The term “cancellation of removal” is a form of relief which is available to certain individuals who have been placed in removal proceedings. Immigration removal proceedings are normally held before the United States Executive Office for Immigration Review. It effectively replaced “suspension of deportation”, which was the form of relief available prior to April 1, 1997 before the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (“IIRIRA”). Suspension of deportation did not distinguish between lawful permanent residents and non-lawful residents applicants. However, cancellation of removal has a different standard for eligibility as applied to lawful permanent residents (“LPRs”) and non-LPRs. Moreover, recipients of a grant of cancellation are eligible for permanent residency in the United States. At the Law Offices of William A. Proetta our immigration attorneys represent clients for removal proceedings throughout New Jersey and New York including Newark, Jersey City, Woodbridge, Edison, Elizabeth, Perth Amboy, and Harrison. Contact our office at (732) 450-8300 for a free consultation today to learn more about how we can help you and your family.
Cancellation of Removal for Permanent Residents
Lawful permanent residents of the United States are most commonly placed in immigration removal proceedings because of certain criminal convictions that affect their status and make inadmissible or deportable from the United States. These can include crimes involving moral turpitude and aggravated felonies. However, it is important to note that LPRs convicted of an aggravated felony are completely precluded from cancellation relief. The applicable law regarding cancellation of removal for a LPR is included within INA §240A(a), which states, in pertinent part, that cancellation is available for any LPR who:
1) Has been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years; and
2) Has resided in the United States for at least seven years (in any status); and
3) Has not been convicted of an aggravated Felony.
You should note that the residency requirement for the seven years will not continue to run once you are served with the Notice to Appear under the “stop-time” rule which is found in INA 240A(d). This means that an applicant cannot accrue time to meet the residency requirement while the proceedings are taking place. The application form for a lawful permanent resident to seek Cancellation of Removal is the EOIR-42A.
Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents
Certain non-permanent residents may also be eligible for cancellation of removal depending on the circumstances. The law regarding cancellation of removal for non-lawful residents is contained within INA §240A(b), which states, in pertinent part, that cancellation is available to a non-permanent resident of the United States (in any immigration status) if they have:
1) Continuously resided in the United States for at least ten years; and
2) Have been a person of good moral character throughout this time; and
3) Is not otherwise subject to criminal bars arising from a conviction of any crime outlined in INA §212(a)(2), §237(a)(2), or §237(a)(3) (crimes involving moral turpitude, drug crimes, aggravated felonies, etc) ; and
4) Establishes that removal would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to the alien’s immediate family member (spouse, parent, or child) who is United States citizen or legal permanent resident.
To make an application for a Cancellation of Removal, a non-permanent resident would need file under the EOIR-42B. Our immigration lawyers represent clients against removal proceedings and handle applications for cancellation of removal. An experienced attorney can analyze the particular facts of your current immigration status and put together a defensive strategy to exercise all your options to stop removal. Contact our office for a free consultation with an immigration attorney by calling us at (732) 450-8300. We look forward to assisting you and your family in your time of need.
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