Cancellation of removal is an immigration benefit whereby permanent residents and nonpermanent residents may apply to an immigration judge to adjust their status from that of deportable alien to one lawfully admitted for permanent residence, provided certain conditions are met.
The eligibility requirements differ between aliens who are lawful permanent residents and those who are nonpermanent residents. To be eligible for cancellation of removal, a permanent residents must show that he/ she (1) has been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years, (2) has continuously resided in the United States for at least seven years and (3) has not been convicted of an aggravated felony. Nonpermanent residents must establish that he/she (1) has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of 10 years (2) has been of good moral character during the 10-year period, (3) has not been convicted of select criminal offenses and (4) that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to US citizen or lawful permanent resident family members.
The immigration judge has discretion to grant or deny cancellation or removal applications. In determining whether cancellation is warranted, the judge may consider the length of residence in the United States, family and communities ties in the United States and community service work, among other things.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
An immigration benefit allowing an immigrant in removal proceedings to ask the immigration judge to grant permanent residence. The judge's decision will be a matter of discretion. In the case of undocumented immigrants, the applicant must prove 1) having lived continuously in the United States for at least ten years; 2) good moral character during those years; 3) that he or she isn't statutorily barred from entry based on having violated certain U.S. security or criminal laws; and 4) that his or her U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or children would face "extraordinary and exceptionally unusual hardship" if the applicant were forced to leave the United States. In the case of immigrants who already have U.S. permanent residence, but are in removal proceedings because of having committed a crime, the applicant must prove that he or she has 1) been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years; 2) lived in the U.S. for at least seven years in any status; and 3) not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:12 pm