Cancellation of Removal: A Remedy for Rehabilitated Green Card Holders with Deportable Criminal Convictions – PART II: Relief for LPRs

PART II: Relief for LPRs

What is Cancellation of Removal?

Cancellation of removal is an immigration remedy available to immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs or Green Card Holders) with good moral character and are able to establish that their removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to their U.S. Citizen or Green Card Holder immediate relative; or to LPRs with deportable criminal convictions who can show that they have been rehabilitated and that there is a strong reason why they should not be removed from the United States.

There are two different options available depending on whether the applicant is undocumented/out-of-status (Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal) or a green card holder (LPR Cancellation of Removal).

Click here to view Part I: Relief for non-LPRs.


LPR Cancellation of Removal

Most Green Card Holders are unaware that they are not immune from deportation upon conviction of certain offenses. Convictions for controlled substance offenses, crimes involving moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, and those that are deemed violent crimes can make a Green Card Holder removable and be placed in deportation proceedings.

View our blog post here to find out how Naturalization can protect you from deportation and other reasons to apply for U.S. Citizenship.

Click here for a full list of convictions that will make a Green Card Holder deportable.

LPR Cancellation of Removal is a one-time discretionary remedy for Green Card Holders and allows an immigration judge to “cancel” a green card holder’s removal to allow him to keep his LPR status and remain lawfully in the U.S. despite having obtained a removable criminal conviction.

The applicant must show through documentary evidence that she has been lawfully present in the U.S. for at least seven years and that she has been an LPR for at least 5 of these years.

The applicant must also show that she has no convictions that qualify as aggravated felonies and that her case warrants a favorable exercise of discretion.

What type of proof do I need?

The applicant must submit documentation to show maintenance of continuous presence in the United States for the seven-year period. This could include: bank statements, leases, licenses, receipts, letters, birth and civil records, church records, school records, employment records and evidence of tax payments. In addition, the applicant must show evidence of her LPR status for at least five years. A copy of the valid and unexpired green card will be sufficient to meet this requirement.

The applicant must also provide court documents, such as dispositions or court orders, state and federal background check results and other documentation to show the absence of any disqualifying criminal convictions.

Lastly, the applicant must submit evidence of rehabilitation and why the case warrants a favorable exercise of judicial discretion. This can include documents showing long-term residence in the U.S., proof of family and community ties, evidence of hardship to applicant and/or family if deportation occurred, service in the U.S. military, history of employment, service to the community, property and business ties, charitable contributions, affidavits, and other evidence of good moral character.

Applicants who served on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States for at least 24 months do not have to meet the continuous residency requirement, but must show proof of presence in the United States at the time of enlistment with the Armed Forces. If the applicant is no longer in the Armed Forces, they must show proof of separation under honorable conditions.

Click here for the full application packet from the U.S. Department of Justice.

If you believe you qualify for this type of relief, it is important that you seek the assistance of an immigration attorney who can evaluate your eligibility for this immigration remedy. This is a one-time discretionary waiver so it is vital that you submit a strong application that will demonstrate that you have been rehabilitated and that your case warrants a favorable exercise of discretion.

For more practical information and legal advice, contact Scott Legal, P.C. Call 212-223-2964 or email for a consultation.

Angela Antonia Torregoza, Esq. is an Associate Attorney at Scott Legal, P.C. She can be reached at 347-983-0082 or by email at


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