Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of removal is an immigration benefit that allows permanent residents and nonpermanent residents to apply to cancel a removal order from the immigration judge. Not only is the order of removal canceled but it also grants the applicant permanent residence.

Who qualifies to apply for cancellation of removal?
You may be eligible to have your removal canceled if you can establish that:

  1. Prior to applying for this benefit, you have lived in the US continuously from 3-10 years or more
  2. You are a person of good moral character
  3. You have not been convicted of a disqualifying offense
  4. Your removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your US citizen or US resident spouse, parent, or child

There are other requirements to qualify for cancellation of removal that is not listed above because they are complex laws that should be explained to you by a professional.

How long does cancellation of removal case take?

For non-detained applicants, this process can take up to 4 years, for those that are still detained and are not eligible to be released on bond they will only have a few months to prepare their case and present it before the immigration judge. This process is difficult and complex because many forms will need to be submitted with various immigration entities and you will need to present strong evidence to show the immigration judge you deserve to stay in the US with a legal status.

Winning a cancellation of removal case in the state of Texas is especially rare. This is a process a person should not attempt without competent legal representation due to its complexity and inherent risks.
If you are applying for cancellation of removal and you are not detained, you will be able to apply and receive a work permit while you await the judge’s decision on your case. This will allow you to work legally in the US, have a social security number, and apply for a driver’s license.

If you or a family member have a pending cancellation of removal case or if an immigration judge denied your application for cancellation of removal, call us. We might be able to salvage your case and give you another shot at obtaining legal status in the U.S.



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Cancellation of removal or deportation

A path to residence in the United States

Being an immigrant can be one of the most difficult experiences ta person can experience, but in countries such as the United States there are different options that allow immigrants to legalize their status. One of these options is what is called cancellation of removal or deportation, which can help quite a large number of people.

What does cancellation of removal or deportation mean, exactly? Who can apply? How can you apply if you feel you can benefit from it? You must know that this process is a way to remain in the United States legally, as long as you meet all of the established requirements.

Residents and non-residents can apply. It is actually a lengthy and complex process that requires professional help because it takes place before an immigration court. We would be glad to help you if you have case like this.

As a matter of fact, not everyone can apply. Permanent residents and non-residents must meet very specific requirements. The good thing is that once your application is approved, you can become a legal permanent resident in the United States.

What is the role of the attorney?

The role of the attorney is crucial during cancellation of removal proceedings. For those who are not permanent residents, this situation tends to be more complicated since the US Government has set a limited amount of people who can apply every year. 

Each year, there are about 3,500 legal residence permits available. For this reason. hiring the services of an immigration lawyer who has experience in this kind of cases is extremely important since the case needs to be handled in a very careful and professional way. 

As part of the process, you will need to have the required documents needed and proof that can help you apply and win your case. It is the attorney who will be before the immigration judge to defend an application, and it is the latter who has the last word.

You must keep in mind that it is very important to find and immigration attorney who has the necessary experience in this kind of cases. Otherwise, you run the risk of being deported.

Generally speaking, the applicants (whether they are legal permanent residents or non-residents) must meet one very important requirement: prove that they have lived in the United States during at least 7 years (for legal permanent residents) or 10 years (for non-residents).

How does the cancellation of deportation apply to non-residents? 


It applies to non-residents when they have continuously lived in the United States for 10 years. They should have good moral fiber, and prove that deportation procedures could bring extreme and exceptionally unusual difficulties to their immediate relatives.

The evidence is then reviewed by an immigration judge who decides whether to dismiss or not removal proceedings. If he does decide to cancel the deportation proceedings, then the foreign citizen would be granted legal permanent residence in the United States.

There are so many benefits from a cancellation of removal or deportation, among which are: obtaining a green card, and along with it the right to legally work in the country without the need of an Employment Authorization Document.

Likewise, the person will be able to obtain government aid and a Social Security number.

When does it apply to Legal Permanent Residents?

It applies to legal permanent residents when they have continuously lived in the United States for 7 years, and have been convicted of a crime. In their case, the deportation process could start as a consequence for such acts.

It applies to the applicant as long as he or she has not been convicted of any crime during the first 5 years of their residence in the country. Of course, if you want to find out personally whether you, or more likely, someone you know qualifies or not for the cancellation of removal, you will need the help of an immigration lawyer.

If your application is successful and the judge approves your cancellation of removal or deportation, there will be a lot of benefits for you as a foreign citizen, and for every member in your family.

Another important aspect is that when you get legal permanent residence in the United States is that you will be a permanent resident  indefinitely, as long as you do not do anything against the law that regulates permanent residence in the United States.

What do you need to do to benefit from the ‘cancellation of removal or deportation’?

You must keep in mind that it is not possible to benefit from this process unless your are undergoing a deportation procedure. A requirement is that you personally fill a cancellation of deportation 42b form (for those who are undocumented immigrants) or a 42a form (for permanent residents).

You will have to pay for the corresponding fees to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) which adds up to $185 for your biometric data to be collected.

Finally, with the help of an immigration attorney, you should analyze your case and prepare all the documents you need. Keep in mind that all the information you present must be legally valid, and the witnesses that go to court must tell the truth.

There are 2 things that can happen. Your application could be approved and you can become a legal permanent resident, and you could have to renew your residence every 10 years. Or if you already are a legal permanent resident, you can try to become an American citizen using the process of naturalization provided you meet all the requirements.

The other thing that could happen is that your application is denied. In that case, you would have to leave the country.

How can an undocumented immigrant prove that he or she has lived in the USA for 10 years?

For most immigrants, it is quite a difficult thing to do, but it is even more difficult for undocumented immigrants. In these cases, it is more complicated to prove, for example, that you have lived for 10 years in the United States, which is an important requirement for the cancellation of removal.

In order to prove it, it is recommended to have backup documents such as income tax proof, mortgage, cable TV, phone or other bills, or receipts from other financial institutions.

You must know that this application cannot be made by people who have come to the United States as part of an aircrew or ship crew or if you have remained in the country through exchange programs.

The same applies for those who have been victims of persecution or beneficiaries in the process of the cancellation of deportation.

In the case of people who have been victims of some kind of domestic violence, the abused spouse may apply for a cancellation of removal, whether he or she is a citizen or a permanent resident. This also benefits the children when they have also been victims of abuse.

Likewise, when the abused children of a citizen or a legal permanent resident, or the parent of a an abused child.

The requirements continue depending on your case, since in order for the process to be approved, the victim must have lived in the United States for 3 years, he or she must have good moral fiber, and not have been convicted of any crimes.

The applicant should also prove that his or her leaving the country will create a very difficult situation in their lives, and that of their relatives.

Permanent residents and non-residents must meet a specific criteria. The good thing is that once your application is approved, you can become a legal permanent resident in the United States.

What is the cancellation of deportation and Adjustment of Status? 

For people who after living in the United States for quite some time, and still do not have the legal permanent resident status, there is something called cancellation of deportation and adjustment, which is pretty much a legal defense against expulsion from the country.

As part of the procedure, the person is tried in an immigration court and should also meet the following requirements: he or she must have been for at least 10 years in the country, be of good moral fiber, and prove that his or her deportation will cause serious difficulties to close relatives.

Among immigrants, it is known as “the 10-year law”. When a case is presented in an American court and the judge finally decides whether to cancel the removal of an immigrant and accepts his adjustment of status to become a legal permanent resident.

What steps do you need to take in order to benefit from the cancellation of deportation? 

The foreign citizen must be in a process of deportation, but if he is not, he or she can request from USCIS a notice of appearance, and then send the case to a the court.

It would be ideal if the applicant is half way through a deportation procedure. Although it is not always so, that is why it is strongly recommended that you go to an immigration lawyer with experience in cancellation of deportation procedures.

There are several stages to successfully complete an application for cancellation of removal or deportation. As we have said throughout this article, the first part is cancellation of deportation 42b form or the 42a form, and pay for the fees to USCIS.

The second stage deals with the preparation of the applicant’s statement and presenting it before an Immigration Court’s hearing. Afterwards, he or she will have to attend a personal hearing.

During both hearings, the applicant must prove with documents, statements, and witnesses, that the relatives will face serious difficulties if they leave the United States.

Finally, it is the immigration judge who will be in charge of determining the cancellation of deportation, and then move on to assigning a permanent residence to the applicant.

Aside from the process mentioned above, you need to pay for the USCIS fees which depend on the case, whether it is for undocumented residents or legal permanent residents.

Since there are official changes regularly, we recommend you to visit the official USCIS website:

What kind of situations can lead to a Deportation?

If a foreign citizen commits crimes, it is most likely that he or she will face a deportation process, which implies the return of the forceful expulsion of a foreign resident to his or her country of origin.

Who can be deported?  According to United States Immigration Law, eligible foreign residents deemed inadmissible, which means that when they try to return to the country where they need to regularize their situation.

Also, those foreign residents that do not comply with the law, and those who abuse of their condition of admission of immigration of status.

The foreign residents that enter the country under certain conditions, or those who engage in criminal activities such as smugglers, felons, or people who present fraudulent marriages, unregistered foreign residents, suspects of terrorism, etc.

There is also an exemption of deportation status that can be acquired when the applicant has been a victim of domestic violence.

On the other hand, there is also the possibility to offer asylum to foreign citizens who have are in fact refugees, for which the applicant must prove that if this person returns to his or her country of origin that are being persecuted.


The cancellation of deportation process is extremely helpful as long as the requirements are met. We know that it is very wise if a foreign citizen avoids a situation that would lead to a deportation, but if he is already in that situation, then he will face this process before an immigration court.

The procedure consists of a condition (for those people involved in deportation procedures) that can get a defense and avoid their deportation to their country of origin. This happens to so many foreign residents that arrive to the United States looking for the best conditions of living.  

The cancellation of removal process is a type of defense where a person who meets the specific requirements with the authorities in the United States, whether he is acquitted or expelled from the country.

One of the requirements is that a relative will be seriously affected by a deportation. In order to do that, it is necessary to show that there are extreme medical situations, such as suffering cancer, Down Syndrome, heart disease, and so on.

Even though winning a case is not an easy thing to do, it can be done. Aside from the conditions mentioned above, if you can prove that the person who will be deported has minor children, it could help advance your case immensely. 

The only way in which you can request this help is by doing it through an immigration court. The cancellation of deportation is a long and complex process, for which you should seek professional legal help.

If you are or have been an immigrant, and you know that your situations can be extremely difficult, and you have to go through deportation proceedings, it is even worse. Hence, the cancellation of deportation process is a great relief for those who can benefit from it.

If you qualify for such a process, we strongly suggest that you find all the necessary help. Your success in a case like this will depend on it.

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Whether you, or someone you know, needs help with immigration procedures; or you are a victim of the judicial system, we can help you. Keep in mind:

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