Usually if you qualify for any sort of relief, if you’re married to a US citizen or you have an asylum application that could be lodged in front of the judge, then what you need to do is you can use that for relief of removal and you can stay here in the country. So, you can apply for relief in front of an immigration judge.
What are the requirements for cancellation of removal?
It depends on what kind of cancellation of removal. There’s three or four of them. There’s cancellation of removal for permanent residence, cancellation of removal for nonpermanent residence and cancellation of removal for VAWA applicants, which is the Violence Against Women Act. We’re talking about the first one, you have to be in the United States as a permanent residence for at least seven years and you cannot have committed an aggravated felony and have usually some sort of connected to the United States, so you have to have a family, all of that stuff. It usually helps, it’s not a requirement, but having someone here in the country really helps. So that’s cancellation of removal under 42A for permanent residents. Nonpermanent usually you have to be here in the United States for more than 10 years and your removal would have to cause extreme and unusual hardship to your qualifying relatives and that’s usually kids under 21 who are United States citizens of permanent residence or your spouse who’s a US citizen or a permanent resident and I spoke about hardship earlier. You can’t support them, they have medical issues, stuff like that. Then you’ll be given cancellation of removal which the judge would cancel your removal and not let you get deported and then you will get permanent residence after that. VAWA, which is the Violence Against Women Act, you have to have to battered or abused by a United States citizen of permanent residence and VAWA, you have to have good moral turpitude and you have be here in the United States for at least three years and then hardship has to be proven to you or a dependent. So you don’t have to have a qualifying relative for you to get VAWA cancellation.
What is required to be granted asylum?
Basically it’s the same requirements for asylum in front of the immigration judge or if it’s in front of the USCA, it’s the same requirement. You have to qualify as a refugee under the Refugee Convention and that’s under five grounds… Political opinion, member in a political or social group, race, religion, natural original, political opinion and membership in a political or social group. You have to prove that your life will be in danger if you go back to your country based on one of those five groups that I listed. Let’s say for example, one of the cases that I did is the family of a political dissident in Africa. Their father was a political figure in Africa and he got caught and he was tortured. His videos literally were on national TV in his country. So, we were able to use that political opinion to get his kids asylum in the United States. So that’s called imputation. Imputation means you’re imputing the political opinion of the father or the brother or the family relative to the family member. Even though that person doesn’t have those same beliefs as the person you’re imputing from, you can still impute to that occupant. So you have to qualify as a refugee under the Refugee Convention and as I said, that’s basically said, “My life will be in danger or I’m at higher chain of being trouble if I go back to my country than staying her in the United States,” based on one of those five grounds.
What is withholding of removal or deportation?
With holding it’s pretty much the same thing as asylum, but there’s usually a factor that doesn’t allow make you eligible for asylum. For example, if you’ve been here in the United States for more than a year, usually you’re not eligible for asylum unless you have an exception, but if you’re here for over a year and you prove that you’re a refugee and you’re not eligible for asylum, then you apply for withholding of removal and it depends on which kind of withholding of removal. I think you can do it under the torture convention, that’s one of them. It allows you to stay here in the United States for good, as long as there is no change of circumstance that allows you to go back to your country. So for example, the political party, you had a revolution, the political party you supported is now in power, then your life is not in danger anymore, so you can go back. So that’s what withholding is. You’re usually allowed to work in the United States, you get a work permit, but that could be revoked. Even asylum can be revoked if you lied on your application, for example, but that’s what withholding or removal is.
When is adjustment status to permanent resident a viable option?
When you qualify for it. If you have something that allows you to apply for adjustment of status. So if you’re married to a US citizen, you can apply for adjustment of status in front of the judge and get it. You can also qualify for permanent residence. For example, if your son or daughter is over 21 and they’re US citizens, then you can apply for permanent residence in front of the judge. So if you qualify for adjustment of status and you don’t have any ways of disqualifying some adjustment of status and put a waiver of inadmissibility or deportability, then you will be able to stay in the United States by getting adjustment status in front of the judge.
What about waivers of deportability and inadmissibility?
Inadmissibility and deportability pretty much have the same waivers and there’s a bunch of them. If you go look at my website there’s a big section about inadmissibility and waivers.
When is legalization and registry possible?
It’s impossible for someone, if you haven’t applied for legalization or registry by this point, you’re not going to be able to get it. It’s kind of an obsolete thing. The one thing that I want to mention after that suspension of deportation, that used to be the old form of relief and then it switched to cancellation of removal. So suspension, unless you’ve been in removal proceeding since before 1996, which is pretty much impossible, you’re not going to be able to get suspension of removal. So, it’s kind of dated.
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