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An Overview of Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal

An Overview of Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal

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As of April 1997, if you are a foreign-born person who has been in the United States without legal status for at least a decade, and you have been placed into deportation proceedings, you might qualify for “non-LPR cancellation of removal” under INA § 240A(b)(1). If you are granted non-LPR cancellation of removal, you may also obtain a green card (legal permanent residency).

You may be eligible for non-LPR cancellation of removal if you meet the following criteria:

  • You have been “continuously physically present” (living) in the U.S. for at least 10 years, unless you have served two (2) years in active service in the U.S. military
  • You have maintained “good moral character” for at least 10 years (i.e., not a habitual criminal, drunkard, or other derogatory characteristics)
  • You have not been conviction of certain crimes (e.g., aggravated felonies, a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), drug trafficking, human trafficking, fraud, money laundering, prostitution, etc.)
  • Your removal would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to a
    qualifying relative”

The date when you enter the U.S. starts the ten-year “clock.” However, if you are absent once from the U.S. for more than 90 days or absent multiple times for up to over 180 days, then such absences would stop the clock, resulting in having to start your ten-year period over again. If you receive a Notice to Appear (NTA) for removal proceedings or if you commit a specific crime, your clock will also stop.

A “qualifying relative” is a spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21 years old who is a U.S. citizen or green card holder. “Exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” means that the qualifying relative would suffer extraordinarily more than under normal circumstances (e.g., physically, emotionally, and financially) when a close relative is deported.

For example, if your minor child is diagnosed with a serious illness and your home country lacks the proper medical care to treat the disease, then this could be viewed as an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. In addition, if you have been living in the U.S. for more than a decade, your children do not speak the language of your home country, and a support structure in your native country does not exist, then such circumstances may also qualify as exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.

The following are certain non-LPRs that do not qualify for cancellation of removal:

  • Non-LPRs who previously received cancellation or removal or a suspension of deportation
  • Non-LPRs whose removal proceedings started before September 30, 1996 (when the law took effect)
  • Non-LPRs who entered the U.S. as crewmen before June 30, 1964
  • Non-LPRs admitted to the U.S. under a J-1 visas (exchange visitor) and failed to obtain a waiver or complete the two-year foreign residency requirement, or those who were received graduate medical training
  • Non-LPRs who have been convicted of inadmissible or deportable crimes

The annual cap on cancellation of removal and adjustment of status is limited to 4,000 per fiscal year. Due to the limited number of approvals per year, the cap is reached very quickly, which is why you may benefit from hiring an experienced immigration lawyer to increase your chances of getting your application approved.

If you are interested in applying for non-LPR cancellation of removal in New York City, contact Musa-Obregon Law PC today at (888) 502-8461 to let our legal team with more than 100 years of combined experience help you avoid deportation and obtain a green card!


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