Because “extreme hardship” isn’t defined in the legal code, its meaning is interpreted based on the decisions made in Board and Federal courts.
When determining whether deportation would cause extreme hardship to a person or their relative(s), the courts have previously considered the following factors.
age of the applicant when entering U.S.
length of residence in U.S.
age of applicant when requesting suspension of deportation
applicant’s children: their age, immigration status, and their ability to speak language and adjust to life in country they would return to
health of applicant/family, availability of any needed medical treatments in country they would return to
how connected applicant is to community in the U.S.
how applicant contributes to community in the U.S.
applicant’s level of social “integration”
whether any family members are living in the U.S. legally
whether any family members are living in the country they would return to
claim of persecution --
the current economic / political circumstances in the country they would return to;
the circumstances under which applicant left the country;
financial impact that leaving would have on applicant and other family members is much more extreme than what is typical for deportation/removal
applicant’s employability in the country they would return to
disruptive impact on education
psychological impact of deportation on applicant, spouse and children is much higher than the stress that is typical of returning to a country after being away for several years
other options available to adjust to permanent resident status
The applicant can raise factors that are not on this list.
It is not necessary to demonstrate that all the listed factors are applicable to you either.
No one factor will be considered as most important when establishing extreme hardship. Instead all the relevant factors are weighed together when a decision is made in your case.
What is not accepted as a sole basis for extreme hardship:
a child born in the U.S. as a citizen
significant loss in standard of living
inability to pursue applicant’s profession
When you apply for suspension of deportation, or a special rule cancellation of removal, your asylum officer can’t deny your application. If any of the following applies to you, they must refer your application to Immigration Court.
applicant is ineligible for relief
applicant should be denied relief as a “matter of discretion”
applicant is only eligible under higher standards that require more complex deliberations from the court (10 years presence in the U.S. and exceptional and extremely unusual hardship resulting from removal, etc)
applicant is only eligible as a battered spouse or child
applicant denies inadmissibility or deportability
If your application is deemed ineligible by the courts, one of the following could happen:
the courts will put you in removal proceedings
the courts may move to reschedule proceedings
If the applicant doesn’t appear for a scheduled interview/fingerprint session and doesn’t have a qualifying excuse, the asylum officer can either refer your application to Immigration Court or dismiss your application.
If eligible for suspension of deportation / special rule cancellation but not asylum:
In this case, you would be granted the suspension or cancellation and have your status adjusted to lawful permanent resident. You can choose to either continue to pursue the request for asylum or withdraw your asylum request.
If eligible for suspension of deportation / special rule cancellation and asylum:
In this case, you would be granted the suspension or cancellation and have your status adjusted to lawful permanent resident. The courts will also acknowledge that you are eligible for asylum even after your status is adjusted.
If eligible for asylum but not suspension of deportation / special rule cancellation:
You’ll be granted asylum but your application for suspension of deportation / special rule cancellation will be dismissed.