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What does “extreme hardship" mean? Why is it important?

The United States upholds a humanitarian standard when weighing an immigrant’s reasons for fleeing her country for the U.S. The U.S. generally will not return a person to their home country or another country if doing so will bring immediate harm, torture, or death upon the person.

The government will consider factors such as:

  1. Serious physical or mental illness of the applicant that necessitates medical or psychological attention not reasonably available in the foreign country;
  2. The nature and extent of the physical and psychological consequences of severe forms of trafficking; and
  3. The likelihood that the trafficker or another acting on behalf of the trafficker in a foreign country to which the applicant may be removed would severely harm the Applicant.  

Additionally, if a person came to the U.S. escaping any form of persecution that could otherwise qualify the applicant for asylum, the applicant needs only cite the past harm to show extreme hardship.

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