Louisiana Immigration Law Firm

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Using a Cancellation of Removal (LPR) Application

A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is generally permitted to stay within the United States for extended periods of time, or even indefinitely. However, certain circumstances can unfold that eliminate the validity of LPR status and start the removal process. In particular, removal procedures are often started after an LPR status member is convicted of a crime.

The removal process is not a one-way street, though. Once it begins, it is possible to turn it around or stop the procedure entirely with a cancellation of removal application specific to an LPR’s status (form EOIR 42A). This application is comprised of fairly generic information – name, address, age, etc. – but also an in-depth evaluation section laid out as “yes or no” questions. How you answer these questions will weigh upon whether or not an immigration judge will decide to accept the application and stop your removal process. If you do not know what a question is asking of you, do not guess; instead, work with an immigration attorney for help.

Judge’s Discretion & Other Evidence

The answers you provide in an EOIR 42A form are not the only deciding factors in your cancellation of removal request. The immigration judge can use his or her own discretion to decide if your conviction should not have included removal as part of its penalty. As with any legal or criminal case, evidence can be submitted before the court to try to convince the presiding judge.

Evidence that may help your chances in a cancellation of removal application case includes:

  • Proving that you have lived within the United States for several years without incident; five years is generally accepted as an unofficial minimum.
  • Your criminal record that does not include any convictions for dangerous felonies or federal crimes.
  • Your immigration or LPR record that does not include any previous cancellation of removal attempts.
  • Additional facts that indicate you need to stay in the country, such as your role as the primary breadwinner in your family.

If you have not been in the country for long as an LPR status holder, have been convicted of a serious felony, or have already been reprieved once through a cancellation of removal process, the odds of your success will be stacked against you. It is important to remember that stacked odds are not insurmountable odds. There is always an opportunity in each case for it to turn in your favor, especially when a judge’s discretion is permitted.

Do you need to start preparing for your cancellation of removal application hearing? A Lake Charles immigration attorney from Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP can walk you through the process from the start and provide legal counsel to prepare you for your hearing before an immigration judge. Our legal professionals can even act on your behalf if you would prefer. Contact us online at any time to learn more about our services.