Qualify for Cancellation of Removal
Get Help to Stay in the U.S.
Were you admitted to the United States on a work or tourist visa; are you a legal permanent resident with a green card; were you granted asylum or refugee status; or are you attempting to legally be admitted to the United States? If so, the United States government may remove you from or deny your admission to the United States if you have been convicted of certain crimes or have violated the immigration laws.
However, you may qualify for relief from removal in the form of a “cancellation of removal” if you meet certain criteria. In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA), which set more stringent standards for the cancellation of removal.
If you are facing the possibility of removal (i.e., deportation) from the United States and you are concerned about your and your family’s welfare, the skilled and experienced Kentucky immigration lawyers at Carman Fullerton can help.
Our immigration attorneys focus on serving the unique legal needs of immigrants and their families and have helped many immigrant families just like yours. We can help determine your eligibility for cancellation of removal and assist you in filing a cancellation of removal application, so you can remain in the United States.
Take action now to help protect yourself and your family by talking with an immigration lawyer in Lexington who understands your situation and will be there for you every step of the way. The sooner you take action, the better, before issues become even more complicated.
Why Choose Our Cancellation of Removal Lawyers?
There are many attorneys in Kentucky, and it’s important for you to find one that you feel comfortable with and who has the experience helping immigrants that is necessary to handle visa and other immigration concerns. Here are some reasons why we think Carman Fullerton is your best choice:
- We are experienced and bilingual. Attorney Kirby J. Fullerton and Attorney Dan Carman both speak Spanish and have accommodated speakers of other languages as well. Our team of attorneys has many years of experience representing clients involved in immigration cases of all types. We have worked with clients who have entered the United States both legally and illegally. We have helped non-citizens from all walks of life, with or without status, to fight to remain in the U.S.
- We understand what you are going through and that you may feel vulnerable and confused, so we do everything possible to make you feel safe, listened to and understood.
- We are recognized in our field. Dan Carman is a member of various local and national Bar Associations has previously been named in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers.
- We know immigration and criminal law. Attorney Kirby Fullerton’s practice is focused on immigration law, and he represents clients in cases before the immigration courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals. He has practiced criminal defense and understands how matters in criminal courts can affect a client’s immigration status.
- We are local. With an office in Lexington, KY, our attorneys are well-positioned to provide engaged, personalized legal services for our communities.
- We are available 24/7 for client emergencies.
The U.S. immigration system is complicated, and making mistakes could result in your removal from the country. Immigrants, especially those who may not speak English fluently and who may be unfamiliar with the U.S. legal system, should not try to represent themselves.
The compassionate immigration attorneys at Carman Fullerton know what you are going through and the importance of being able to stay in the United States. We have many years of experience as Kentucky immigration lawyers and know the ins and outs of the legal system. You can benefit from our knowledge, fluency in English and legal education.
We have helped other immigrants achieve the right to remain in the U.S. and keep their family together. We are fully prepared to do the same for you. Call us at any time, seven days a week.
WE ARE DEDICATED TO PROVIDING THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE LEVEL OF SERVICE
How Our Attorneys Work for You
Every person who works at Carman Fullerton— lawyers and support staff — shares our commitment to our clients. When you have our team on your side, we will get to work for you immediately. We will:
- Meet with you to discuss your current immigration status and your removal situation and determine the best way to get the removal cancelled.
- Investigate your case and collect evidence to support having your removal cancelled, such as testimony and written declarations from people who know you, and your work, school, medical records, and financial records.
- Coach you to make sure you know how to answer questions and handle any interviews so you say the right thing to benefit your case.
- Help you fill out forms to make sure everything is done properly and that they are filed correctly and in a timely manner.
- Represent you at all court hearings and appearances.
- Appeal your case if your cancellation request is denied.
Cancellation of Removal Requirements
You may qualify for cancellation of removal if you establish certain criteria in a hearing before an Immigration Judge. These requirements vary (8 USC section 1229b) depending on whether or not you are a lawful permanent resident, as follows:
Cancellation of Removal for Permanent Residents
Even if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), you may still be removed from the United States if you have violated immigration laws or were convicted of a crime. As an LPR, you may be eligible for cancellation of removal if:
- You have been an LPR for more than five years;
- You have been continuously present in the United States for at least seven years; and
- You have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
An “aggravated felony” for immigration purposes includes murder, rape, drug trafficking, firearms offenses, money laundering (over $10,000), kidnapping, theft (where the sentence of imprisonment is at least one year), obstruction of justice, and smuggling. These are just some of the crimes that are considered aggravated felonies for immigration purposes. Even if a conviction is designated as a misdemeanor by the state, it may still be considered an aggravated felony for immigration purposes. An immigration attorney can help you determine whether a conviction will affect your eligibility for cancellation of removal.
A successful LPR cancellation of removal application will allow you to remain in the United States as an LPR. If you are an LPR who is facing removal, it is important to consult with dedicated immigration attorneys like those at Carman Fullerton, PLLC.
Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents
If you are not an LPR and are in removal proceedings, you may qualify for “non-LPR cancellation of removal” if:
- You have lived in the United States for at least ten years;
- Your removal would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to your qualifying U.S. citizen or LPR relative(s);
- you have “good moral character”; and
- You have not been convicted of certain crimes or violated immigration laws.
The first requirement is that you have ten years of “continuous physical presence” in the United States. Your presence can be documented through your own testimony, testimony and written declarations from people who know you, school or medical records, and financial records like rent receipts, credit card statements, tax records, and pay stubs.
Your ten years begins the day you arrive in the United States and stops the day Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) serves you with a Notice to Appear. Your continuous physical presence also stops when you are convicted of certain crimes, you leave the United States for more than 90 days during one trip, or your multiple trips outside the United States total more than 180 days.
The second requirement, that your removal would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your qualifying U.S. citizen or LPR relative(s), is generally the most difficult requirement to meet. First, your qualifying relative(s)—spouse, child, or parent—must be an LPR or U.S. citizen.
Second, the hardship must be exceptional and extremely unusual. Your removal will undoubtedly cause very serious financial and emotional hardship to your qualifying relative(s). Unfortunately, non-LPR cancellation of removal demands more. Normal financial and emotional hardship is generally not sufficient, because it is considered usual. However, medical or educational hardship may be considered exceptional and extremely unusual.
How the hardship is considered also depends on whether your qualifying relative(s) will remain in the United States if you are removed or will accompany you to your home country.
If your qualifying relative is ill, you are their only means of support, and they plan on remaining in the United States despite your removal, your removal may cause sufficient hardship. Also, if your ill qualifying relative will be forced to accompany you to your home country if you are removed, where they will not have access to adequate medical care, your removal may cause sufficient hardship. Your hardship claim must be supported by documentation such as medical records and letters from doctors.
If you have U.S. citizen children who are in school and who will be forced to accompany you to your home country if you are removed, your removal may cause sufficient hardship. Factors include whether your children can or cannot speak the language of your home country, whether they can or cannot attend public school there because they are U.S. citizens, and whether you can or cannot afford private school for them.
Again, your hardship claim must be supported by documentation such as school records, letters from teachers, proof that your children cannot attend public school in your home country, and testimony.
If you were convicted of an aggravated felony, you are classified as “inadmissible” and not eligible for non-LPR cancellation of removal. If you were convicted of a “crime involving moral turpitude” (conduct that is “inherently base, vile, or depraved”), you cannot qualify for non-LPR cancellation of removal unless the crime is considered a petty offense.
An immigration attorney like those at Carman Fullerton, PLLC can determine whether your criminal record disqualifies you for non-LPR cancellation of removal.
You must also prove that you have “good moral character.” Your good moral character for the ten years prior to your final hearing before an immigration judge is considered. An immigration judge will weigh negative factors (such as criminal convictions or violations of the immigration laws) against positive factors (such as taxes, education, employment, rehabilitation, and participation in your church and community).
To prove good moral character, you will need detailed letters of support from employers, co-workers, neighbors, teachers, religious leaders, friends, etc. If you have been convicted of a crime, proof of rehabilitation, such as completion of alcohol treatment, is necessary. It is also very important that you have paid your federal income taxes. Other proof of good moral character may include educational, religious, or charitable awards and certificates.
What is the Cancellation of Removal Processing Time?
The process of cancellation of removal does not go quickly. Currently, the time it takes to win cancellation is approximately four years for non-detained cases. If you are detained and unable to get released on an immigration bond, you may only have a few months to prepare your case. The process takes so long for two reasons:
- There is a backlog because there are not enough immigration judges to hear the number of cases. Due to lack of judges, it takes time to get an initial hearing, and then immigrants must usually wait at least 18 months between their first and last hearings.
- There is a set number of green cards allowed to be issued each year for successful cancellation of removal cases. As a result, applicants will have to wait for another 12 to 18 months to find out whether or not they will win their case and receive a green card.
How Can You Start Cancellation of Removal Proceedings?
Whether you are an LPR or are present in the United States without status, and are put into removal proceedings because you either were accused of violating the immigration laws or were convicted of a crime, you may still be able to remain in the United States if you qualify for cancellation of removal.
The threat of being removed (i.e., deported) from the United States may make it hard for you to think about what you can do to fight deportation. However, if you believe you meet the qualifications for cancellation of removal, you should fight to remain in the United States.
It is difficult to fight the system on your own, so your first step should be to contact a dedicated immigration attorney to help. The cancellation of removal lawyers at Carman Fullerton, PLLC, are fully prepared to handle all legal hurdles and requirements. We will be there for you to explain the confusing removal process and identify potential immigration relief that will get you on the path to a green card, a work visa, and eventual citizenship.
Call us today at (859) 971-0060 to get started.