Do I Qualify For Cancellation of Removal?

As a deportation lawyer in Dallas, Texas, I am frequently asked by clients about whether they qualify for cancellation of removal.  It’s no surprise, given that cancellation trumps common grounds of inadmissibility, like entering without inspection.  Unfortunately, the requirements for cancellation of removal are quite stringent.

For lawful permanent residents (“LPRs”), one must (a) have been an LPR for 5 years, (b) continuously resided in the United States for 7 years, and (c) not have been convicted for an aggravated felony.  If these requirements are met, an immigration court has discretion to grant cancellation by weighing a number of factors.  The following factors weigh in favor of cancellation:

  • family ties within the United States;
  • residence of long duration in this country;
  • hardship to the respondent and his or her family if deportation occurs;
  • service in the armed forces;
  • a history of employment;
  • property or business ties;
  • respondent’s value and service to the community;
  • proof of genuine rehabilitation if a criminal record exists; and
  • good character.

The following factors weigh against cancellation:

  • the nature and underlying circumstances of the grounds for removal that are at issue;
  • significant violations of this country’s immigration laws;
  • criminal history and its nature, recency, and seriousness;
  • bad character or undesirability as a permanent resident of this country.

For non-LPRs, the requirements for cancellation are even tougher.  An applicant must have (a) 10 years of continuous physical presence in the United States, (b) good moral character, and (c) no conviction of an offense under Section 212(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Last, removal must result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to a citizen or LPR spouse, parent, or child.

Because these criteria are subjective, it is often imperative to have assistance from an immigration lawyer serving Dallas, Houston, and Austin.

More on hardship to come…

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