Ten Year Immigration Law? What You Need to Know About Cancellation of Removal

Have you heard rumors, and questions about The Ten Year Immigration Law?

Cancellation of Removal for non-permanent residents is one way to acquire a green card. However, people frequently misunderstand this rule of law. If anyone tells you that you are automatically entitled to a green card – simply because you have lived in the US under the Ten Year Immigration Law – this “advice” is wrong, and can lead to serious problems with your attempts at getting a green card if you aren’t prepared.

1) The only place to apply for Cancellation of Removal is before an Immigration Judge, not with the Immigration Service.

2) You must show that you have been in the US for at least 10 years between arrival and being served with papers by Immigration. Hence, the Ten Year Immigration Law.

3) You must have good moral character during the 10 years.  Run-ins with police, failure to pay taxes, and fraud are common problems that interfere with proving good moral character.

4) You have to prove that your removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your spouse, parent, or child who is a US citizen or green card holder.

5) The hardship level makes or breaks cases.  You must focus on the health and ages of your spouse, parent, or child.  Also look at your home country conditions – its economy, educational, medical and employment opportunities.

6) In recent years, many Cancellation of Removal applicants are receiving “administrative closure,” based on a plea bargain-style deal through Prosecutorial Discretion.  Instead of green cards, these folks are entitled to renew work permits indefinitely.

7) Only 4000 immigrants can win Cancellation of Removal in a year.

Time and time again, people ask me about this application and I need to explain the Ten Year Immigration Law for their protection. Speak to a superior immigration attorney about Cancellation of Removal.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions regarding this, or other Immigration-related issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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