"What is 'Cancellation of Removal' and How Can it Help Me?"

If you are facing deportation proceedings, there is a lot of uncertainty ahead. But, the most important thing to remember is that you have rights that must be respected and options about how to move forward and defend yourself against the immigration court. One of these options is called the “Cancellation of Removal.” There are two different ways that someone can be eligible for this and it depends on whether they are a legal permanent resident (LPR or green card holder) or a non-legal permanent resident (Non-LPR). Each type of cancellation carries different requirements that the applicant must meet, and unfortunately not everyone is going to be eligible for them. So what are the requirements? What is the difference between them and how can cancellation help you? Let’s discuss. Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal The requirements for non-LPR cancellation are fairly strict, so it’s important that you make sure to do everything you can to help prove that you deserve to remain in the country. To qualify for cancellation when you don’t have a green card requires that you show all 4 of the following things:
  1. That you have been “continuously physically present” in the U.S. for a least 10 years
    • This time period begins the date of your arrival and most commonly ends when you have received your notice of removal proceedings, if you’ve been convicted of a crime, or have been absent for 90 consecutive days or multiple absences totaling 180 days.
  2. You can show that you have “good moral character”
    • Sometimes the law will provide examples where a person cannot have good moral character, and other times the judge will decide on their own that you do not. For this requirement, it’s essential to present as much evidence as you can to show that you deserve to stay.
  3. Being removed from the U.S. would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to your “qualifying relatives”
    • This is more than just showing financial or emotional hardship. You have to show that your relative (either a citizen or LPR) would suffer severely beyond what would be expected if a loved one were to move away.
  4. You haven’t been convicted of certain crimes or violated certain laws.
It’s important to note that even if you have shown all 4 requirements, the judge still has the discretion to deny your application. There are only 4,000 visas set aside for these kinds of cancellations each year, so sometimes the court can’t grant it to you even if it wants to. And finally, as you can see, you need to a lot to show that you have met each requirement, and it can be confusing and difficult to get everything done. Speaking with an immigration attorney is going to give you the best shot at success, so don’t hesitate to call yours today. LPR Cancellation of Removal Unfortunately, you can still get deported even if you are legally in the country. If you have a green card and were served with removal proceedings because you were convicted of a crime, then LPR cancellation is your chance to stay. In this situation, all 5 elements below must be shown:
  1. That you have legally lived in the U.S. for at least 5 years
  2. You have lived continuously in the U.S. for at least 7 years after you were granted LPR status and “before the stop time rule is triggered”
    • A noncitizen’s continuous time spent living in the U.S. stops states that a noncitizen stops accruing continuous presence upon receiving notice of removal proceedings. However, the Supreme Court recently ruled on this so speak with your attorney about whether your case is affected by it
  3. You haven’t been convicted of an aggravated felony
  4. You have never been granted Cancellation of Removal in the past
  5. You deserve to win your case
As with Non-LPR cancellation, the judge has discretion to deny your case even if you meet all of the qualifications. Proving each of the requirements is tough, and you need to make sure you’ve done everything possible to win your case. Speak with a trusted immigration attorney today. Dealing with deportation proceedings is complicated, scary, and incredibly difficult. At Landerholm Immigration we understand that you need help now more than ever to keep your family together. If you have received a notice of removal and have questions about whether you qualify for Cancellation of Removal or for anything else, please contact our San Francisco office at (510) 756-4468 today.
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