Cancellation of removal is a form of discretionary relief from removal (deportation). There are four forms of cancellation of removal relief: cancellation of removal for LPRs, cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents, cancellation for battered spouse or child, and cancellation of removal pursuant to section 203 of the Nicaraguan Adjustment of Status and Central American Relief Act.
If you are a foreign-born person living in the U.S. without legal status for a long time, and you have been placed into removal (deportation) proceedings, you may be eligible for what’s called “Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal” and a green card. To eligible for this form of relief from deportation,
- You have been living (“continuously physically present”) in the U.S. for at least ten years,
- Your being removed (“deported”) from the U.S. would cause “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 you have “good moral character,” and
- You have not been convicted of certain crimes or violated certain laws.
A big part of this process is convincing the Immigration to cancel the removal and adjust your status as a lawful permanent resident.
Nationwide, immigration judges can approve only 4,000 cancellation applications per year from non-LPRs (people without green cards). The cap is often reached quickly.
Once the annual cap on grants of suspension and cancellation is reached, immigration judges and the BIA will only reserve cases for consideration in the next fiscal year where relief would otherwise have been granted during the current fiscal year had the cap not been reached. In any case where the immigration judge or BIA determines that relief should not be granted, the application will be denied rather than reserved.
An alien in immigration proceedings should always consult with an experienced immigration attorney expeditiously and retain an attorney throughout the process. An experienced attorney will be able to assess the case and determine which avenues the alien may have for relief.