Cancellation of Removal

If you are a nonresident alien who has been notified of possible removal from the United States, it may be possible to seek a cancellation of removal. This means that you will be allowed to stay in the country under the terms of your visa or any other conditions imposed upon you. This article will explain cancellation of removal and how you go about applying for it.

Form of Discretionary Relief

The granting of a cancellation of removal generally occurs at an immigration judge's discretion. It may also be granted if it would cause a hardship to the person being deported, a person they live with, or a person sponsoring them.

For instance, deporting a child could cause an undue hardship to the child and to the parent. Deporting an immigrant who is married may cause an undue hardship to that person's spouse or other family members in the country.

Lawful Permanent Resident Criteria

An individual who is living in the country as a lawful permanent resident (LPR) may be deported after committing a serious crime. To be granted a cancellation of removal, he or she would have to first fill out and submit Form EOIR 42A and pay a nonrefundable fee of $100 in addition to a biometric fee. The application fee may be waived at the immigration judge's discretion.

At the time the request is made, a legal permanent resident must not have been convicted of an aggravated felony. Furthermore, the individual must have been a permanent resident of the United States for five years with seven years of continuous residence in the country regardless of the status. This may be proven by tax records or a green card with a valid date on it.

Legal residents who have served in the Armed Forces for at least 24 months are not bound by continuous residency requirements. However, they would have had to sign up for military service while in the United States. Those who have served previously may be eligible for a continuous residency waiver if they left service with an honorable discharge.

Non-LPR Criteria

Non-legal residents who want to obtain a cancellation of removal would need to show 10 years of continuous residence in the United States prior to receiving the notice. They would also need to establish that they are of good moral character.

To request a cancellation of removal, a non-legal resident would need to fill out Form EOIR 42B fully and legibly. As with the EOIR 42A, there is a biometric fee as well as a $100 nonrefundable application fee that may be waived at a judge's discretion.

Those who are not in the country legally may be asked to provide documentation such as tax returns, letters, or anything else that will establish that they have been in the country for 10 years. Filing their tax returns and a lack of a criminal history may also establish that they are of good moral character.

Non-LPR Domestic Violence Victim Criteria

Individuals who are not in the country legally may be able to have removal cancelled if they have been subject to physical abuse or cruelty while in the United States. For abuse victims, it may only be necessary for an individual to show continuous residence for three years instead of 10. That requirement may also apply to parents of children who have been abused while in the United States.

Those who have received a notice that they may be removed from the country may wish to consult with an immigration attorney. An attorney may be able to explain the notice, determine if an individual is eligible for a cancellation, and determine how to prepare for a case. For those who don't speak English, an attorney may be able to act as a liaison to the court, which may increase the odds of a favorable outcome for someone facing deportation.

Additional Cancellation of Removal Articles

Search LawInfo's Cancellation of Removal Resources

Related Topics In This Section