What is Cancellation of Removal? How Can It Help You Get a Green Card?
Raluca talks about a Cancellation of Removal. She discusses when you might need to apply for one and what the immigration judge reviews for both legal permanent residents and illegal aliens. She also makes a suggestion about what to do once you receive your green card through a Cancellation of Removal.
Below is the transcript for the video. Due to the video being recorded live it may vary from the transcript slightly.
Recently we have been talking about immigration courts. We hope you enjoyed those videos and shared them with anyone whom you know, who might benefit from them.
Today we are going to talk about Cancellation of Removal. This is a request that is made by application when a person is involved in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. Cancellation by Removal is one way that someone may be able to obtain a green card.
I’m Raluca Hanea. I provide immigration, family law, and estate planning legal services.
I’m here with Nina Cleere, my marketing and office manager.
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Nina: Ok so we’re talking about a cancellation of removal today, can you explain what that is?
Raluca: Sure. Prior to 1996 there used to be a remedy “suspension of deportation of proceedings” and Congress passed this as a replacement. When an individual might be deportable but if an immigration court judge allows this “cancellation of removal” they are no longer deportable.
Nina: Is this done by asking the immigration judge?
Raluca: No, a form must be filed requesting a Cancellation of Removal.
Nina: We’ve mentioned before that if you have a green card you can be deported, right?
Nina: So this Cancellation of Removal makes it so you can’t be deported?
Nina: Does it make you a citizen?
Nina: Does it apply to people who hold a green card and those who don’t have any status?
Raluca: Yes, it can apply to both of them but there are different things the Judge looks at for those who are green card holders and those who are not.
Nina: If they aren’t a green card holder, and a judge grants this, does the judge give them a green card?
Raluca: The judge doesn’t hand it to them but Yes, they approve them for one and the person is now considered a long term permanent resident of the US. They must still go for their biometric appointment and they should receive the green card within 15-30 days of doing that.
Nina: What about people who are green card holders, does this allow them to become a citizen?
Raluca: Unfortunately, no. It allows for them to not be removed from the country (which is good) and then the judge decides if they can keep their green card.
Nina: What are the criteria the immigration judge looks at when making a decision?
Raluca: To be clear, granting a Cancellation of Removal isn’t done only by immigration judges but it is who grants one most often.
For a legal permanent resident (green card holder) the immigration judge reviews how long the person has been in the US, how long they have been an LPR, and that they haven’t committed specific crimes.
For non residents they had to have been in the US a certain length of time, show they are a person of good moral character, prove they haven’t committed certain crimes, and establish that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien’s spouse, parent, or child, who is a citizen or an alien lawfully admitted to the US as a permanent resident.
Nina: What happens while the person is waiting for their green card if they are granted Cancellation of Removal?
Raluca: They should be able to work and have a driver’s license.
Nina: What about if you have already had a denial of your request for a Cancellation of Removal?
Raluca: Some courts will allow you to reopen it. Also, a negative decision can be reviewed in federal court.
Nina: Why did you want people to know about Cancellation of Removal?
Raluca: Well, there have been more people who are stopped for simple things like a traffic violation who are being arrested and put into ICE custody. They should be aware that there is an alternative to being deported if they meet certain criteria.
Nina: Do you know how many are granted every year?
Raluca: I don’t. There is a cap that the immigration judges can grant for non-LPR so that means people who have no status and that is reached very quickly.
Nina: Is there a cap for LPRs?
Nina: So it sounds like this might be a good way for someone to get a green card.
Raluca: It sounds like it but the “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” criteria is a very high standard. Plus, if the person you say this applies to dies (if they were an elderly parent) or turns 21 before you are in front of the Immigration Judge (if it was your child) your argument is no longer valid. Also, hardship is decided by the discretion of the immigration judge, who are notoriously difficult to convince.
Nina: Once you receive your green card through a Cancellation of Removal, what should you do?
Raluca: Apply for your citizenship.
Thank you so much for watching. If you have any questions, please submit them to us here or in a private message. We’ll see you tomorrow.
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