Cancellation of Removal
permanent residents and nonpermanent residents may apply to an immigration judge for cancellation of removal (COR) to adjust their status from that of deportable alien to one lawfully admitted for permanent residence. This is provided certain conditions are met. These conditions differ for permanent residents and nonpermanent residents.
Cancellation of Removal for Legal Permanent Residents
While the green card immigration status allows you to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely, it is still possible to face deportation. Ten percent of all people deported are lawful permanent residents. Many of the lawful permanent residents are deported for committing minor, nonviolent crimes.
Cancellation of removal is the main defense for lawful permanent residents who are facing removal, due to criminal record or other reasons.
You can apply for Legal Permanent Residence (LPR) Cancellation of Removal if:
- You must not have become a lawful permanent resident through fraud or mistake.
- You must not belong to certain categories, including persecutors and terrorists.
- You have been convicted of an aggravated felony. Certain types of crimes are designated as “aggravated felonies.” If a person was convicted of an aggravated felony at any time, he or she is barred from LPR cancellation of removal.
- You have been a lawful permanent resident (LPR) for at least five years.
- You can prove seven years of continuous residence in the United States since admission in any status.
Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal
If you are a foreign-born individual who has been living in the U.S. without obtaining legal status for a long time, and you have been placed into removal proceedings, you might be eligible for what’s called “Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal” and a green card.
These are the conditions for this form of relief from deportation:
- You have been living in the U.S. for at least ten years (“continuously physically present”).
- Your removal from the U.S. would result in an “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to your qualifying relative(s), who is (or are) U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
- You can show that you have what the Immigration and Nationality Act defines as a “good moral character.”
- You have not been convicted of specific crimes or violated certain laws.
- You have been battered or suffered extreme cruelty in the U.S. by your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent, or
- You are the parent of a child of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident and the child has been battered or has suffered extreme cruelty in the U.S. by such citizen or lawful permanent resident parent.
- Prior to being served with the Notice to Appear, you have maintained continuous physical presence in the United States for three years or more and you have been a person of good moral character.
- You are not inadmissible, and you have not been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- Your removal would result in extreme hardship to you or your child who is the child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; or
- You are a child whose removal would result in extreme hardship to you or your parent; and
- You are deserving of a favorable exercise of discretion on your application.
Aliens NOT Eligible for Cancellation of Removal:
You are not eligible for cancellation of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act if you:
- Entered the United States as a crewman after June 30, 1964
- Were admitted to the United States as, or later became, a nonimmigrant exchange alien in order to receive graduate medical education or training, regardless of whether you are subject to or have fulfilled the 2-year foreign residence requirement
- Were admitted to the United States as, or later became, a nonimmigrant exchange alien other than to receive graduate medical education or training, and are subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement, but have neither fulfilled nor obtained a waiver of that requirement
- Are an alien who is either inadmissible or deportable
- Are an alien who ordered, incited, assisted, or participated in the persecution of an individual because of the individual’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.