How to Apply for Cancellation of Removal


  1. Introduction
    • Importance of Cancellation of Removal
    • Who Can Apply
  2. Understanding Cancellation of Removal
    • Definition
    • Legal Background
  3. Eligibility Criteria
    • Permanent Residents
    • Non-Permanent Residents
  4. Key Requirements for Permanent Residents
    • Continuous Residence
    • Good Moral Character
    • No Aggravated Felonies
  5. Key Requirements for Non-Permanent Residents
    • Continuous Physical Presence
    • Hardship to Qualifying Relatives
    • Good Moral Character
  6. Application Process Overview
    • Initial Steps
    • Filing the Application
  7. Preparing Your Application
    • Necessary Forms
    • Supporting Documents
  8. Filing the Application
    • Where to File
    • Filing Fees
  9. After Filing Your Application
    • Receipt Notice
    • Biometrics Appointment
  10. Attending the Immigration Court Hearing
    • Preparing for the Hearing
    • What to Expect During the Hearing
  11. Possible Outcomes
    • Approval
    • Denial
    • Appeal Options
  12. Appealing a Denial
    • Grounds for Appeal
    • Appeal Process
  13. Tips for a Successful Application
    • Common Mistakes to Avoid
    • Legal Assistance
  14. Conclusion
    • Recap of Key Points
    • Encouragement to Seek Legal Advice
  15. FAQs
    • What is the processing time for Cancellation of Removal?
    • Can I work while my application is pending?
    • What happens if I miss my hearing?
    • Can I reapply if my application is denied?
    • How can a lawyer help with my application?



So, you’re facing deportation and wondering how to apply for cancellation of removal? It’s a daunting situation, but understanding the process can make it less overwhelming. Cancellation of removal can be a lifeline, offering a chance to stay in the United States legally. But who exactly can apply for it?

Understanding Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of removal is a form of relief that allows certain non-citizens to avoid deportation and gain lawful status. It’s essentially a second chance for those who meet specific criteria set by immigration laws.

Eligibility Criteria

There are two main categories of people who can apply for cancellation of removal: permanent residents and non-permanent residents. Each group has different requirements.

Key Requirements for Permanent Residents

For permanent residents (green card holders), the key requirements are:

  • Continuous Residence: You must have lived in the U.S. continuously for at least seven years.
  • Good Moral Character: You need to demonstrate good moral character during your time in the U.S.
  • No Aggravated Felonies: Certain criminal convictions, especially aggravated felonies, can disqualify you.

Key Requirements for Non-Permanent Residents

Non-permanent residents (those without a green card) must meet these criteria:

  • Continuous Physical Presence: You need to have been physically present in the U.S. for at least ten years.
  • Hardship to Qualifying Relatives: You must prove that your removal would cause exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent, or child.
  • Good Moral Character: Like permanent residents, you must show good moral character for the required period.

Application Process Overview

The application process for cancellation of removal involves several steps, starting with gathering your documents and filling out the necessary forms.

Preparing Your Application

Start by collecting all necessary forms and supporting documents. The primary form for cancellation of removal is Form EOIR-42A for permanent residents and Form EOIR-42B for non-permanent residents. You’ll also need documents proving your continuous residence, moral character, and the hardship to your relatives.

Filing the Application

You must file your application with the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). Be sure to include the appropriate filing fees and send your application to the correct address as specified in the instructions.

After Filing Your Application

Once you’ve filed your application, you will receive a receipt notice. You might also be scheduled for a biometrics appointment where your fingerprints will be taken.

Attending the Immigration Court Hearing

Prepare thoroughly for your immigration court hearing. This is your opportunity to present your case before an immigration judge. Expect to discuss your life in the U.S., your family ties, and any other relevant factors.

Possible Outcomes

There are a few possible outcomes:

  • Approval: You get to stay in the U.S. legally.
  • Denial: You may be ordered to leave the U.S.
  • Appeal Options: If denied, you can appeal the decision.

Appealing a Denial

If your application is denied, you can appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The appeal process involves filing a Notice of Appeal and submitting a brief that outlines the reasons for your appeal.

Tips for a Successful Application

To increase your chances of success:

  • Avoid common mistakes, such as incomplete forms or missing documents.
  • Consider seeking legal assistance to guide you through the process.


Applying for cancellation of removal is a complex but potentially life-changing process. By understanding the requirements and carefully preparing your application, you can improve your chances of success. Always consider consulting with an immigration attorney to navigate this challenging journey.


What is the processing time for Cancellation of Removal? The processing time can vary, but it generally takes several months to a few years, depending on the case backlog and complexity.

Can I work while my application is pending? Yes, you can apply for a work permit (Form I-765) while your cancellation of removal application is pending.

What happens if I miss my hearing? Missing your hearing can result in an automatic deportation order. Always attend your scheduled hearings.

Can I reapply if my application is denied? In some cases, yes. However, it’s crucial to understand why your application was denied and address those issues before reapplying.

How can a lawyer help with my application? A lawyer can provide valuable guidance, help you avoid mistakes, and represent you in court, significantly improving your chances of a successful outcome.