18 September 2008
Cancellation of Removal

Permanent Residents v. Non-Permanent Residents

Cancellation of removal is a form of immigration relief available to individuals who have been placed in removal proceedings before the United States Executive Office for Immigration Review. It was designed to replace suspension of deportation, a form of relief available prior to the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (“IIRIRA”). A different standard for eligibility for cancellation is applied for lawful permanent residents (“LPRs”) and non-LPRs. Recipients of a grant of cancellation are eligible for permanent residency in the United States.

Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents 

Lawful permanent residents of the United States may be placed in immigration proceedings due to certain criminal convictions that leave them inadmissible or deportable from the United States. LPRs convicted of aggravated felonies are entirely precluded from cancellation relief.

Pursuant to INA 240A(a), cancellation is available for any LPR who–

1)  Has been an LPR for not less than five years; and
2) Has resided in the United States for not less than seven years in any status; and
3)  Has not been convicted of an aggravated felony.

Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents

Pursuant to INA 240A(b), cancellation is available to a non-permanent resident of the United States in any immigration status who–

1) Has continuously resided in the United States for at least ten years; and
2) Has been a person of good moral character throughout this time; and
3) Is not otherwise subject to criminal bars arising from a conviction of any crime outlined in INA 212(a)(2), 237(a)(2), or 237(a)(3); and
4) Establishes that removal would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to the alien’s spouse, parent, or child who is a United States citizen or legal permanent resident.

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