Stopping Deportation: Options to Get a Stay of Removal

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There are many reasons an immigrant may face deportation proceedings, ranging from a violation of immigration laws, criminal charges, stays beyond visa expiration and more. In any case, it is vital that anyone facing removal consult with an immigration attorney to find out the best method of remaining in the US.

Reasons for Deportation

There are a wide variety of reasons that may make an immigrant subject to deportation or removal. Below is a list of common reasons someone might face a deportation proceeding:

  • Conviction of Criminal Offense
  • Violation of Immigration Status
  • Termination of Conditional Permanent Residence
  • Marriage Fraud for Immigration Purposes
  • Aiding another immigrant to enter the US illegally
  • Falsified immigration documents
  • Was legally inadmissible at the time of entry

This is only a short list, and many other offenses may qualify an immigrant for removal from the country.

Criminal Activity

Many immigrants are charged with crimes, and their attorney may not be aware of their immigrants status. Handling a criminal case for an immigrant requires very different strategy, and if the case is not handled with care, there can be significant immigration consequences irrespective of the criminal penalties.

Violation of Immigration Law

If an immigrant violates any immigration laws, it is likely that removal proceedings will be initiated. The most common violations are visa and passport related, such as staying in the country beyond the time limits of a visa.

Cancellation of Deportation/Removal

Getting a cancellation of removal is an option for both lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and non-permanent immigrants. Some of the requirements for a stay of deportation are outlined below.

Requirements for Cancellation of Removal

For lawful permanent residents, getting a cancellation of deportation is possible if the following requirements are met:

  • The immigrant has been a lawful permanent resident for five or more years
  • The immigrant has lived in he United State for at least seven years
  • The immigrant has not been convicted of an aggravated felony

For temporary US immigrants, there are a different set of requirements for cancellation of removal:

  • The immigrant must have resided in the US for ten or more years
  • The immigrant has not been convicted of a deportable offense
  • The immigrant can demonstrate that his or her removal from the country would result in extreme hardship to family members

The requirements can vary depending on the circumstances of the removal, and there may be other options to terminating a removal proceeding.

Other Options for Stopping Deportation

There are many strategies for stopping a deportation that your attorney should be able to use. Some of the options are getting asylum protection or attempting to get an adjustment of status.

Asylum Protection

For immigrants that can establish a well founded fear of persecution in their home country, it may be possible to apply for asylum protection. Asylum can be granted on the basis of persecution for religious beliefs, race, nationality, social group or political opinion.

Adjustment of Status

An Adjustment of Status (AOS) grants an immigrant permanent resident status, and can be used as a defense to deportation for those immigrants who qualify. Some of the requirements include an available visa number, petitioning family member or employer and that the immigrant is admissible per current immigration laws. Unlike a usual adjustment of status which is applied for through the department of homeland security, persons in deportation proceedings must apply for AOS before an immigration judge.

Legal Advice for Stopping Deportation

There are many options for fighting a deportation or removal proceeding that are outside the scope of this article. If you need advice regarding a deportation proceeding, only an immigration attorney can provide it to you. Always consult with an immigration lawyer regarding any immigration law issues.


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