Cancellation of Removal


Cancellation of removal is a limited form of relief for certain permanent residents and nonpermanent residents. It is available to certain nonpermanent residents who are in removal proceedings before an immigration judge, if the nonpermanent resident alien has been in the U.S. continuously for at least ten years, is of good moral character, and can establish that his or her removal would subject a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, who is an immediate family member, to extreme and unusual hardship. Upon review of the evidence, the Immigration Judge may cancel the removal proceedings and grant the alien permanent residence.

Permanent residents convicted of certain crimes and subsequently put into removal proceedings may also be eligible for cancellation of removal, if they were present continuously in the U.S. as a legal permanent resident for 7 years and were not arrested and convicted of a crime within their first five years of residency.

Who Is Eligible

A nonpermanent resident alien that can establish the following is eligible to apply for cancellation of removal:

  • Demonstrate that the alien has been in the U.S. for at least ten years
  • Is of good moral character has not been convicted of specified criminal offenses
  • Alien’s removal would result in extreme and unusual hardship to a spouse, parent or child who is a legal permanent resident or U.S. citizen.

Currently, an alien is only eligible to apply for cancellation once. Therefore if the cancellation is denied, or if the alien ever loses his residency, the alien cannot reapply at a later date.

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