If you are a foreign-born person who has been living in the U.S. without legal status for a long time, and you have been placed into removal (deportation) proceedings, you may be eligible for what’s called “Non-LPR Cancellation of Removal” and a green card. The conditions for this form of relief from deportation are as follows:
- You have been living (“continuously physically present”) in the U.S. for at least ten years.
- Your being removed (“deported”) from the U.S. would cause “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to your qualifying relative(s), who is (or are) U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
- You can show that you have “good moral character.”
- You have not been convicted of certain crimes or violated certain laws.
However, even if you meet all of the basic requirements, the immigration judge still has discretion to decide whether or not to approve an application for cancellation. Therefore, it is important to make clear to the immigration judge that you are honest, sincere, and really deserve to be allowed to stay in the U.S. and receive a green card.
A big part of the process of convincing the judge is providing as much evidence as possible to show that you meet the basic requirements and also “deserve” the benefits of cancellation. you should definitely see a lawyer for obtainin cancellation of removal (It’s a good idea to see a lawyer in any case, for help preparing a complete application and set of supporting documents.)