To Qualify For Cancellation of Removal as a Lawful Permanent Resident, You Must Meet the Following Eligibility Requirements:
- You have been a lawful permanent resident for at least 5 years at the time of your requesting cancellation of removal. This requirement precludes those who fail to remove conditions from their marriage or investor lawful permanent resident card.
- You have maintained continuous presence in the United States for a minimum of 7 years under any immigration status before the “stop-time rule” takes effect. Continuous presence means that you have maintained your primary residence in the United States. Continuous presence is interrupted when you leave the country for an extended period without special permission. In most cases, entering the U.S. with any kind of legal status will “start the clock” for this requirement. However, the “stop-time rule” triggers when you are detained or provided with a notice to appear before an immigration court.
- You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony. Many lawful permanent residents are placed for removal when they are convicted of a deportable offense. Those who are convicted of aggravated felonies cannot seek cancellation of removal relief. Examples of aggravated felonies include murder, rape, sexual abuse, drug trafficking, smuggling, or generally any crime with a prison sentence of 1 year or more.
- You have not been granted cancellation of removal before. Cancellation of removal is a one-time benefit. If you have received this relief before (even if as a non-lawful permanent resident), you cannot receive it again.
- You prove that you deserve deportation relief. Immigration judges get a substantial amount of discretion in deciding whether to extend cancellation of removal relief. Judges will generally consider your criminal record and any hardships that you might endure if you are deported. Providing evidence of family and community ties can help convince a judge that you deserve to stay.
Understanding whether you qualify for cancellation of removal as a lawful permanent resident can be extremely confusing. When you first meet with our team, we can evaluate your situation and determine if pursuing cancellation of removal is likely to succeed. If not, our cancellation of removal attorneys can help you explore other deportation defense options.
Cancellation of Removal for Non-Lawful Permanent Residents
If you do not have lawful permanent resident status but have lived in the United States for a long period of time, you may qualify for a lawful permanent resident card through cancellation of removal. However, only 4,000 cancellations of removal visas can be granted each year.
To be eligible for cancellation of removal as a non-lawful permanent resident, you must meet the following requirements:
- You have maintained continuous physical presence in the United States for at least 10 years. Before been placed in removal proceedings, you must prove that you maintained your primary residence in the U.S. for at least 10 years regardless of your immigration status or lack thereof. The clock stops when you are given a notice to appear, when you commit certain deportable offenses, or are outside the country’s borders for a period longer than 90 days. If you are outside the U.S. for more than 180 cumulative days, you are ineligible for cancellation of removal.
- Your removal would cause extreme hardship to qualifying relatives. Qualifying relatives that that are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. You must have a parent, spouse, or child (under the age of 21 and unmarried) that is a current U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to qualify for relief. You must prove to the court that this family member will suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” if you are removed.
- You must have “good moral character.” The immigration court will evaluate your criminal record and any other circumstances, such as purported drug or alcohol abuse, when deciding whether you meet this requirement.
- You prove that you deserve deportation relief. If a lawful permanent resident card is available, the judge handling your case has tremendous discretion in determining whether to extend relief. You will need to provide an exhaustive level of evidence and testimony that supports your case.