Cancellation of removal for non-legal permanent residents (those without a green card)
Cancellation of removal for people out of status is a limited form of relief for persons illegally in the United States who are in removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge.
In order to be eligible for cancellation of removal, an applicant must meet the following criteria:
1. Must be in the United States for a period of at least ten years before the person is placed into removal proceeding;
2. Must have been a person of good moral character for the last ten years; and
3. Must establish that his or her removal from the United States would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to his or her spouse, parent or child who is a United States citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident.
Meeting the above criteria is just the beginning. An Applicant must demonstrate to the Immigration Judge that he or she merits the relief of Cancellation of Removal, thereby avoiding removal from the United States and obtaining lawful permanent residence. The burden of proof on the Applicant is high.
For the Immigration Judge to make this determination, an Applicant will have to provide documentation to the Court. The documentation may include but is not limited to the following:
· Income tax returns to establish residency in the United States for ten years
· Employment records including pay stubs and letters from current and former employers to establish residency in the United States for ten years
· School records of the Applicant’s child to establish residency in the United States for ten years
· Police Clearance from every jurisdiction where the Applicant has lived to establish that he or she is a person of good moral character and has not been convicted of specified crimes barring eligibility for this relief
· Medical Records of the qualifying relative to determine exceptional and unusual hardship to the qualifying relative if the Applicant were removed from the United States
· Psychiatric Records of qualifying relative to determine exceptional and unusual hardship to the qualifying relative if the Applicant were removed from the United States
· Country condition reports to determine exceptional and unusual hardship the qualifying relative if the Applicant were removed from the United States.
The Applicant will also have an opportunity to present testimony at a hearing before the Immigration Judge. Once the evidence and testimony is presented, the Immigration Judge will render the decision.
If the Immigration Judge grants the application for Cancellation of Removal, the Immigration Judge will cancel the removal proceedings and the Applicant will obtain Lawful Permanent Residence. The Applicant can maintain this status indefinitely so long as the Applicant violates no immigration laws.
However, if the application is denied, the Applicant will be ordered removed from the United States. That is deported. And the application can be made only once. Thus, the application cannot be re-filed at a later date.
This application can be made only if the Applicant is in Removal Proceedings. If an Applicant feels that he or she is eligible to file an application for cancellation of removal and believes that an Immigration Judge will grant the application, the Applicant can request that the Department of Homeland Security to place him or her into removal proceedings so the application can be made. It is strongly suggested, however, that this application be filed only after removal proceedings have been instituted and that an Applicant should not voluntarily put him or herself into removal in order file this application because of the harsh consequences resulting should the application be denied.
This decision should not be taken lightly and anyone wishing to file this application should seek the advice of an honest and knowledgeable attorney before doing so.