Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of removal is a form of immigration relief available to individuals who have been placed in immigration proceedings before the United States Executive Office for Immigration Review.  A different standard for eligibility for cancellation is applied for lawful permanent residents, or LPRs, and non-LPRs. Individuals who receive a grant of cancellation are eligible for permanent residency in the United States.

Cancellation of removal was designed to replace suspension of deportation, which was the form of relief available prior to the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.  While suspension of removal was similar to the current form of immigration relief, suspension had a lower eligibility standard and did not distinguish beteen lawful and non-lawful resident applicants.

The criteria in place for cancellation of removal for LPRs are as follows: individuals must be an LPR for at least 5 years; they must be residents of the United States for at least 7 years, in any status; and they must not have been convicted of an aggravated felony.

The following criteria apply to Non-Permanent residents: individuals must have continuously resided in the United States for at least 10 years; they must be of good moral character; and they must establish that removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to their spouse, parent or child who is a United States citizen or legal permanent resident.