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Removal of Permanent Residents

Cancellation of Removal for Permanent Residents

Cancellation of removal provides a way for permanent residents (green card holders) to apply for relief from removal from an Immigration Judge.


You can seek cancellation of removal only if you are in removal or deportation proceedings and have a hearing in Immigration Court before an Immigration Judge. You must be a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). To apply for cancellation of removal, you are required to submit an application to the Immigration Judge that is accompanied with strong supporting documentation to show that you meet all of the eligibility requirements and that you warrant a favorable discretionary decision from the Immigration Judge.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for cancellation of removal, you must evidence the following to the Immigration Court:

• 5 years of green card status: You have had your lawful permanent resident status (green card) for at least five years;

• 7 years continuous presence in the U.S.: You have lived in the United States continuously for seven years after being admitted in any status; and

• No aggravated felony convictions: You have no criminal convictions, which can be classified as “aggravated felonies”

Common Issues

• Fraud: If you acquired your green card through fraud or misrepresentation, the Immigration Court will not recognize that you have been “lawfully admitted for permanent residency.” Therefore, you would not qualify for cancellation of removal as a permanent resident and may have to qualify for cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents;

• “Time Stop” Rule: continuous presence is considered to have ended when either the government serves a Notice to Appear (the charging document that initiates removal proceedings), or the lawful permanent resident commits certain criminal offenses;

Discretionary Factors

To successfully win an application for cancellation of removal, you must evidence to an Immigration Judge that your positive equities outweigh any adverse factors. According to the Board of Immigration Appeals, common positive and negative equities include the following:

Positive Equities:

• Family ties in the United States

• Residence of long duration in the United States, especially when begun at an early age

• Evidence of hardship to the applicant and family if deportation occurs

• Proof of rehabilitation if a criminal record exists

• Evidence of good moral character

• Service in the U.S. military

• Employment history

• Business ties or property

• Community service

Negative Equities:

• Nature of the grounds of removal

• Presence of additional significant violations of immigration laws

• Existence of a criminal record and, if so, its nature, seriousness, and recency

• Evidence of poor character

Contact The Morgan Law Firm in Orlando

If you are a lawful permanent resident, but now have to go a removal hearing at an Immigration Court because of a criminal conviction, this form of relief may help prevent your removal from the United States. Please contact The Morgan Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your immigration case. We can be reached by phone at (407) 425.8529 or by email at You may also fill out our online form and we will contact you back as soon as possible