Sometimes immigrants make mistakes and have criminal offenses that occur after they receive their green cards. If this occurs, you may find yourself in removal/deportation proceedings and need to defend yourself. One type of defense available is cancellation of removal under 240A(a) of the Immigration and National Act (INA). In order to qualify you must satisfy the basic requirements as follows:
You have been a permanent resident for at least five (5) years;
- Prior to service of the Notice to Appear, or prior to committing a criminal or related offense referred to in sections 212(a)(2) and 237(a)(2) of the INA, or prior to committing a security or related offense referred to in section 237(a)(4) of the INA;
- you have at least seven (7)years continuous residence in the United States after having been lawfully admitted in any status; and
- You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
There are several exceptions to these requirements and it is important to discuss the specific details of your situation with a qualified immigration attorney prior to appearing before a judge. The immigration judge carries a lot of discretion and not having the proper information or evidence available to provide to the judge can have grave consequences, including removal from the United States.