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What is the '601 waiver' and what does the USCIS consider for it?

There are many people in this country who entered without proper authorization. Some people call them "illegal," others call them "undocumented" -- but no matter who you call them, they are still people. They have families and loved ones, jobs and passions. They may even be here with much of their family, or they may be fleeing a terrible or dangerous condition back home.

To "remove" some of these people from the country -- which is just the formal way of saying "to deport someone" -- and send them back to their home country would cause them and their families extreme hardship. Thankfully, there is an extreme hardship waiver, called the "601 waiver." This waiver removes the 10-year reentry ban that people who are deported must endure.

However, having a successful and ultimately accepted 601 waiver application is difficult to achieve. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers the applicants arguments on a "level" scale that runs from 1-4.

Level 1 arguments are the strongest, and concern major medical issues that prevent travel and/or the individual's home country is in a state of active war.

Level 2 and 3 arguments are weaker (the former concerns serious medical issues that make travel difficult and/or if the home country is on the verge of major political upheaval; the latter concerns with significant medical conditions that make moving difficult and/or the home country's economy is poor).

Level 4 arguments are the weakest and concern aging parents or being unable to pay off debt if the individual were to move abroad.

Source: FindLaw, "Extreme hardship and the 601 Waiver: Can I Avoid Deportation?," Accessed Sept. 12, 2014

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