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Cancellation Of Removal

Cancellation of Removal is a limited form of relief for certain permanent residents and non-permanent residents that meet specific criteria.

  • Cancellation of Removal for Certain Non-Legal Permanent Residents: It is available to certain nonpermanent residents who are in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. In order to qualify the non-permanent resident has to have resided in the U.S. continuously for at least ten years. The person must have a good moral character, and would have to establish that if removed it would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to their permanent resident or U.S. citizen immediate family members such as a spouse, parent or child. Once the Immigration Judge reviews the file, the Judge may choose to cancel the removal proceedings and grant the alien permanent residence. The applicant must have a lawful permanent resident or United States citizen spouse, parent, or child under age 21 who will suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if the applicant is deported. Must have sufficient proof of continuous physical presence in the United States for at least 10 years before the stop-time rule is triggered; individual absences of up to 90 days are permitted, so long as the total is no more than 180 days. The applicant cannot have any criminal conviction that renders him or her deportable or inadmissible. Finally, the applicant cannot have any other activities that, when reviewing the record as a whole, would tend to show that he or her lacked good moral character during the 10 years before the hearing
  • Cancellation of Removal for Certain Legal Permanent Residents: This form of relief is for those who are Permanent Residents and meet certain requirements. First, the applicant must have been a lawful permanent resident for 5 years at the time the application is filed. Second, must have continuous residence in the United States for at least 7 years after being admitted in any status and before the stop-time rule is triggered (see below). Third, cannot have a conviction for an aggravated felony. It is important to note that this type of cancellation of removal does not require a showing of any particular level of hardship, either to the applicant or his or her family. However, more serious crimes require more substantial equities to warrant cancellation. Immigration Judges will consider length of residence in the United States, family and community ties here, community service work, participation in clubs or religious organizations, language ability in the country of proposed removal, work history, timely filing of taxes, and especially acceptance of responsibility for the crime and proof of rehabilitation.

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