DC Cancellation of Removal Attorney

An experienced immigration attorney in DC can help clients who are facing serious deportation issues. Cancellation of removal is a fairly complicated process. The immigration judge has discretion when deciding whether to grant cancellation of removal which is why the process is similar to a criminal trial where you really have to argue the equities of the case. Because of the highly discretionary nature, it is important to have a DC cancellation of removal lawyer.

Cancellation of Removal Defense

Cancellation of removal is a type of defense from deportation only available to individuals who are in removal proceedings. When a person is in removal proceedings, this means that the Department of Homeland Security is trying to deport them. For many people, not only is cancellation a way to protect themselves from deportation, but it is also their only option. If cancellation of removal is granted, these individuals can then attempt to legalize their stay.

This benefit is not available to individuals whose case is not before an immigration judge. Due to the discretion involved on the part of the judge, it is important to consult with a DC immigration attorney to learn more about the process.

Authority to Grant Cancellation of Removal

For cancellation of removal, a person must appear before an immigration judge. Only an immigration judge has authority to grant this application. This is not a standard application where you just have to submit documentation to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or another Department of Homeland Security Agency.

This form of relief can only be granted by an immigration judge. During the initial application process, a person will appear before an immigration judge at the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), or if they appeal a decision made by an EOIR judge than a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) judge or a federal circuit judge can grant their cancellation of removal.

Cancellation of Removal Considerations

There are three important considerations to take when determining the process of cancellation of removal proceedings.

Not Qualifying for Cancellation of Removal Unless in Removal Proceedings

The most common misconception regarding cancellation of removal is that people think they are qualified for this relief even if they are not in removal proceedings. However, this is not the case. This relief is known as cancellation of removal, because a person is trying to cancel a process that has already begun. Thus, for them to be eligible, they must be in removal proceedings.

Not Everyone is Eligible for Cancellation of Removal

Another important issue to understand is that not everyone is eligible for cancellation of removal, even if they meet the basic statutory requirements. A person can apply for cancellation of removal as either a legal permanent resident (green card holder) or a non-legal permanent resident; however, the process is more complicated for non-legal permanent residents.

If they are currently not a legal permanent resident, they need to prove that they have a qualifying family member who will suffer extreme and unusual hardship if they are removed from the United States. Immigration law defines a qualifying family member as a spouse, child, or parent who is a US citizen or legal permanent resident.

Determining what is considered extreme and unusual hardship is a discretionary decision. Unfortunately, there is no predetermined list that a person can check off to confirm that they qualify. The person will need to convince the judge that their hardship is extreme and unusual, which is a high standard to meet. Fortunately for legal permanent residents, this requirement does not exist, so qualifying is more straightforward.

Cancellation of Removal is a Long and Difficult Process

Finally, those considering cancellation of removal should be aware that regardless of whether they are a legal permanent resident, cancellation of removal is a long and arduous process. Currently, there is a huge backlog in the immigration courts, thus it may take a significant amount of time for an “individual hearing” or a trial to be scheduled.

When they are eligible for cancellation in removal proceedings, they will have to attend an initial hearing, submit all their paper applications to the court and be fingerprinted. Then, they will be scheduled for an actual trial which may not occur for a few years.

Contacting a Cancellation of Removal Attorney

Due to the complexities involved in cancellation of removal proceedings, a person should not face this alone. When you call the DC cancellation of removal lawyers today, they will conduct your initial consultation free of charge and help you take the first steps to securing your future in the United States.