A person in removal proceedings may seek relief by applying for cancellation of removal, by filing a written application with the immigration judge.
The eligibility requirements differ for an alien who is a lawful permanent resident (LPR) and one who is not.
For an LPR to be eligible for cancellation of removal, he or she must establish that he or she:
Has been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years at the time the application is filed
Has continuously resided in the United States for at least seven years after being lawfully admitted to the USA in any status, and
Has continuously resided in the United States for at least seven years before removal proceedings are initiated against her, and
Has not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
An LPR is not required to show that the loss of her LPR status would result in hardship for a family member or for herself.
A nonpermanent resident will be eligible for cancellation of removal, if he or she files Form EOIR-42B and is able to establish that:
He or she has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of 10 years prior to his being placed in removal proceedings
He or she has been a person of good moral character for at least the 10 year period of time at issue
He or she has not been convicted of a criminal offense, with some exceptions, and
At least one U.S. citizen or LPR family member would suffer an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if the alien lost his case and had to leave the USA
An immigration judge has discretion to grant or deny an application for cancellation of removal. In determining whether cancellation is warranted, the immigration judge has the right to consider anything and everything that the applicant has done, or not done, since he or she first came to the USA.