Commonly referred to as the 10-year-rule, this option to terminate your removal proceedings may be available if you have compelling ties to the United States. This form of relief takes into account length of stay and family ties to the United States.
If you have received a notice to appear (official charging document from DHS), there is a possibility that relief is available per Cancellation of Removal. Cancellation of Removal is a benefit that will have your removal completely cancelled per INA Section 240A(b). There are many conditions to eligibility for cancellation of removal, so one should speak with an attorney to determine whether he or she is eligible, or whether or not other forms of relief might be available.
Applicants for cancellation of removal must show a physical presence in the United States for at least ten years prior to receiving their official charging document. Physical presence can be shown through mail, rent receipts, photographic evidence, among other evidence. An applicant also needs to show good moral character during that period. Good moral character excludes those with habitual drinking problems, drug use, convictions of illegal gambling, false receipt of public benefits, among other characteristics.
The applicant for cancellation of removal must also show that an unfavorable decision from a judge (deportation or removal) would result in hardship to a permanent resident or citizen spouse, parent, or child. The judge's determination here is discretionary. The applicant needs to show hardship beyond the longing of a family member, but rather an extreme or unusual harm as defined by previous cases. An attorney can help evaluate and demonstrate when such a hardship is present.
There are special exceptions to some requirements of cancellation of removal if the applicant or the applicant's child has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty. A lawyer should be consulted to determine whether any special exception applies to your removal defense.
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Certain young people, who have been neglected, abused, or abandoned by one or both of their parents, may be eligible for this special protective status. This status requires appearances in the Probate and Immigration courts, as well as before USCIS.
Deferred action may be available, particularly for those who have minimal criminal history. This protective status allows you to work and live in the United States for a specified time, and it may include greater numbers of undocumented immigrants in the future.
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