Compared to many other countries, the United States has an incredible medical system that can connect people with serious injuries or illnesses with life-saving treatments. Medical conditions or injuries that would be fatal in another country can be curable or at least treatable for people living in the United States.

Quite a few people want to enter the United States because of better access to quality medical care for themselves or a member of their family. In cases where an individual has a potentially life-threatening condition, the need for modern medical care could play a role in their immigration process. Immigration can take years, depending on the kind of visa someone seeks and their life circumstances.

A person with a severe medical condition may not have years to wait for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to make a determination about their immigration application. Thankfully, there are certain immigration waivers that applicants can request that can expedite their process of entering the United States.

What are immigration waivers?

If the USCIS has already decided that someone is inadmissible to the United State or that they don’t qualify for a Green Card, that person could face deportation if they are in the country or won’t be able to enter if they haven’t already.

Extreme hardship waivers are waivers requested by applicants who would experience extreme hardship above and beyond the standard complications most people would experience with a denied immigration request or a deportation.

Can the applicant secure the care they need in their home country?

Depending on the nation of origin for the applicant, it may be immediately obvious that the medical care and facilities they require simply won’t be readily available. In some cases, such as when a U.S. citizen marries a non-citizen, the medical condition of a U.S. citizen that would worsen in the country of their spouse could also provide grounds for requesting a hardship waiver related to medical need.

Provided that the medical condition is debilitating, progressive or potentially fatal and that there is clear evidence that they will not receive the standard of care they require in the other country, the courts may consider allowing an extreme hardship waiver for someone who otherwise would not be able to enter or stay in the United States.

These requests receive a careful review on an individual basis, and the judge involved has significant discretion in how they handle the case. Anyone hoping to secure a waiver will likely need help doing so.