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Am I eligible for cancellation of removal?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | Immigration

The immigration process can be stressful for many Florida residents, especially if there is a risk they will be removed and prevented from returning. If you are facing removal proceedings, you may be eligible to apply for a cancellation of removal.

Applying for cancellation of removal

If you are at risk of getting removed from the United States, you may file an application in court for the cancellation of your removal. However, you may only apply for cancellation if you meet certain requirements.

Lawful permanent residents

Your eligibility criteria will depend on whether you are a lawful permanent resident or a nonpermanent resident. For lawful permanent residents to qualify, they must have:

  • Had lawful permanent resident status for a minimum of five years.
  • Lived continuously in the U.S. for a minimum of seven years.
  • No aggravated felony convictions.

Non-permanent residents

Nonpermanent residents may be eligible for either a three-year cancellation or 10-year cancellation. To be eligible for a three-year cancellation, or a VAWA cancellation, you or your child must:

  • Be a victim of domestic violence and the alleged offender must be a green card holder or a citizen spouse of the child’s parent.
  • Live in the U.S. with the abusive spouse/child’s parent.

Additionally, you must:

  • Maintain continuous physical presence in the U.S. for the three years leading up to the filing of your cancellation application.
  • Be of good moral character during those years.
  • Not commit certain crimes or immigration offenses.

You must also establish that you or your child will experience “extreme hardship” if the removal is granted.

To be eligible for a 10-year cancellation, you must have:

  • 10 years of continuous physical presence in the U.S.
  • Good moral character during that time (e.g., no murder conviction or no involvement in prostitution).
  • Not committed a crime that would justify your removal (e.g., aggravated felony).
  • Proven that certain family members (spouse, child, or parent who is a citizen or lawful permanent resident) would experience “extreme and unusual hardship” if you were removed.

The process can take years, but if your application for cancellation is granted by the immigration court, you may become a green card holder. Green holders are considered lawful permanent residents and will be allowed to stay in the U.S. and may eventually apply for citizenship.