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What is a Green Card Option if you are Being Deported? What is Cancellation of Removal? A One Page Summary of Cancellation of Removal

By January 29, 2017March 25th, 2021Deportation & Humanitarian Immigration, Immigration
  1. What is Cancellation of Removal? (Deportation is the same thing as Removal)
    1. An Immigration remedy that stops your deportation that is available to immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens and Green Card holders;
    2. If you do not have a green card yet, the remedy also gives you a green card;
    3. The remedy is available to people:
      1. With good moral character; and
      2. Whose removal would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder immediate relative (parent, child under 21 or spouse only); or
  • Green Card holders with deportable criminal convictions who can show that they have been rehabilitated; and
  1. Have a strong reason why they should not be removed from the U.S.
  1. Types of Cancellation of Deportation (or Cancellation of Removal)
    1. If you do not have a Green Card
      1. What are the Cancellation of Removal Requirements?
        1. You must show 10 years continuous physical presence in the U.S. If you have a deportation order then you can only qualify if 10 years has passed since the order
        2. You must have good moral character. This means no arrests or criminal activity and you have been an upstanding citizen while in the U.S..
        3. Qualifying relative would suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship and case warrants favorable exercise of discretion. This is a subjective standard but an example is a sick relative that you take care of that would not have another means of care if you were deported. The standard “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” is the highest hardship standard that exists.
      2. What Documentation is Required for Cancellation of Removal?
        1. Show maintenance of continuous presence (bank statements, tax returns, receipts, civil documents, school/employment records, etc.)
        2. Good moral character: certificate of conduct, FBI record, affidavits, school/employer letter, awards, etc.
        3. Qualifying relationship – show documents that prove your relationship to the qualifying relative
        4. Documents showing the hardship to the qualifying relative. (eg. medical records)
        5. Immigration documents showing your immigration history in the U.S..
  • Example of a Case that Might Work: Undocumented person + lived here at least 10 years + no crimes + paid taxes + sick parent (Immediate relatives only and this includes parent, child under 21 or spouse).
  1. Green Card Holder. (Contrary to popular opinion, Green Card Holders can be Deported).
    1. Requirements for Cancellation of Removal for Green Card Holder
      1. Green Card holders have an advantage over non green card holders as there is a one-time discretionary remedy which allows judge to cancel a green card holder’s deportation if the Green card holder has had:
        1. Lawful presence for at least 7 years with at least 5 years as green card holder
        2. No aggravated felony convictions and case warrants favorable exercise of discretion
        3. Strong reason why they should not be removed from U.S. (Eg. country conditions are very poor in the home country – the analysis is similar to asylum)
      2. What Documentation is Required for Cancellation of Removal?
        1. Maintenance of continuous presence (except for military active duty service members at least 24 months – enlistment or proof of separation under honorable conditions)
        2. Proof of green card status for 5 years
        3. Evidence of rehabilitation and other evidence of good moral character (why case merits favorable exercise of judicial discretion: 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)
  • Example of a case that might work: LPR + aided and abetted a drug trafficker + now a soccer coach and community advocate + who has a sick husband


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