Hardship letter for immigration 2023 (guide + free samples)

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This post covers hardship letter for immigration.

Generally, a hardship letter for immigration is a crucial piece of evidence that can greatly strengthen your waiver application.

It demonstrates the difficulties and challenges you have faced and helps convince immigration officials that granting you a waiver is the best decision for both you and the U.S. community.

Here is how it works.

If you are facing difficulty obtaining a visa or green card in the U.S. due to grounds of inadmissibility, such as criminal activity, immigration violations, or health issues, there is hope for you yet.

You may be able to overcome this obstacle by requesting a “waiver” through the use of either USCIS Form I-601 or I-601A.

Keep in mind that your eligibility to apply for a waiver largely depends on whether you have a qualified U.S. relative who would suffer extreme hardship if you were not allowed to enter the United States.

Don’t let the challenge of inadmissibility hold you back from achieving your goals in the U.S.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy, the US government will approve such a waiver if you provide strong evidence that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative will suffer from either:

  • Extreme hardship in the United States if the non-citizen is not permitted to enter or
  • extreme hardship in the home country if the U.S. relative won’t join or follows them there.

Your qualifying U.S. relative’s personal statement should serve as the first piece of supporting documentation you include with your waiver application.

And each claim you make in either of these statements must be backed up by proof from independent sources, including letters from family members, a spouse, experts, and/or friends who can vouch for your claims of extreme hardship.

It is that letter that is referred to as a Hardship letter for immigration and it will form the basis of this post.

Here you will learn;

  • What is a hardship letter for immigration?
  • Why do you need it
  • What qualifies as extreme hardship for immigration?
  • How to write an effective hardship letter for immigration
  • hardship letter for immigration samples
    • hardship letter for immigration for a friend
    • hardship letter for immigration for spouse
    • hardship letter for immigration for a relative
  • etc.

Let’s get started

Read also:

What is a hardship letter for immigration?

A hardship letter for immigration is a brief statement of facts written by a friend, relative, spouse, or any person who can vouch for the waiver applicant’s claims of extreme hardship to prove to the USCIS that he/she will suffer extreme hardship if the applicant will not be allowed to stay in the U.S and to persuade immigration officials to grant the waiver.

A hardship letter for immigration explains the specific circumstances and difficulties that the waiver applicant and his/her family would face if he were not granted a waiver. This can include financial, emotional, and personal hardships.

It is important to be as specific and detailed as possible in your hardship letter.

This means including information about your personal circumstances, the specific challenges you have faced, and the impact those challenges have had on your life.

You should also include any supporting documentation, such as financial records or medical records, that help to illustrate the difficulties you have faced.

What qualifies as extreme hardship for immigration?

Extreme hardship has been defined by US immigration agencies and courts as a hardship that is greater than what you would experience under normal circumstances if the applicant were not permitted to enter or remain in the US. 

It would therefore be insufficient to demonstrate that you will miss the applicant, as this would be expected in any type of separation.

Some of the more common arguments accepted for extreme hardship claims include;

  • You have a medical condition and you depend on the applicant for care.
  • You are financially dependent on the applicant and it will not be possible to provide adequate support from abroad.
  • You have financial debts and you can’t pay them without the support of the applicant
  • There is a sick family member and it is impossible to care for him without support from the applicant.
  • You are the caregiver for children and you cannot afford childcare in the absence of the applicant.
  • You are experiencing clinical depression as a result of the applicant’s immigration situation

Generally, there is no specific law or regulation defining what constitutes “normal” versus “extreme” hardship, each waiver application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

An attorney can help evaluate your personal situation and come up with more convincing reasons.

Why hardship letter for immigration is necessary?

The purpose of the hardship letter for immigration is to provide evidence of the extreme hardship that you would face if an applicant were not granted a waiver, and to persuade immigration officials to grant the waiver.

It is an important piece of evidence in the waiver application because it helps immigration officials understand the full extent of the challenges the applicant has faced and the impact that those challenges would have on him and other U.S. individuals.

How to write a hardship letter for immigration

A hardship letter for immigration is written in business letter format. Begin your letter with your address and contact information, followed by a date and the USCIS’s address, salute the recipient, and begin your letter by indicating that you are writing to vouch for your spouse/friend/relative’s claims of extreme hardship in support of his waiver application. Provide the evidence of hardship that you are suffering and request the immigration officials to grant the waiver. Sign off with “Sincerely,” followed by your signature and name.

REMEMBER the primary goal of your hardship letter for immigration is to support the waiver application by explaining the specific circumstances and difficulties that you are suffering or you will suffer if the applicant will stay abroad.

So, in order to write an effective hardship letter for immigration, do the following;

  • Include your name and contact information
  • Include the date of the letter
  • Include the address of the recipient
  • Provide your relationship with the applicant
  • Provide a detailed and specific explanation of the difficulties and challenges you and your family would face if the applicant were not granted a waiver.
  • Include specific examples and anecdotes to illustrate the difficulties you have faced and the impact they have had on your life.
  • Include supporting documentation, such as financial records or medical records, that help to illustrate the difficulties you have faced.
  • Provide the Information about the applicant’s positive contributions he has made to the U.S. community and any evidence of good character.
  • Explain why granting the applicant a waiver would be in the best interest of both you and the U.S. community.
  • Address all relevant factors and provide as much detail as possible.
  • Be simple and straightforward
  • Maintain a professional tone
  • Be honest
  • Carefully proofread your letter to ensure it is free of errors and typos.

Now let’s see the samples

Hardship letter for immigration for myself

Daniel John
100 East Street
Main view, CA 65454
111-313-001
d.john@email.com

November 01, 20…

U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

To whom it may concern

I am writing to request a waiver of inadmissibility due to my criminal conviction. I understand that my conviction makes me ineligible for a visa, but I am hoping that you will consider granting me a waiver based on the extreme hardship that my family and I would face if I were not allowed to come to the United States.

As you can see from the documentation I have provided, my family and I have faced significant financial hardship since I was unable to work due to my criminal conviction. My wife has had to work long hours to support our family, and we have struggled to make ends meet. We have had to rely on assistance from family members and have had to make difficult sacrifices in order to get by.

In addition to the financial hardships we have faced, the emotional toll of my separation from my family has been devastating. My wife and children have struggled to cope with the stress and anxiety of being apart, and my absence has had a negative impact on their mental health.

I am deeply remorseful for my actions and have taken steps to rehabilitate myself. I have completed all of the requirements of my sentence and have participated in programs to address the underlying issues that led to my criminal behavior. I am committed to being a responsible and law-abiding member of my community and making amends for my past mistakes.

I understand that granting me a waiver is a serious decision, but I hope that you will consider the extreme hardship that my family and I would face if I were not allowed to come to the United States. I believe that granting me a waiver would be in the best interest of both my family and the U.S. community, as it would allow me to reunite with my family and contribute to society in a positive way.

Thank you for considering my request.

Sincerely,
Daniel John

Hardship letter for immigration for a spouse

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP Code]
[Your Email Address]

To whom it may concern

I am writing this letter to formally request that my husband, [Name of Husband], be granted reenter into the United States. He is currently being held at Name of Detention Center and has been denied entry back into the country after leaving for a one-week business trip.

My husband has deep roots in the United States and is an invaluable member of our family and community. He has lived in the United States for the past 10 years and is the father of our three minor children, aged 4, 7, and 12, all of whom are legal U.S. residents. Our two elder children are excelling in school, and their education is of the utmost importance to us. Additionally, my husband is the sole support for my aged parents, who live with us.

Furthermore, my husband is a hardworking, responsible member of society. He is employed as a Doctor at a local Hospital and his job offers essential health insurance, which is particularly crucial as I am currently unable to work due to a spinal injury and rely on his insurance for my treatment.

Without my husband’s income, our family will face extreme financial hardships. We will be unable to pay our mortgage, purchase food, care for our aged parents or pay for our children’s education expenses. It is imperative that my husband be allowed to return to the United States to continue providing for our family.

I humbly implore the Immigration Department to take our family’s unique circumstances into consideration and grant my husband reentry into the United States. I can be reached at 198-001-1000 or at name@email.com for any further information. I greatly appreciate your attention to this matter.

Attached to this letter

  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth certificates of our children
  • a letter from my husband’s employer, pay stubs, and tax documents
  • My husband’s records of past entries into the United States
  • Proof of the children’s enrollment and attendance in school.
  • Records of mortgage and rent payments.
  • Medical records for my spinal treatment

Sincerely

[Your Name]

Hardship letter for immigration for a relative

The following is a sample hardship letter for immigration for a relative that can be used to support the waiver application of the father, mother, uncle, brother, etc.

Hardship letter for immigration for a relative

Dear Immigration Officer,

I am writing to request your urgent consideration for a hardship waiver for my brother, John Smith, who is facing deportation from the United States.

John has been living in the United States for the past 15 years and has been a legal resident for the last 10 years. During that time, John has established himself as a hardworking and responsible member of our community. He works as a construction worker and is the sole financial support for his wife, Maria, and their three U.S. citizen children aged 8, 11, and 14.

Unfortunately, John received a DUI conviction last year and is now facing deportation. He fully accepts responsibility for his actions and has taken steps to ensure it will not happen again. He has completed all the required classes and treatment, paid the fines, and is actively participating in community service. He truly regrets his mistake, and we believe that this one mistake should not define his life and his ability to stay in the country and support his family.

Maria is currently unemployed and suffering from a serious health condition, which requires expensive medication and treatments. She is unable to work, and without John’s income, the family will be unable to pay for their mortgage, healthcare, food, and education expenses for their children. They also have close family ties in the U.S. and the children are doing well in school and have no relatives or support system in John’s home country.

I understand that the decision to grant a hardship waiver is a serious one, but I strongly believe that the unique circumstances of John’s case merit special consideration. I will be happy to provide any additional documentation or information that may be necessary to support this request, including proof of Maria’s medical condition and financial dependence on John’s income.

I would be extremely grateful if you could review this request and consider granting my brother a hardship waiver, so he could continue providing for his family and continue being a responsible member of the community.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Hardship letter for immigration for a friend

NB: the sample shown in the image is totally different from the text version provided. I suggest you read both of them.

Hardship letter for immigration for a friend

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP Code]
[Your Email Address]

[Date]

[Immigration Officer’s Name]
[Immigration Office’s Address]
[City, State ZIP Code]

Dear Immigration Officer,

I am writing to request your urgent consideration for a hardship waiver for my friend, Jane Doe, who is facing deportation from the United States.

Jane has been living in the United States for the past 8 years as a student, she was able to finish her studies and received a degree in Business Administration. She was planning to apply for a work permit and was in the process of applying for a job, however, her student visa expired and she is now out of status.

Jane is an exemplary individual, who has worked hard to better herself and her future prospects. She is well-liked in her community and has established a strong support system here. She is also active in volunteering and has made a positive impact on the community.

Deporting Jane would cause significant hardship for her family and her community. Her parents and siblings are all legal residents of the United States and her father is the only one working and providing for the family, her mother is disabled and needs a full-time caretaker. Her deportation would cause them to lose important support, and they would have a significant financial burden.

Additionally, Jane has no family or support system in her home country, and it would be extremely difficult for her to rebuild her life there.

I understand that the decision to grant a hardship waiver is a serious one, but I strongly believe that the unique circumstances of Jane’s case merit special consideration. I will be happy to provide any additional documentation or information that may be necessary to support this request, including proof of the family’s financial dependence on Jane’s support, her volunteer activities, and her job application.

I would be extremely grateful if you could review this request and consider granting my friend a hardship waiver, so she could continue to build her life here in the United States, support her family and continue contributing to her community.

Thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

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Isack Kimaro
Isack Kimaro

Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. I am dedicated to providing valuable and easy-to-understand legal information for individuals at all levels of understanding. Whether you are a layperson looking to increase your knowledge, a law student striving to excel in your studies, or a practicing lawyer wanting to expand your expertise, I am here to help. I'm not creating content, I'm creating awareness to empower you to take control of your legal understanding and achieve your goals.