Hardship Letter Examples

   How to Write an Extreme Hardship Letter for an Immigration Case

How to Write an Extreme Hardship Letter for an Immigration Case

If you are in a situation in which a relative or friend is being denied entry into the U.S. because of immigration laws, you may be asked to write a hardship letter to explain why the person being detained should be allowed back into the country. This kind of letter is obviously incredibly important, so you'll want to take your time and cover some basic categories that immigration officials will expect to see.

The following is a list of some of those categories, though you will need to decide on your own which work for your situation, and if you need to add more:

Family ties in the U.S. If the person being detained has family in the United States, that needs to be addressed. Often, the detained person has lived in the U.S. for a considerable amount of time already, and was stopped at the border after making a visit back to his/her official home country. If he/she has a wife, children, parents, or other family members who are legal residents of the United States, write about those people, and explain why the detained person is needed back in his/her home with his/her family members.

Financial hardship. The person detained at the border may be a significant contributor to a family's income, and his/her detention will obviously put a dent in the family's potential to continue to earn. Explain that, while being sure to mention who will be affected by this loss of income. If the fear is that the person writing the letter (for example, a wife or husband living in the U.S. legally) will have to move to the detained person's country if they hope to be together, it's worth mentioning that the legal resident of the U.S. will face significant financial hardship by being essentially forced to move to a country in which he/she knows no one, may face a language barrier, and may not have the proper education to earn a decent income.

Lack of educational opportunity. Either the detained person, or a spouse or child who will have to move to another country in order to be with the detained person, may face difficulty in finding access to proper education in that new country. Write about why that is important to the family.

Medical concerns. Other countries may not have the access to adequate medical care that one can find in the United States. Particularly if the detained person, or his/her close family member, has a medical problem, you'll want to write about why you are concerned that this detention will have a devastating effect on the person's health.

Employment. Like education, decent employment may be hard to find in another country, particularly if a spouse or other family member feels that he/she is forced to move to another country because the detained person can't enter the U.S. If the detained person or the spouse already has a job in the U.S., write about that job, as well as the income derived from that job, and explain why that same income would be impossible to earn in the other country.

Safety concerns. If the letter writer is forced to move to a new country, or if he/she is forced to live in the U.S. without the detainee, there may be safety concerns that the writer will face as a result. Detail those, and explain why those concerns would be alleviated if the detainee were allowed to return to the United States.

Index of Hardship Letter Examples