strategy.  Some of the factors that are considered are the presence of a lawful permanent resident or United States citizen spouse or parent in this country; significant conditions of health; the qualifying relative’s family ties outside the United States; the conditions in the country or countries to which the qualifying relative would relocate and the extent of the qualifying relative’s ties in such countries; the financial impact of departure from this country. 

Our client has to consular process to obtain her lawful permanent resident card as she entered unlawfully and will trigger the 10-year bar once she departs for her consulate interview.  Attorney Arruela filed an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, using Ms. L’s U.S. citizen son to expedite the I-130 petition.  Once the I-130 petition was granted, Attorney Arruela filed an I-601A waiver based on Ms. L’s Lawful Permanent Resident parents showing extreme hardship to both of her parents.  In this case, Ms. L’s Lawful Permanent Resident parents would suffer extreme hardship if Ms. L had to depart to Mexico as she is the primary caretaker and financial provider.  Unfortunately, Ms. L’s parents have many medical issues and rely on their daughter for all their daily needs.  Additionally, Ms. L’s parents will suffer extreme hardship if they relocate with their daughter to Mexico since there is a lack of suitable medical clinics and hospitals in their hometown in Mexico.

Attorney Arruela was able to craft arguments around Ms. L’s specific circumstance and we are happy to announce the approval of Ms. L’s I-601A waiver.  At Cunningham Lopez LLP we provide big firm results with a personal, small firm approach.  Ms. Arruela’s attentiveness and dedication to this case was a great example of our firm's values.