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form I-881 application for suspension of deportationCancellation of removal is a form of relief or defense provided by U.S. immigration law. It is essentially a last resort for certain non-citizens (both legal and undocumented) who are in removal (deportation) proceedings before an immigration judge. If granted, this relief allows the individual to remain in the United States and adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).

The purpose of cancellation of removal is rooted in the recognition that some non-citizens, despite lacking a legal status or having violated some immigration or other laws, have established such deep ties to the U.S. over many years that their forced removal would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to them or their close family members who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.  It should be noted that other immigration waiver cases require to establish that the qualifying relatives will suffer extreme hardship and not exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.

Types of Cancellation of Removal

The most accurate manner to confirm the types of cancellation of removal available to an individual is to consult an immigration attorney.  An immigration attorney has the training and expertise to evaluate individual cases and determine whether cancellation of removal is an option in your unique case.  A review of the literature suggests that there are primarily two types of cancellation of removal available, each with its own set of criteria:

  •           For Non-Permanent Residents: This is for those who may have entered the U.S. without inspection (undocumented) or overstayed a visa.
  •           For Permanent Residents: Lawful permanent residents (LPRs or green card holders) who have found themselves in removal proceedings due to certain criminal convictions or other violations can also seek cancellation of removal.

If the application is granted, the non-citizen can adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident. If denied, the individual may be subject to removal from the U.S., barring any other forms of relief.

Who Is Eligible for Cancellation of Removal?

The most accurate manner to find out who is eligible for a cancellation of removal is to consult an immigration attorney.  An immigration attorney has the training and expertise to review individual cases and determine if you are eligible for cancellation of removal.

A brief review of the literature reveals some of the requirements for cancellation of removal: For example, non-residents must have been continuously present in the U.S. for at least 10 years. Must have maintained good moral character and should not have been convicted of certain offenses that make them inadmissible or deportable.  The applicant must demonstrate that if they were to be removed, it would result in “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (typically a spouse, parent, or child).  As noted above, other immigration waiver cases require  establishing that the qualifying relatives will suffer extreme hardship and not exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.

Lawful permanent residents who find themselves in removal proceedings must have been an LPR for at least 5 years before applying for cancellation of removal.  They must have resided continuously in the U.S. for a minimum of 7 years after being admitted in any status, and they must not have been convicted of an aggravated felony.

Importance of Immigration Psychology Evaluation in Cancellation of Removal

Not all cancellation of removal cases require an immigration psychological evaluation.  The immigration psychological evaluation is done at the recommendation of the immigration attorney.

The psychology evaluation for immigration plays a vital role in documenting hardships. This process, carried out by specialists in Immigration Psychology, examines the potential psychological impact of removal on the individual or family members.

A comprehensive immigration psychology evaluation provides evidence of mental and emotional conditions that may exist and how removal would exacerbate these conditions. The evaluation may cover the effect on children’s development, family dynamics, and mental health conditions like depression or anxiety.

Immigration Psychology is at the forefront of providing psychological evaluations for immigration purposes. Our providers are skilled in conducting thorough evaluations, focusing on the unique needs of each client. We understand the cancellation of removal process and the necessity of a professional and objective psychological evaluation.

Immigration Psychology offers complimentary consultations across 39 states. For your convenience, our evaluations can be conducted through a HIPAA-compliant secure video conference system.

Contact us via phone or email to address your specific needs. Here is how to contact us:


Phone: 877-297-5952 or 305-456-4147 or 407-690-7129