Cancellation of Removal/Deportation
Also Known as the 10 Year Law

What Is a Cancellation of Removal/Deportation?

Cancellation of Removal/Deportation is a limited form of relief for certain permanent residents and nonpermanent residents. It is available to certain nonpermanent residents who are in removal proceedings before an immigration judge, if the nonpermanent resident alien has been in the U.S. continuously for at least ten years, is of good moral character, and can establish that his or her removal would subject a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, who is an immediate family member, to exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. Upon review of the evidence, the Immigration Judge may cancel the removal proceedings and grant the alien permanent residence.

Permanent residents convicted of certain crimes and subsequently put into removal proceedings may also be eligible for Cancellation of Removal/Deportation, if they were present continuously in the U.S. as a legal permanent resident for 7 years and were not arrested and convicted of a crime within their first five years of residency.

Who is Eligible for Cancellation of Removal/Cancellation of Deportation?

A nonpermanent resident alien that can establish the following is eligible to apply for cancellation of removal/deportation:

  • Demonstrate that the alien has been in the U.S. for at least ten years
  • Is of good moral character has not been convicted of specified criminal offenses
  • Alien’s removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a spouse, parent or child who is a legal permanent resident or U.S. citizen.

Currently, an alien is only eligible to apply for Cancellation of Removal/Deportation once. Therefore if the cancellation is denied, or if the alien ever loses his residency, the alien cannot reapply at a later date.

What Is the Visa Duration Once Granted Legal Permanent Residency?

Once granted legal permanent residency, the alien maintains this status indefinitely so long as he/she does not violate the rules regarding permanent residency.


Once granted legal permanent residency, the alien maintains this status indefinitely so long as he/she does not violate the rules regarding permanent residency.

Family Benefits of Cancellation of Removal/Deportation?

The grant of residency extends only to the alien and generally any family member who is also independently eligible.

What Documentation Do I Need?

The following is a potential list of the types of documents that prove the alien’s time of residency and exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (others may apply as well)

  • Evidence that the alien has resided in the U.S. for at least ten years. These may include copies of tax filings.
  • Police reports from every jurisdiction the alien has resided in
  • School records of alien’s U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident child
  • Medical Records or evidence of physical ailments of the immediate relative that would establish “exceptional and extremely unusual” hardship (if applicable)
  • Therapy Records or Psychiatrist/Psychology Reports on effects of removal of family member on U.S. citizen or permanent resident (if available)
  • Evidence of Property or Assets in the U.S. belonging to the alien
  • Investment/Bank Statements of alien
  • Evidence of the alien’s home country conditions that may result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the qualifying relative

What Is the Process Like to Apply for Cancellation of Removal/Deportation?

The alien must be in removal proceedings to be eligible to apply for cancellation of removal/deportation. If the alien is not in removal proceedings but believes that they may be eligible for cancellation of removal, then the alien can request that the U.S. Immigration Service serve him or her with a Notice to Appear and then transfer the case to the Immigration Court.

Stage One:
Prepare and file form EOIR 42 B or EOIR 42 A, together with the U.S. Immigration Service filing fee, with the Immigration Court.

Stage Two:
Prepare alien’s testimony and appear at a Master Calendar Hearing and an Individual Hearing. At these hearings, the alien will present evidence in the form of documents, affidavits and testimony that will establish that the alien’s qualifying relatives will suffer exceptional and extremely unusual hardship if the alien is ordered removed. (Note that the burden of proof on the alien is extremely high).

Stage Three:
If the Immigration Judge determines that the alien has met his or her burden, the removal proceedings will be cancelled, resulting in the granting of legal permanent residence to the alien.

What are the USCIS Filing Fees?

Fees for form EOIR B (for illegal alien) or form EOIR A (for legal permanent resident)
(click here to verify the U.S. Immigration Service fees as these change regularly).

What are the Fees of our Boston Immigration lawyers?

Click here to learn more about our immigration legal fees.
Click here if you would like to come in for a free initial consultation with one of our immigration attorneys in Massachusetts.

Where Can I Get More Information?

Executive Office for Immigration Review

The USCIS on Immigration Benefits in EOIR Removal Proceedings (cancellation of removal/deportation)

Background and Security Checks on Individuals Seeking Relief or Protection from Removal

The Department of Justice regarding Cancellation of Removal/Deportation

Executive Office for ImmigrationReview; Motion to Reopen: Cancellation of Removal/Deportation

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