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Understanding cancellation of removal

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Deportation Defense |

Cancellation of removal is one way immigrants can stay in the United States if they are facing deportation to their home countries. It is for both permanent and non-permanent residents who meet certain rules.

While cancellation of removal does not make people U.S. citizens, it can provide them with the relief of knowing they are no longer at risk of having to leave.

Rules for permanent residents

Permanent residents can qualify for cancellation of removal if they meet the following requirements:

  • Have been a permanent resident for at least five years
  • Lived in the United States for seven years without leaving
  • Have not committed serious crimes

It does not matter if the person entered the U.S. legally or not.

Rules for non-permanent residents

Some people who have left the country for periods of time can also qualify. They must have lived in the United States for 10 years and stayed out of trouble. They must also prove that deportation would cause a lot of hardship to their family members who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

How the court makes decisions

Immigration judges decide whether to grant cancellations of removal. They will look at how long the people have lived in the United States. They will also consider their connections to family and community and any good things they have done.


If people get a cancellation of removal, they can get a green card. This card allows them to stay in the United States. It also allows them to get a job and helps them travel.

Cancellation of removal is a great way to stay in the U.S. legally. However, only 4,000 people can get cancellation of removal each year, so some people have to wait a long time. While they are waiting, it is important to keep their contact information up to date with the immigration court and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.


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