If you have accrued unlawful presence (i.e. you have overstayed the validity period of your status or entered the U.S. illegally), you may be subject to a 3 or 10 year bar upon your departure from the U.S. However, if you have a qualifying relative in the U.S. (i.e. a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident spouse, parent, or child) who will suffer extreme hardship if you are not permitted to live in the U.S., you may be eligible to receive a waiver of the 3/10 bar. Eligibility for this waiver requires an in-depth analysis of family circumstances and will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. Extreme hardship typically relates to illness, though it could also relate to financial and other hardships. Hardship waiver applications have a low approval rate, are typically very involved, and require extensive research and documentation. Consequently, it is unwise to take on the waiver process without the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney.
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