Removal proceedings are initiated by immigration officials to determine whether an individual should be allowed to remain in the United States, or be removed to their home country.

Individuals in removal proceedings may be eligible for various immigration benefits, which if granted, provide relief from removal, such as adjustment to permanent resident status, cancellation of removal, and certain waivers of inadmissibility. Eligible individuals may also seek asylum or withholding of removal, among other forms of protection relief.

Refugee & Asylum

Refugee status or asylum may be granted to persons who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion.

Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to persons who meet the definition of refugee and who are of special humanitarian concern to the United States. Refugees are generally people outside of their country who are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm.

You may seek a referral for refugee status only from outside of the United States.

Asylum status is a form of protection available to people who meet the definition of “refugee” and are already in the United States or are seeking admission at a port of entry.  You may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of your country of origin or your current immigration status.  One may obtain employment authorization 150 days after one has filed their application for asylum and their application is still pending.  Once a person is granted asylum, they may work immediately without the need to obtain an EAD, although it is advisable to obtain an EAD for convenience or identification purposes.

If you are granted asylum, you may bring your spouse and children.

Cancellation of Removal

Cancellation of Removal is a form of relief for certain permanent residents or non-permanent residents who are found to be inadmissible or deportable.  The Attorney General may cancel removal and, for nonpermanent residents, adjust status to that of a permanent resident.

One my qualify for Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents if one has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence for not less than five years; has resided in the United States continuously for seven years after having been admitted in any status; and have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.

Cancellation of Removal for Certain Nonpermanent Residents is available to aliens who have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of such application; have been a person of good moral character; have not been convicted of certain offenses; and can establish that removal would result  exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien’s spouse, parent, or child, who is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

Waivers of Inadmissibility

If you are inadmissible to the United States and are seeking an immigrant visa, adjustment of status, certain nonimmigrant statuses or certain other immigration benefits, you must seek a waiver of certain grounds of inadmissibility.  Waivers include: Waivers after Prior Removal; Waivers of Unlawful Presence; Waivers of Crimes more than 15 years old; Waivers of Crimes of Moral Turpitude; Waivers of Possession of Marijuana; and the Nonimmigrant Waiver.