There are many people living out of immigration status in the United States for substantial periods of time. In the event you are a foreign-born person who has been living in the U.S. without legal status for a long time, and you have been placed into removal proceedings, also sometimes called deportation proceedings, you may be eligible for what’s called “Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal”. If you are successful in this form of defense relief, you may receive a green card in the end. In order to qualify for this type of relief, you must show the following:
- That you have been residing (“continuously physically present”) in the U.S. for ten years or more;
- That, if you are removed/deported from the U.S., you have a qualifying relative that would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship”;
- That you can demonstrate that you have “good moral character”; and
- That you have not been convicted of certain types of crimes or violated certain laws
However, even if you meet all of the above requirements, the immigration judge has a large amount of discretion to determine whether to approve an application for cancellation and grant your lawful permanent resident status. It is therefore extremely important to convince the judge that you are are deserving to be permitted to remain in the U.S. and receive a green card. This is done by providing a lot of evidence to show that you meet the requirements outlined above.
These types of cases are one of the most difficult and are sparingly granted. In fact, throughout the country, there are only 4,000 of these cases granted per year and therefore there is often a wait, even if your case is approved. As such, it is extremely important to have a qualified attorney represent your interests in front of the judge in these types of cases.