Applying for Cancellation of Removal: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Apply for Cancellation of Removal

If you’re facing deportation, cancellation of removal may offer a path to staying in the country legally.

This discretionary remedy allows immigration judges to cancel your removal and adjust your status to that of a legal permanent resident.

But with strict eligibility requirements and the rule that only 4,000 applications can be granted per year, being granted this relief is easier said than done.

Still, understanding the qualifications inside out is crucial to crafting a strong case and overcoming steep odds.

Three Pathways to Cancellation of Removal: Explained

Facing deportation overwhelms many families, but three forms of cancellation of removal offer critical lifelines for staying legally in the United States:

  1. Cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents allows forgiveness even for past crimes if residence rules are met.
  2. For non-lawful permanent residents, cancellation of removal opens the door to receiving permanent resident status.
  3. Special Violence Against Women Act provisions provide cancellation without requiring an abusive partner’s help for vulnerable victims.

Navigating cancellation of removal options requires experience. Our immigration attorneys can evaluate your situation and the evidence needed to help you legally stay on the right pathway.

Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents

If you’re seeking cancellation of removal as a lawful permanent resident, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Held green card for at least five years
  • Have resided in the U.S. for at least seven years
  • Have not been convicted of an aggravated felony
  • Demonstrate that you are deserving of a favorable exercise of discretion.

Cancellation of Removal for Non-Lawful Permanent Resident

For non-LPR cancellation of removal, you must show:

  • At least ten years of continuous physical presence in the U.S. right before being served your notice to appear in immigration court.
  • Good moral character during those ten years.
  • No convictions for offenses that would disqualify you under immigration law.
  • Deportation would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your U.S. citizen or LPR spouse, parent, or child. These criteria are very high legal standards to meet.

Qualifying for Cancellation of Removal Under VAWA

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides special protections for victims of domestic abuse seeking to cancel their removal proceedings.

Applicants must demonstrate they:

  • Have maintained continuous physical presence in the United States for 3 years
  • Can provide records affirming good moral character
  • Lack disqualifying criminal convictions
  • Would face extreme emotional or mental hardship if removed, either personally or for certain family members

Documenting abuse and meeting evidentiary burdens can be incredibly difficult. However, our immigration attorneys are well-versed in VAWA and can ensure applications properly prove eligibility based on regulations.

How to Apply for Cancellation of Removal

If you meet all eligibility criteria outlined above, you may formally apply for cancellation of removal.

Here’s how:

  1. Prepare Form EOIR-42B, Application for Cancellation of Removal. Answer all questions fully and accurately, providing additional signed and attached sheets if more space is needed. Include all supporting documents, such as:
    1. Original official documents proving your continuous presence, residence, and other requirements.
    2. Police and court records to demonstrate good moral character.
    3. Birth certificates establishing your relationship with immediate relatives who would suffer extreme hardship upon your deportation.
    4. Sworn declarations, medical records, financial reports, and other evidence to prove said relatives would experience exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.
  2. Pay the $100 filing fee and biometrics fee. Obtain a fee receipt notice from USCIS. Checks payable to the Department of Homeland Security.
  3. Go to the Application Support Center to provide biometrics (fingerprints, photos) and biographic information as per USCIS instructions. Bring confirmation of appointment and fee payment.
  4. Make copies of the application form, documents, USCIS fee receipt, and your photo.
  5. Serve the copies to the ICE Chief Counsel along with the original Form G-325A and your photo.
  6. File the original application form and documents in immigration court, along with copies of the USCIS fee receipt, Form G-325A, photo, and proof of service on ICE Chief Counsel.
  7. Attend a hearing before an immigration judge to argue your case for cancellation. Expect thorough questioning from the judge and government attorney as they assess every aspect of your eligibility.

Our immigration attorneys can make all the difference during the application process, demonstrating each requirement through documentation and arguments to maximize your chances of approval. Following the hearing, the judge will issue a ruling on your cancellation application at the hearing or in writing after.

If your application is approved, you will be eligible for permanent residency.

Getting Help With Your Cancellation of Removal Case

Cancellation of removal—like most other immigration processes—is purposefully difficult. The rules and documents required are complicated, and judges can be hard to convince. That’s why working with an experienced immigration lawyer is so important.

At The Law Office of Lina Baroudi, we take the time to review your situation honestly and help determine if you might qualify. If we think you have a decent shot, our legal team will be there to guide you through each step. We’ll help put together all your records, fill out the forms properly, and coach you on answering questions.

Most importantly, we’ll use our experience to show the court why you deserve to stay here legally with your family. Approval is never a sure thing in these cases. But having a lawyer who understands the challenges can make a huge difference.

If you feel confused or overwhelmed, let our attorneys help maximize your chances. With us as your advocates, you can submit the strongest application possible.

Author Bio

Lina Baroudi is the owner and managing attorney at the Law Office of Lina Baroudi. Lina is a dedicated immigration attorney with over ten years of experience in the field. As an immigrant herself, having moved to the United States from Syria at a young age, Ms. Baroudi understands the challenges and complexities that immigrants face. Her personal connection to immigrant rights fuels her passion and commitment to achieving success for her clients.

Throughout her career, Lina has been recognized for her excellence in immigration law. She was listed in the California 2015-2020 Rising Stars List by Super Lawyers, an honor given to only 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state. Lina’s proficiency in the field is further evidenced by her role as a Law Clerk at the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District, where she gained invaluable experience and knowledge. She also received the prestigious Witkin Award for Academic Excellence in Immigration Law during her time at Golden Gate University School of Law.

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