Cancellation of Removal

Being faced with deportation can be both a terrifying and hectic situation. Fortunately, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act has instituted a form of relief for those who are going through the removal process called Cancellation of Removal.

Options Available for Cancellation of Removal Proceedings:

Lawful Permanent Residents:

To apply for a Cancellation of Removal, the applicant must establish the following:

  1. That he/she possess lawful permanent residence status for at least five years.
  2. After admittance of any status, he/she has resided in the U.S. continuously for seven years.
  3. That there have been no convictions of “aggravated felony.”

Non-Permanent Residents (undocumented, nonimmigrants, etc.):

To file for a Cancellation of Removal, he/she must demonstrate:

  1. Prior to the date of filing, he/she is required to have been physically living in the U.S. for ten years.
  2. During those ten years, he/she must have been a person of good moral character. There can be no criminal or immigration records.
  3. He/she is clean of deportable criminal crimes, crimes of moral turpitude, substance violations, and documentary fraud.
  4. The consequences of removal would cause exceptional hardship to the spouse, child, or parent of the foreign national. The spouse, child, or parent must be U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs).

Alternatively, a non-permanent resident can qualify to have removal canceled upon showing that:

  • You or your child have suffered extreme cruelty at the hands of a spouse or parent.
  • You have been in the U.S. for three years continuously before you received your Notice to Appear.
  • You can be considered a person of good moral character according to the USCIS for that entire three-year period.
  • You are not inadmissible or not deportable according to the regulations.
  • You have not committed or been convicted of aggravated felony.
  • If you are removed, it would mean extreme hardship for you and/or your child.
  • Your child is being deported and removal would cause extreme hardship to you or the child.


There are two possible applications to apply for cancellation of removal. The U.S. Department of Justice provides forms for both permanent residents and non-permanent residents. It is advised that the applicant reads the form carefully prior to completing and submitting.

You must first comply with the DHS instructions for providing biometric and biographic information to the USCIS. This involves sending a copy of the application to the appropriate USCIS Service Center. The DHS instructions also address payment of the application fees.

As a permanent resident or non-permanent resident, you must then serve the following documents on the Assistant Cheif Counsel for the DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Filing Your Application as a Permanent Resident:
  • A copy of your Form EOIR-42A, Application for Cancellation of Removal, with all supporting documents
  • A copy of the USCIS ASC notice of fee receipt and biometrics appointment instructions
  • The original Biographical Information Form G-325A.

You must file the following documents with the appropriate Immigration Court:

  • the original Form EOIR-42A with all supporting documents and additional sheets
  • a copy of the USCIS ASC notice of fee receipt and biometrics appointment instructions
  • a copy of the Biographical Information Form G-325A
  • a completed certificate showing service of these documents on the ICE Assistant Chief Counsel, unless service is made on the record at the hearing.

Filing Your Application as a Non-Permanent Resident:

The application requirements are similar with the exception that the applicant will be providing a photograph that meets all requirements and a copy of the Form EOIR-42B, Application for Cancellation of Removal, along with all supporting documents.

Application Review

An immigration judge has the discretion to grant or deny applications for cancellation of removal. The immigration judge deciding your case may weigh the following when evaluating your cancellation:

  • The length of residence in the United States
  • Whether you have strong ties to your family and community
  • Any work you have done in community service
  • Having participated in community club events or religious gatherings
  • Record of employment
  • U.S. military history
  • Responsible tax practices.
  • Having accepted the burden of past crimes
  • Evidence that any past crimes or instances of substance abuse have been put behind you.

How VisaNation Law Group Immigration Attorneys Can Help:

VisaNation Law Group immigration attorneys have extensive experience in representing clients in removal proceedings and have successfully obtained the relief of cancellation of removal in several complex cases. Contact VisaNation Law Group attorneys for more information in obtaining a cancellation of removal relief before an immigration judge.