After coming to the United States, many individuals may have thought that they left the worst of their worries behind and that they had the opportunity to start a new phase of life. While this idea may ring true for many people, individuals who did not enter the country legally or who have not obtained citizenship may still have the fear of deportation or other removal efforts in the back of their minds.
Both lawful permanent residents and non-permanent residents could potentially face removal proceedings under certain circumstances. If you or a loved one has learned that the removal process may soon begin, you may worry about having to leave your family and the life you built in this country. However, you may have the chance to delay or even stop the removal altogether.
Cancellation of removal
One way in which you could potentially stop deportation or other similar actions is to apply for cancellation of removal. In order for this effort to prove effective, you must meet certain criteria and the applicable officials must approve your application. This avenue essentially adjusts your status from “deportable” to “lawfully admitted for permanent residence.”
Of course, you may wonder how this adjustment could help as permanent residents can also face deportation proceedings. However, in those cases, the individual often has to have committed an aggravated felony.
If you have lawful permanent resident status and have received a notice regarding deportation, you may qualify for cancellation of removal if you meet the following criteria:
- You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
- You have held permanent resident status for a minimum of five years.
- You have continuously lived in the United States for a minimum of seven years after entering the country legally.
For individuals not considered lawful permanent residents, they must meet different qualifications, such as:
- You must have continually lived in the United States for a minimum of 10 years.
- You have not faced conviction for a deportable act, such as an aggravated felony.
- You have evidence that removal could cause substantial and undue hardship on your family.
- You have presented yourself as a person with good moral character during your stay in the United States.
You may also be interested to know that non-permanent residents who have been the victims of domestic violence also have different eligibility requirements.
Applying for cancellation
When applying for cancellation of removal, you may feel that your entire future hinges on this one action. Because of its importance, you certainly want to ensure that you understand the option, whether you may qualify and how to correctly apply. Therefore, you may wish to utilize local Colorado legal resources for assistance.