Cancellation of removal is a way to become a legal permanent resident, or get a green card, even if you entered the U.S. without inspection or you have no legal immigration status. You can apply for cancellation of removal if you have been in the U.S. for ten years and you have been placed in ongoing deportation proceedings. If you haven’t been placed in deportation proceedings or you already have received a final order of deportation, cancellation of removal is not an option for you. Furthermore, the other requirements for cancellation of removal can be very difficult to fulfill; as a result, cancellation of removal for non-lawful permanent residents is limited to a very small group of immigrants. Cancellation of removal is a form of discretionary relief. This means that even if you do meet all of the stringent requirements of this type of relief, an immigration judge still could deny you relief. First, in order to qualify for cancellation of removal for a non-lawful permanent resident, you must have resided in the U.S. continuously for a period of ten years. You cannot be absent during this time period for more than 90 days during a single absence, or for more than a total of 180 days during multiple absences, or the court will not find that you have continuous residency. Next, you must be of good moral character and have no criminal convictions that would make you inadmissible or deportable. This generally means that you cannot have committed certain classes of crimes that involve what is referred to as “moral turpitude” or that constitute an “aggravated felony.” Serious crimes like sexual assault, rape, and murder clearly qualify as aggravated felonies. However, some less serious crimes also may qualify as aggravated felonies or crimes of moral turpitude. Finally, cancellation of removal for a non-lawful permanent resident requires that you prove that your removal from the U.S. would constitute an exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen spouse, child, or parent. This is an extraordinarily high standard to meet. Mere economic hardship to your family if you were removed from the country is not enough. You must prove that the hardship suffered by your family would be substantially worse than that which would result from a typical deportation. Legal representation is essential to fighting back against deportation charges brought by the federal government. The Oakland deportation defense attorneys of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. know how to help you through every step of your deportation proceedings. Take the first step today toward securing the future of your family in the United States, and call our office at (510) 756-4468 to set up a consultation with one of our highly skilled California immigration lawyers.