Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents
A lawful permanent resident of the United States (i.e. a “green card” holder) is a non-citizen who is authorized to live and work indefinitely in the United States. In some cases, an LPR may face removal proceedings if he or she has been convicted of certain crimes or violations of immigration law. When this happens, the lawful permanent resident may be eligible to apply for Cancellation of Removal which would allow the LPR to remain in the United States and to retain their status. If the Cancellation of Removal application is not granted, the LPR may lose their status and be removed from the United States. As the stakes are high, it is important to retain a good immigration attorney.
To qualify for Cancellation of Removal, the lawful permanent resident must meet the following requirements:
- Have had the green card for at least five years prior to the initiation of the removal proceedings;
- Have been continuously physically present in the United States for at least 7 years after having been admitted in any status; and
- Have not been convicted of an aggravated felony (in immigration law, an “aggravated felony” is not necessarily a felony or a violent crime, but can also include many misdemeanors)
In addition to the requirements outlined above, commission of certain crimes within the past seven years and certain immigration violations (such as having made a material misrepresentation when applying for a green card) may make an LPR ineligible for cancellation of removal. Prior immigration proceedings may also make an LPR ineligible for cancellation of removal. A prior grant of Cancellation of Removal will make the LPR ineligible for a second grant of Cancellation of Removal.
Even if the Lawful Permanent Resident meets all of the criteria outlined above, cancellation of removal is discretionary. This means that the immigration judge will determine whether or not to grant cancellation of removal based on the individual circumstances and moral character of each applicant. It is important for an LPR seeking Cancellation of Removal to convince the judge that his past mistakes will not define his future in the United States and that those mistakes will not be repeated.
The attorneys at Tanner Law Offices can assist you or your loved ones in the process of seeking Cancellation of Removal. We are experienced in representing clients facing removal proceedings. Please contact our office at 717-731-8114 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.