Cancellation of Removal for Nonpermanent Residents

Cancellation of Removal for Nonpermanent Residents

“Cancellation of Removal” is just what it sounds like… it is a way for someone in Immigration Court Removal Proceedings to “cancel” the deportation, and to obtain legal permanent resident status.  To qualify, one must have (1) ten years of continuous physical presence in the United States (some absences are allowed, but they must amount to no more than 180 days and no one trip may be for more than 90 days); (2) the applicant must have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or child; (3) the applicant must not have committed certain criminal offenses; (4) the applicant must prove to an Immigration Court Judge that they are a person of good moral character, and that they deserve the Judge’s exercise of discretion; and (5) most importantly, the applicant’s qualifying family member must face “an extreme and exceptionally unusual hardship” if the applicant were to be deported.  This requirement is usually the hardest one to prove, because the law requires an “extreme and exceptionally unusual hardship.”  Obviously, every immediate family member suffers a “hardship” if and when a close family member of his or hers is deported.  

Extreme and Exceptionally Unusual Hardship Required

However, the law does not require only “hardship.”  It requires “extreme and exceptionally unusual hardship.”  This usually means that there is something unique about the applicant’s case, such as having a U.S. citizen or permanent resident family member with a very serious medical condition.  “Cancellation of Removal” for nonpermanent residents is meant to be very hard to win.  Only a minority of those who apply for cancellation actually win and receive permanent resident status.  

Cancellation of Removal

Also, Cancellation of Removal is not available to everyone… only to those who are in Immigration Court.  And it is a very bad idea for any individual to try to get themselves into removal proceedings in immigration court only to apply for this benefit.  As mentioned, cancellation of removal is very difficult to win.  Individuals who apply for cancellation of removal qualify for a work permit while their case is pending before the Immigration Court.

Lessons from the Past

To get what you want, STOP doing what isn’t working.

Earl Warren

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