Successful I-601A for Spouse Married for Only 9 Months

Successful I-601A for Spouse Married for Only 9 Months

  • Applicant: Ms. Mai
  • Nationality: China
  • Case Type: I-601A, Unlawful Presence Waiver
  • Special Factors:
    1. Prior entry under Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Visa Waiver Program (GCVWP)
    2. Spouse is a Software Engineer
    3. Spouse Provides for Both Mother with Cancer and his elderly father
    4. Applicant was married to the Petitioner for only (9) months and they had no children


Ms. Mai accrued about 2 years of unlawful presence when she overstayed the term of her Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Visa Waiver Program (GCVWP) in Saipan, Marianas Protectorate (MP). Ms. Mai overstayed her parole in Saipan as a result of personal illness, a request by family members to help with the arrival of a newborn child, and her erroneous belief that the lack of necessity in having a visa to visit the island would enable her to stay without negative immigration consequences. Ms. Maid had been married to her Vietnam-born, U.S. citizen spouse Mr. Mai for 9 months. They had no children together. Mr. Mai was the primary caregiver for his parents, and took special care of his mother, who had metastatic breast cancer.


This case consisted of many challenges that needed to be overcome in order to obtain an approval. Ms. Mai had only been married to her U.S. citizen husband for 9 months; they had no children together; and Mr. Mai made a rather robust salary at $87,000 USD a year, such that he would not require Ms. Mai’s supplemental income to survive. However, during our strategy session, we discovered that Mr. Mai would in fact face financial hardship as he was responsible for the care of his elderly parents, especially his mother, who relied on Mr. Mai for support and to pay for costly medical bills that had accumulated over time as a result of her cancer. We assisted Mr. Mai in gathering the documentation that proved that if he were forced to relocate to China, he would make, at best $40,000 USD per year, which was unlikely due to his lack of Chinese language skills. The substantial income difference would prove devastating to Mr. Mai’s parents, and Ms. Mai, who made only $200 a month. By demonstrating that Mr. Mai was forced to choose between the love for his parents and the love for his wife, we were able to prove extreme hardship.


Beyond Mr. Mai’s emotional and financial hardship, we were able to prove his medical and mental health hardship. Furthermore, we were able to prove hardship on the couple’s future children, as well as Mr. Mai’s hardship as an ethnic Vietnamese in China as Chinese-Vietnamese tensions in Asia rose. Our client’s I-601A waiver was accepted and approved within 4 months.

*Name has been changed to protect client identity

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