Can I Get a Waiver on the Meeting in Person Requirement for Disability?

05 Dec 2017

Next question comes from Brian. “I’m disabled and cannot travel to meet my fiancée. What are my options?” We see this from time to time and basically, it comes down to you must have an extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen to get a waiver not to meet, or it must be against strict laws and against the alien beneficiary’s country or something like their culture.

Traditions, yeah.

Traditions, but what we found from our experience, to be honest with you, we’ve probably submitted a few hundred waiver requests and I believe we’ve only seen one, maybe two approved in all the time that I’ve been doing this and out of the 30,000 petitions that we’ve processed successfully, so it’s extremely rare that a waiver gets approved. You can submit it, your waiver request with your petition. Here’s the negative part, is that the USCIS doesn’t usually tell you whether you are approved or not. Basically, you’ll go for a period of time without hearing anything and you either get approved or denied or you receive a request for evidence, an RFE letter.

Generally, I can tell you from experience that we just usually don’t see those get approved. What are some of your options? Maybe it’s a B1, B2 tourist visa. Try to have the alien beneficiary, the alien fiancée come to the United States and visit. If you can’t travel by air, maybe you can travel by bus or train. Maybe you can meet in a neutral country, a place where the alien beneficiary can travel to and you can travel to, because what usually comes down to is that they’ll say, “Okay, you can’t travel but what’s preventing the alien beneficiary from traveling?”

Basically, you have to exhaust all resources, all means. If you have any questions on that, you can always give us a call. We can discuss your case and maybe find out an alternate way of meeting, but from our experience, you do have to meet one way or another.

Right. You know what I would add to that is if your only option is a waiver, then of course, if that’s your only option, try it, but it is the absolute worst option. It’s going to take a lot longer. You can expect a double or triple the time estimates, so meaning a year and a half, two years because you’re going to go through this whole waiver process and back and forth. It’s going to cost a lot more money because you’ll probably be denied and have to appeal and try and … The couple that we’ve seen approved, they had to do exactly that. They got denied, they appealed it, and they finally won after spending a lot of money.

Examine your real motivations, and I don’t know you, so I don’t mean to imply your motivations aren’t intent and you’re not legitimately disabled, but we do get a lot of people who are not … Maybe they’re disabled but doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t travel. It just means it’s extremely uncomfortable. That’s not going to fly you. To even attempt to get the waiver, for instance, for medical condition like disability, they’re generally going to want to separate doctors to say that you’re completely unable to travel. Not that you could travel with certain … a layover halfway and spend some time. You know what I mean? I mean it has to be … They’re going to look at it. They’re not going to take your word for it. They’re going to scrutinize it heavily.

Then, they’re going to ask you why can’t your fiancée or wife come here, so you’re going to have to show … She’s going to have to apply for a tourist visa or some kind of visa and get denied, and you’re going to have that denial with you. I mean, they are not going to take your word for anything. You’re going to have a long expensive process of trying everything first and then try the waiver as a last resort, so I would look that as the last Hail Mary pass resort to try and get your spouse here. If you start right in with that, you’re going to be very disappointed because you’re almost certainly going to be denied. You’re going to appeal, probably end up … One of the two we saw approved, he ended up getting a lawyer and spent somewhere near $10,000 because he had to get a couple of different doctors to do a full workup. It’s not a path you want to go down unless it’s your only option.

I mean, that’s our advice. We’re not trying to discourage anybody. We want to do visas. That’s our business but realistically, after seeing a lot of people spend a lot of time and a lot of heartache, our advice is don’t try it. If there’s any way that you can meet, meet in a third country. Have her travel to Mexico and you go to drive down there, something. That’s going to be way less expensive and be much quicker than trying this waive around. It just almost never works.


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