Cancellation of Removal Proceedings for Lawful Permanent Residents

Cancellation of removal is often the only way for lawful permanent residents or undocumented people to remain in the United States after they have faced removal proceedings. Making sure to hire an experienced immigration attorney is the first step in helping to secure you have the all the resources possible in preserving your eligibility to stay in the United States.

The Process

Generally speaking, one will first inform the judge of the intention to apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) cancellation at the initial master calendar hearing. One would then submit the preliminary forms required, as well as copies of those forms to the Texas Service Center, where fingerprints will be processed.

Once all of the forms have been submitted, an individual hearing will take place. This simply entails a trial in front of an immigration judge. It is at this point that evidentiary requirements will be submitted to both the court and the prosecutor, in order to schedule an individual hearing. This is a trial where the case will be adjudicated.

Who Grants the Cancellation of Removal?

Residents of Maryland will go to the Baltimore Immigration Court, and the judge there will decide on the case. If appealed, the case will go up to the board of immigration appeals, and then onto the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals if it is still not been settled.

General Time Frame

Because it can only be decided by an immigration judge, the time frame is dependent upon the calendar of the court. A trial before the immigration court must be scheduled before the case can be adjudicated. At this time, the typical wait in Arlington is about five to six years, with similar wait periods in Baltimore. For instance, most inquiries this year are being scheduled for hearings in 2022. It is a slow process.

Should someone apply for cancellation if they are eligible for cancellation of removal?

Many times, cancellation of removal is the only option available. However, if other options exist, that route will typically be taken before the cancellation route if it means a quicker adjudication. For instance, if one is able to apply for a waiver or another kind of status like a U Visa or anything else that can be adjudicated by the U.S. Center for Immigration Studies instead of through the court, that option will be explored in hopes of a faster outcome. Many times, however, applying for cancellation is the only available option. In order to stay in the country, application is encouraged.

Common Mistakes & Fixes

A common mistake is people underestimating the evidentiary requirements needed in order to qualify. Many people assume that simply stating they entered the country illegally, ten years ago for a non-permanent residence is sufficient to prove physical presence. That, however, is not the case. You need a paper trail of documentation proving you have physically been in the U.S. It is the responsibility of the applicant to produce this documentation of proof.

People also, many times, underestimate the documentary requirements needed for the discretion elements for lawful permanent residents and non-lawful permanent residents, as well as the hardship requirements for non-LPRs. Most people assume that if a mother, father or family of five is missing from their lives or is deported, that would constitute extreme hardship. That is a given and assumed. To constitute extreme and unusual hardship to the court, one must prove your case is different than an ordinary family living without a parent, spouse or child. That can be a difficult thing to prove, and many people underestimate that.

Benefits of an Immigration Attorney

It is extremely important to consult with an immigration attorney immediately. First of all, one needs to ensure they are eligible before moving forward with the case. They must also be able to sufficiently document their hardship in non-LPR cases, or discretion and physical presence requirements in LPR cases. An immigration attorney can help secure that by the date of the trial, all requirements are met and the proper documentation is in place. This is very important, as it is difficult to have these cases reversed on appeal. This needs to be done correctly the first time, cementing an Immigration Lawyer as a necessity in such cases.

Cancellation of Removal Proceedings for Lawful Permanent Residents

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