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Immigration Issues/Question about waiver


My husband is from MX. We had been married for about 1.5 years and decided to start filing paperwork to adjust his status. All seemed to be going well until we went to the medical appointment in MX. He was in there for quite some time and came out with a slip of paper that stated he was deemed to have a drug and alcohol abuse problem and the Dr recommended rehabilitation.

Of course, I was hopeful under the impression that being honest was the best policy. He said that he did drink alcohol and that he had smoked marijuana in the past a few times. Which I find hard to believe that they can deem someone an alcohol and drug abuser, with so little information and no real history. He is far from being either of those.

So then at the interview, based on the information by the medical we had no other meetings, some asked if he was sent to a psychiatrist for further questioning but he was not) doctor, he was banned for 3 years and not eligible for a waiver until June 2010.

I have been on some forums and come across some similar cases but still have no idea what I need to prepare in order to get this type of waiver prepared for our return to the consulate. I was advised by an attorney (friend of a friend) and prepared a lot of documentation prior to me going back and trying to present it early (no luck there). He saw it and thought it looked great if they would even take it...

I have a letter from a psychiatrist who evaluated the children, letters and drug tests (all negative)from doctors and a psychologist that state my husband does not have a problem as well as his clean police record as he has not ever been in any trouble with the law etc. Of course I have hardship letters and various other items.

I would love to have someone help me with preparing this as I feel after 3 years we have waited long enough and need him home. But of course this process has caused some financial issues and really cannot afford the ones I have come across.

What i want to know is what information do we need to include in this type of waiver?  Should an attorney prepare it or is it something I can do on my own? Are there any resources I could utilize to help me prepare?

Thanks so much for your time in advance. If you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Holly,

Thank you for your thoughtful question.  Your husband's situation is unfortunately, a common one.  The Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) has been reading the "drug abuse" section for barring people from entry in a really really narrow way these past few years.  It has rendered thousands of families like yours to separated for years.

My office represents clients in these situations but as you know, these types of waiver cases are extremely case specific and time intensive.  If you want to call and set up a consultation to talk more about it, you can.  However, in waiver cases, the most important thing to remember is that these cases are considered discretionary.  So that means even if you should you have hardship, your husband is deserving  and "rehabilitated," the USCIS still has DISCRETION to deny or to grant.  The USCIS gets hundreds of thousands of similar cases every year.  Your job and your attorney's job is to make your case stand out.  I would not advise to do this on your own.  The waiver also gets processed in such a way that it's very hard to track.  You would be spending an inordinate amount of time calling USCIS' customer service or visiting your local office through infopass to get very simplistic answers, like "oh, it's still pending..."  At the end of it, you may have a denial on your case after many months of preparation and anticipation.  The difficulty of these cases should not be underestimated.  We have one attorney in our office that works only on waiver work and we have been successful with cases in Mexico, but the system  is still impacted and it's a long process.

Good luck.

Eileen Chun-Fruto

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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