Assisting Clients In Removal Proceedings to Apply For Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of Removal

Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham, P.C.  - Houston Cancellation of Removal Lawyers

Cancellation of Removal is a relief that is available for certain foreign nationals who are going through removal proceedings. Cancellation of removal confers lawful permanent resident status on certain removable noncitizens who have been in the United States a long period of time. Cancellation of Removal was created under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA). Congress understands that the impact is severe, for family members and businesses alike, when the person being removed has established deep roots in the United States. As the result, Congress introduced measures by which noncitizens who face removal may have their removal cancelled if they demonstrate lengthy physical presence and substantial ties in the United States, and they have not committed certain crimes (See below).

Cancellation of removal under IIRAIRA replaced two prior forms of reliefs, INA § 212(c) and suspension of deportation. Under IIRAIRA, Congress imposes substantially higher eligibility requirements than those that were under Section 212© and suspension of deportation. Cancellation of removal is available for four different categories. They are (1) Cancellation of removal for permanent resident aliens; (2) Cancellation of removal of nonpermanent residents; (3) Battered spouse or child cancellation of removal; and (4) Cancellation of removal for NACARA beneficiaries.

Cancellation of Removal is a discretionary relief in which the Attorney General (the Immigration Court) has total discretion whether to deny or grant such application. In addition, the relief is only available for first time Applicant. Thus, subsequent applications will be dismissed. Should you or your friends and families are being detained or has been served with notice to Appear (NTA), please contact the Houston Cancellation of Removal Attorneys and the Houston Deportation and Removal Defense Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham.. Our Houston Deportation Attorneys would assess your qualifications under Cancellation of Removal, as well as other eligible reliefs, such as inadmissibility and extreme hardship waivers, or adjustment of status to become a U.S. permanent resident.

Requirements For Cancellation of Removal as a U.S. Permanent Resident

To be eligible for cancellation as a permanent resident, you must provide evidence that:

  • You have been lawfully admitted as a permanent resident ( a green card holder) for at least five (5) years prior to your application of cancellation of removal;

  • In addition, you must prove that you maintained continuous residency in the United States for seven (7) years after having been admitted in any status; and

  • You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined under INA Section 101(a)(43).

Requirements For Cancellation of Removal as a Non-Permanent Residents

If you are not a permanent resident, such as someone that entered the country without inspection (EWI), you may still qualify for cancellation of removal. However, to be eligible, you must demonstrate that:

  • You have been physically present in the U.S. for at least 10 years or more prior to your application for cancellation of removal. 10 years of physical presence immediately preceding the date of the application;

  • You have good moral character within this 10 years period. That is, you have not committed a crime or activity that is deemed immoral, including failure to pay child support or filing income tax returns;

  • Your removal would be extreme and unusual hardships to your U.S. citizen and/or U.S. permanent residency spouse, children, parents, or other dependents;

  • You have never been convicted of an aggravated felony crime, as well as a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Click here for more information.

Requirements for Cancellation of Removal For Battered Spouse Under The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

To obtain cancellation of removal as a battered spouse or child, the Applicant must establish that she meets the requirements for VAWA, as well as physical presence requirements. They are as follow:

  • The Applicant was married to a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident (an LPR);

  • The Applicant has been a victim of battery or extreme cruelty (including mental, verbal, and emotional abuse) by the U.S. citizen or LPR;

  • The Applicant must establish physical presence in the United States for at least three (3) years prior to filing the application;

  • The Applicant has good moral character during the three-year period;

  • The Applicant not inadmissible under criminal grounds for CIMT or aggravated felonies, and excludable under security grounds; and

  • The removal would be an extreme hardship to the alien, the alien’s child, or the alien’s parent if he or she is removed.

Requirements For Cancellation of Removal Under NACARA

Section 203 of NACARA ("NACARA 203") applies to Salvadorans, Nicaraguan, Guatemalans, and nationals of former Soviet bloc countries who entered the United States by specified dates and applied for asylum or registered for benefits under the class action settlement agreement in American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh, 760 F. Supp. 796 (N.D. Cal. 1991). In addition, NACARA 203 also applies to qualified family members and to certain individuals who have been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a lawful permanent resident, United States citizen, or by certain NACARA 203 beneficiaries. With respect to Cancellation of removal, NACARA allows qualified individuals to apply for suspension of deportation or for cancellation of removal ("NACARA 203 relief") under the standards similar to those in effect before the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. As stated, suspension of deportation has less strenuous requirement than cancellation of removal. Particularly, suspension of deportation only requires “hardship”, verses the “extreme and unusual hardship” under cancellation of removal. If the Applicant is granted NACARA 203 relief, he or she is also given lawful permanent resident status.


Immigration Law is a vast area of law and requires an immigration attorney with years of experience to understand the intricacies of the Immigration & Nationality Law. Every case is unique based on the facts and circumstances. While the information above serves as the absis for eligibility, there may be other factor that is either beneficial in your application or could hinder your eligibility. Further, the application is discretionary to the court; and thus, an experienced Houston Deportation Defense Attorney would be able to assist you to determine your eligibility, obtaining evidence to support your application, as well as identifying other form of reliefs. Please contact the Houston Deportation Cancellation of Removal Attorneys and the Houston Immigration Removal Defense Lawyers to ensure proper documentations to show that you have met all requirements stated above. Please contact the Houston Immigration Attorneys and the Texas and U.S. Cancellation of Removal Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham. today at 713-517-6645 or complete our Contact Form.

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