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Ten-Year Cancellation of Removal: A Guide

A ten-year cancellation of removal is an important tool that, in certain circumstances, can be used to fight and stop deportation. We want to make sure all interested parties have a basic understanding of how ten-year cancellation can be used to help some immigrants halt removal and obtain a green card. Below, our Los Angeles cancellation of removal attorney answers some of the key questions about ten-year cancellation proceedings.

Ten-Year Cancellation of Removal: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Ten-Year Cancellation of Removal?

A ten-year cancellation is a defense against deportation. Unlike some other immigration options, cancellation of removal can only be sought defensively — meaning you cannot apply for cancellation if your case is not already in immigration court. Under Section 240A(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), you may be eligible for a ten-year cancellation of removal if: 

  1. You can prove physical presence in the United States for at least ten years; 
  2. You can prove that your deportation (removal) would cause extreme hardship to a qualifying family member; and
  3. You can prove that you have good moral character required to remain in the United States.  

What Evidence Do I Need to Apply? 

In applying for a ten-year cancellation, an applicant must present comprehensive evidence that proves each of the three requirements. To start, this means providing evidence that demonstrates ten consecutive years of American residency. While one is not disqualified from applying for short trips abroad, living outside the United States for long periods of time may make you ineligible for ten-year cancellation. 

Next, an applicant must prove that a qualifying family member (child, spouse, or parent) would endure an extreme hardship if removal was ordered. Unfortunately, this is where most claims get tripped up. Proving economic hardship or emotional distress is not sufficient. The U.S. government uses a very strict standard for hardship. In most cases, cancellation is allowed because of a family member’s medical condition. 

Finally, an applicant must satisfy the good moral character requirement. First and foremost, this means that an applicant must not have a serious criminal record. Though, beyond that, an applicant should also be ready to produce evidence and testimony confirming that they made a positive contribution to their community. 

What Happens if Cancellation of Removal is Granted?

If an immigration judge grants cancellation of removal, deportation proceedings will stop and the immigrant will be eligible for a green card. Though, the government can appeal cancellation of removal cases. If no appeal is filed, cancellation will be finalized relatively quickly. If the government does appeal, you will have to wait for the case to go before the BIA for a final decision. 

How Hard is It to Succeed in a Ten-Year Cancellation Claim?

It can be quite challenging. We must emphasize that a ten-year cancellation case is not an easy case to win. In order to succeed in getting removal cancelled, you must present a strong, well documented legal case. Unfortunately, the hardship requirement can be difficult to satisfy. If you or your family member is pursuing a green card through cancellation, contact an experienced California immigration lawyer as soon as possible. 

Consult With Our Southern California Immigration Attorney Today

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are committed to protecting you and your rights. If you have questions about ten-year cancellation of removal, our immigration team is here to help. For a completely confidential consultation, please call us now. With an office in Los Angeles, we represent immigrants throughout Southern California, including in Pasadena, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Inglewood, and El Monte.