Prince William County Cancellation of Removal Process for Non-LPR

A non-lawful permanent resident can be facing removal proceedings for a number of reasons. Even if they do not have criminal convictions. It happens most commonly when an individual is picked up by ICE as part of a criminal offense such as driving without a license. A person can be placed into removal proceedings at any time if that person is undocumented in the United States.

The most common way to be placed into a removal proceeding as a non-LPR is getting a criminal offense that puts an individual into criminal detention, which puts that individual on ICE radar. That way, a person can be transferred entirely to custody and the removal proceedings can be initiated that way. If you or a loved one are entering removal proceedings and want to apply for cancellation of removal, you should consult with a dedicated immigration attorney.


The rule requiring ten years of continuous physical presence in the United States often needs to be litigated in the trial. To show ten years of physical presence, a person needs to have documentation. Many people who entered the country illegally and have been without status do not have that paper trail they can use to trace their time here in the United States. In those cases, an individual needs to rely on testimony. The attorney needs to collect, if possible, sworn affidavits from individuals who know when the person entered. Some witnesses might even need to provide oral testimony in the trial regarding their date of entry and the presence they have in the United States.

One another issue to consider that if a person was gone from the United States for more than 90 days in one trip or has multiple absences during that ten-year period that add up to 180 days, that individual may be determined to have abandoned their presence in the United States. You are allowed to brief absences during that ten-year period and can still qualify.

General Process

If someone is detained at the initiation of the removal proceeding process, then that person will first need to evaluate whether they are eligible for bond request a bond hearing. Otherwise, the person will have to wait for their case to be adjudicated while they are detained. That person will attend the master calendar hearing with them or the attorney where they will submit the cancellation application and as much supporting documentation as possible. There they must prove a prima facie case of the qualifying relative and their requisite physical presence in the United States in order to qualify. Assuming a judge believes that a person met those threshold requirements, they will set that person for an individual hearing. An individual can continue to supplement the file with hardship evidence while waiting for their hearing.

The hearing will be set for a certain amount of time, usually around three hours, to argue the case. In Virginia, it is a very slow process. There have been cases that are set out in 2022, and that is not unusual. It is getting slower right now because of a shortage of immigration judges. If a person is detained and is not eligible for bond while the case is adjudicated, it would be a quicker process. There is a detained calendar that moves much more quickly than the non-detained calendar, so in those cases, it will be just a couple of months before trial.

Providing Documentation

Individuals need to provide documentary evidence regarding their actual legal presence in the United States and hard evidence to document the extreme unusual suffering that their family member will endure if the client is not present in the United States (be it through medical records or psychiatric reports, affidavits from present family, affidavits from teachers, or people at the child’s school).

The individual and the qualifying relative’s oral statements are not enough. They need to be supported by hard evidence as much as possible. The third thing is to know the prosecutors. Have the attorney reach out to the prosecutor assigned to the case prior to the hearings and submit as much documentation as early as possible in the case. In some cases, the prosecutor may conceive some of the points prior to the rules hearing, which will make it a lot less stressful for everyone involved. In many cases, they will conceive the ten-year presence if a person has the documentary evidence prior to the hearing, so a person can consolidate the hearing and make it less stressful for everyone involved.

Eligibility Considerations

An immigration judge is the only person who can grant a cancellation of removal application. An individual can apply for application as a defense for removal, so that individual needs to be in removal proceedings before they are is eligible to apply. In addition, a person could be granted cancellation of removal even if denied by the immigration judge if they appeal their case to the board of immigration judges or the appropriate Circuit.

If a person is eligible for a cancellation of removal, they should apply if they want to stay in the United States or if they do not have any other options. For most people, they are applying for this because it is their only defense against removal.

Contacting an Attorney

There is always going to be an approving counsel involved, and the applications are very legally rigorous. Also, there is a tremendous amount at stake. If an individual’s application for cancellation is denied, that person is going to be ordered to move. It is very important to have a strong advocate who is familiar with the immigration courts by that person’s side.

If you are facing removal, you will want to consult an immigration attorney. Legal representation is critical because an attorney will understand the federal policies regarding the cancellation of removal cases.

The Prince William cancellation of removal process can be difficult, complicated, and long, it would be beneficial to consult a skilled and dedicated attorney. A legal team has the resources and knowledge to help you during this time. Especially for a Prince William County cancellation of removal process for non-LPR, it can be difficult to create a strong case without legal counsel.

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