Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents

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You might have heard that if you have been living in the United States for a decade and you have no criminal convictions, you have gainful employment, and you have been paying taxes, you can apply for a green card. If you are wondering whether this is true or not, we have good news for you, you can apply for a green card if you have been living in the U.S. for ten years. In fact, even if you have no immigration status or you have entered the country without inspection, you can still apply for a green card after living here for ten years. Obtaining a green card this way is known as “cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents.”

However, before you get too excited, it is important to note that the standards and requirements needed to be approved for cancellation of removal are very hard to meet. Unfortunately, this type of immigration relief is usually available for a limited number of cases.

What Is Cancellation of Removal?

Cancellation of removal is one way to avoid deportation or removal. If you want to apply for cancellation of removal, you will need to have an open deportation or removal case in Immigration Court before an Immigration Judge. Without a date to appear in in Immigration Court, you won’t be able to apply for cancellation of removal.

In addition to this stipulation, if you have previously appeared in Immigration Court and your case was closed because you got a final order of removal or deportation from the judge, you are ineligible to apply, unless you are able to convince the immigration Court to issue a motion to reopen your case.

Cancellation of removal is considered a discretionary form of relief, which means that if you are able to demonstrate you meet every eligibility requirement, the Immigration Judge can still decide that you shouldn’t be approved and can deny your case.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

In order to qualify for cancellation of removal, you will need to show the following things:

  • Ten Year Residence in the U.S: You must prove that you have ten years of continuous presence in country. This time-frame is measured from the date you entered the country until the date that the Department of Homeland Security issued you a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court. If you have left the country for a single period of 90 days, or a scattered period of 180 days, you will not meet the necessary residence requirement for cancellation of removal.
  • Good Moral Character: You have to show that during your 10 year stay, you have been a person of good moral character.
  • Family in the U.S.: Proof of a parent, child or spouse in the United States who is either a resident alien or citizen.
  • No Convictions Eligible for Deportation: Certain criminal offenses that make you inadmissible or deportable will disqualify you for cancellation of removal.
  • Exceptional & Extremely Unusual Hardship: You will have to establish that being removed from the country would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” for you, your spouse, child, or parent.

The first four are considered pre-requisites and are decided in the preliminary hearings. The fifth requirement is decided in an individual trial setting. If you are placed in removal proceedings one day before you reach the 10 year requirement, or if you are found to be a person who is not of good character, you are immediately disqualified. Because of this, it is extremely important to prove the first four factors on the first court date.

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Proving “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” is one of the most difficult aspects of qualifying for cancellation of removal. Plenty of these cases have been denied because an applicant couldn’t provide significant proof that deportation would cause them, their child, spouse or parent to suffer hardship substantially worse than the hardship normally expected from being deported to an underdeveloped country.

If you want to successfully qualify for cancellation of removal, you will need an experienced immigration attorney by your side. At Mathur Law Offices, we have been helping the people of Dallas, Fort Worth, and Denton resolve their immigration issues for more than 15 years. We have the skills and resources that you will need to successfully obtain a cancellation of removal order. Let our legal team fight for you.

Contact our team of Dallas immigration attorneys to discuss how we can help with your case. Schedule your consultation today.

  • I am profoundly thankful to Mathur Law Offices for helping me with my immigration work. Mr. Mathur is truly an expert at any immigration matter. I admire the ease with which he handled my difficult immigration case.

Mathur Law Offices, P.C. - Dallas Immigration Attorney
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