Cancellation of Removal

Q: What is Cancellation of Removal?

A: Cancellation of removal (cancellation) is a process that confers lawful permanent resident status on certain removable non-citizens, such as you, who have been in the United States a long time. Cancellation is a legal remedy provided you and your family demonstrate lengthy physical presence and substantial ties in the United States, have not committed certain crimes, and establish the very difficult element of hardship. If we do this, you will be awarded residency status.

Q: What are the legal requirements for Cancellation of Removal?

A: The actual legal requirements for nonpermanent residents, under the immigration act, and specifically, cancellation of removal, are as follows:

(A) you have accrued or been physically present in the US for a continuous period of not less than10 years immediately preceding the date of such application;

(B) you have been a person of good moral character during such period;

(C) you have not been convicted of certain crimes or offenses as defined by statute; and

(D) you establish that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your spouse, parent, or child, who is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

Q: How do I prove that I am eligible for Cancellation of Removal?

A: This is four part answer.

1. The first legal requirement above (A), concerns physical presence in the United States. Therefore, please locate and bring the following documents. The important thing to remember is a ten-year (10) continuous physical presence. As examples, any and all lease agreements, ownership documents, loans, mortgages, contracts, or deeds from apartments or houses where you have lived. Financial records such as tax returns, income tax papers, and pay stubs you may have indicating your presence. These records are also helpful as it establishes you have paid taxes in the United States which is a very important part of this process. Additional records might include your vehicle records, including insurance records or loan agreements, and your utility bills, credit card bills or records you have establishing your name and address. In short, any documents showing you were physically present in the United States. In addition to your pay stubs and work history, we must have any and all documents you have used while working. In order to better serve and assist you, I need to know all the documents you have used. On a similar topic, if you have not filed taxes, you must obtain a Tax Identification Number (TIN) and file taxes. I will assist you in obtaining a TIN.

2. In order to provide evidence to prove the second legal requirement (B), you will need to reach out to your friends, family, church, neighbors, employers, and local businesses you have regular contact within your daily life. These friends will need to provide you with a letter stating that they have known you for ( i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 years etc.) and that during that time they have known you to be a person of outstanding and good moral character. Their letters should state how they know you and how they are familiar with the type of person you are as well as how your treat your family and friends. That is, personal examples of your character and that you are a credit to your family, community, and country. The people that provide you with this letter need not worry. They will not be placing themselves in any danger of legal repercussions. Additionally I will read and decide which letters to use before including them in any court document.

3. To locate evidence to prove the third legal requirement (C), you will need to provide me with the following. If you have been convicted of any criminal offense or been involved in any civil lawsuit I must have all the details regarding those incidents. If you have any court papers for any of those incidents I need any and all record you can locate. Once again let me assure you that your truthfulness in this matter will greatly assist me in being able to help you. In addition, we strongly urge you to obtain a criminal records check from the sheriff’s office where you live and an FBI criminal records check. In order to do this, you will need to be fingerprinted at your local sheriff’s office. We have the forms for you to mail with your fingerprints.

4. Typically, the most difficult of the above requirements is the fourth legal requirement, exceptional and extremely unusual hardship (D). You must provide evidence of harm substantially beyond that which ordinarily would be expected to result from your deportation. Further, the law requires that the hardship be suffered by your U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) spouse, parent, or child. In other words, you, as the alien, must provide evidence of harm to your spouse, parent, or child substantially beyond that which ordinarily would be expected to result from your deportation. Cancellation of Removal is limited to “truly exceptional” situations.

By way of example, it is necessary for us to provide supporting evidence that forcefully demonstrates that the hardship, present or future, to the permanent resident or U.S. citizen parent, child, or spouse truly will be of a level that meets the exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. Such evidence might include a variety of items. The number or relatives in your country of citizenship and in the United States, whether they are here legally or illegally. The nature, type, and quality of the family relations with legal US resident family members are an important factor relating to your ties to the United States. In other words, this will help establish the family ties as well as the connections to the United States. Additionally, a professional evaluation of the person(s) suffering the actual hardship (qualifying relative) and their language capabilities and skills, such that are required in an academic setting in a foreign country. This should include their reading and writing abilities in the language of your home country.

Evidence may also include authoritative documentation indicating the similarities and differences between the United States and the foreign school systems along with recognized sociological studies reflecting the ability of United States citizen and their hardship to adapt to different cultures and countries. Similarly, evidence may include reports regarding the anticipated ease or difficulty of later adjustment to United States social and educational standards, should the person suffering the hardship wish to return when they reach the age of maturity or wish to attend college in the United States.

Likewise, individual medical and psychological reports by expert witnesses indicating the potential impact of relocation to the foreign country on the person(s) suffering the hardship and their development and ability to flourish. Included in the medical reports may be information regarding any medical conditions that prohibit the caretaker from seeking employment in their home country, as a general laborer. Also, included may be economic studies indicating the likely employment prospects for the alien and the resulting effect on the person suffering the hardship and the effects on their standard of living. Evidence may also include information on familial relations and any information concerning the person suffering the hardship and their ability to maintain contacts with their aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends, teachers, or other influential figures in the United States

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) cites the following examples of what should be considered in determining exceptional and extremely unusual hardship

  1. An applicant who has elderly parents who are permanent residents or U.S. citizens living in the U.S. and who are solely dependent upon the applicant for support;
  2. An applicant who has a U.S. citizen or permanent resident child living in the U.S. who has compelling health issues, or compelling special needs in school; an
  3. The effects of forcing a U.S. citizen or permanent resident family member to live in a country with a lower standard of living or with adverse country conditions (such as civil war), but generally these effects will not be sufficient alone to show exceptional and unusual hardship.