If you are an immigrant in the United States, the possibility of deportation may be weighing on your mind. There are a wide variety of reasons that people are detained by immigration officials, including entering the U.S. without authorization, remaining in the country after the expiration of a temporary visa, or committing certain types of crimes. Even if you have made a home in the U.S. and established ties to your community through family relationships and employment, you could be forced to leave the country. To prevent this from happening, you may need to understand the options for defense against deportation, including determining whether you may be eligible for cancellation of removal.
What Is Cancellation of Removal?
Cancellation of removal is a form of relief from deportation that allows immigrants with certain qualifications to stay in the U.S., even if they have violated immigration laws or may be required to leave the country because they have not maintained a legal immigration status. If cancellation of removal is granted, a person may be allowed to remain in the United States, and they may be granted lawful permanent resident status, or they may be able to use waivers of inadmissibility when applying for a Green Card.
Who Qualifies for Cancellation of Removal?
In general, an immigrant may qualify for cancellation of removal if they lived in the United States for a continuous period of at least 10 years prior to filing their application. They must also demonstrate good moral character during those 10 years and show that their deportation would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to a qualifying family member who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Qualifying family members include a person’s spouse, child, or parent, and forms of hardship that may qualify may include uprooting a child from their home, forcing them to live in a country where they do not speak the local language, and placing them in difficult financial circumstances that could result in harm to their health and well-being.
To demonstrate good moral character, an applicant must show that they have not been convicted of certain criminal offenses during the previous 10 years. Applicable offenses include aggravated felonies or crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMTs), such as assault, kidnapping, prostitution, sexual offenses, or forms of fraud that caused others to suffer financial harm. A person may also need to provide additional evidence of good moral character, such as statements from neighbors, people who attend their churches, or other members of their community.
In some cases, immigrants may be eligible for cancellation of removal without meeting the 10-year residency requirement. A person who has been the victim of domestic abuse by a spouse or parent who is a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder may apply for cancellation of removal if they have lived in the United States continuously for at least three years. The requirements to show good moral character and demonstrate extreme hardship to an immediate family member will also apply for these applicants.
Contact Our DuPage County Cancellation of Removal Attorneys
Cancellation of removal may allow you to remain in the United States even if you are facing deportation proceedings. However, it is important to follow all of the applicable requirements when applying for cancellation of removal, and you will also need to demonstrate that you qualify for this form of relief. At Unzueta Law Group, P.C., our Itasca deportation defense lawyers can help you determine whether you are eligible for cancellation of removal, and we will provide you with the representation you need during your case. Contact us at 630-509-2363 to learn more about how we can help you continue living in the United States.