We’ve all seen the commercials with stunt cars and daredevil tricks, and the disclaimer at the bottom stating “Professionals at work. Do not try this on your own.” That is why it is surprising that people with the means to hire a qualified lawyer to prepare a waiver application often do not do so: they are determined to try it on their own. The stakes could not be higher – an approval means a reunion in the United States for those located overseas, a denial can mean a lifetime of separation and the shattered lives of children – yet people are willing to learn as they go, to “experiment” on their own, to use whatever it is they can learn on the Internet to prepare their cases. Waiver law is complicated, and preparing a waiver application requires skill, creativity, and experience.
Even if a 601 or 212 application is denied, there is hope. Sometimes, a Request for Reconsideration can be approved by the original reviewing office; sometimes, a positive change of circumstances can intervene (for example, the US citizen applicant gives birth during the review process). Sometimes, an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) can be successful. As one of our recent AAO cases makes clear, you don’t need to have a medical or psychological problem to have your case approved; you don’t need to be a native born American. It is these borderline cases in which good lawyering can make all the difference in the world.
When my sink springs a leak, you won’t catch me under the sink trying to fix it (much to my wife’s chagrin). I know to leave it to a professional. You should too.