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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1754916179.jpgFor immigrants living in the United States, the threat of deportation is a significant concern. After a person has established a life for themselves and their family members in the U.S., being forced to leave the country is likely to cause significant hardship. Fortunately, those who are facing deportation may have options, and in some cases, a person may be able to apply for cancellation of removal. If a person meets certain requirements, deportation proceedings may be ended, and they will be allowed to remain in the United States.

Eligibility for Cancellation of Removal

The requirements for qualifying for cancellation of removal will differ depending on whether a person is a lawful permanent resident with a valid green card. A person may qualify for cancellation of removal if they have had lawful permanent resident status for at least five years, and they have accrued at least seven years of continuous residence in the United States. Lawful permanent residents may be disqualified from cancellation of removal if they have been convicted of an aggravated felony such as murder, sexual assault, drug trafficking, fraud involving at least $10,000, burglary, or bribery.

People who do not have lawful permanent resident status may qualify for cancellation of removal if they have resided in the United States continuously for at least 10 years, can demonstrate that they have good moral character, and have not been convicted of any crimes that would cause them to be deportable. In these cases, a person will need to show that their removal from the United States would cause extreme hardship to a close family member (their spouse, child, or parent) who is a U.S. citizen or has a valid green card. Non-permanent residents who receive a cancellation of removal may also qualify for an adjustment of status that will allow them to become lawful permanent residents.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1242234112.jpgThere are many situations where people living in the United States may want to sponsor their loved ones for family-based immigration. A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident with a valid Green Card may provide sponsorship for multiple different family members, including a spouse, children, parents, or siblings. However, when doing so, a person will need to meet certain requirements, including making a commitment to provide financial support for those who will be coming to the U.S. By understanding their obligations when sponsoring one or more family members for immigration, a person can avoid potential issues and ensure that they and their loved ones will be able to maintain financial success in the United States.

Filing an Affidavit of Support

When a person sponsors a family member for immigration, they will submit an application for the appropriate type of immigrant visa. Along with the visa application, the sponsor will usually be required to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864). This affidavit functions as a legally enforceable contract stating that they have the necessary financial resources to provide for the immigrant’s needs and that they accept responsibility for supporting their family member once they enter the United States.

To sponsor a family member for immigration, a person must be at least 18 years old, they must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and they must maintain a primary residence in the United States. A person must also meet certain income requirements. In general, a sponsor’s household income must be at least 125 percent of the poverty level in the United States for their household size, which includes the sponsor, their dependents, any other family members living in their home, and the immigrant or immigrants being sponsored. 

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IL immigration attorneyImmigrants who are hoping to live in the United States and those who are already present in the country may encounter a variety of issues that will affect their legal status and their ability to obtain the necessary visas or Green Cards. One issue that may arise during the immigration process involves inadmissibility, in which immigration officials determine that a person is not eligible to enter the U.S. Fortunately, this will not necessarily prevent a person from immigrating to the United States, and waivers of inadmissibility may be available in certain situations.

Applying for Waivers of Inadmissibility

While there are multiple reasons why a person may be inadmissible, waivers may be available if a person meets certain requirements. These requirements include:

  • Inadmissibility for health-related reasons - If a person is inadmissible because they have been diagnosed with an infectious disease such as gonorrhea, syphilis, or leprosy, they may qualify for a waiver if they are the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder or if they are applying for a visa under the Violence Against Women Act. A person who is inadmissible because they have not received required vaccinations may receive a waiver if they can provide evidence they are opposed to vaccinations because of sincerely-held religious beliefs. Those who are inadmissible due to physical or mental health disorders that are associated with harmful behavior may be able to receive a waiver if they can provide a complete medical history that includes findings about their current condition and details treatment that is available in the United States that is expected to reduce the likelihood of future harmful behavior.
  • Inadmissibility based on criminal convictions - Waivers may be available for those who are inadmissible due to crimes of moral turpitude, controlled substance violations, prostitution, or multiple criminal convictions that resulted in prison sentences of at least five years. In general, a waiver will be available if at least 15 years have passed since the criminal activity in question, although waivers may also be available in other situations.
  • Inadmissibility based on unlawful presence - A person who remained in the United States illegally for between six months and one year will be inadmissible for three years, while a person who was in the U.S. illegally for more than one year will be inadmissible for 10 years. However, these immigrants may qualify for waivers in some cases.

In many cases, a person may qualify for a waiver of inadmissibility if they can show that being denied admission to the United States would result in extreme hardship for an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder. A person who is not currently in the United States or who is applying for an adjustment of status may file Form I-601 to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. Those who are currently in the U.S. may file Form I-601A if they have already applied for an immigrant visa and would be inadmissible due to unlawful presence.

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IL immigration lawyerThere are many different types of issues that can affect a person’s legal status as an immigrant to the United States. People who have entered the U.S. on an immigrant or non-immigrant visa or who have received a Green Card through adjustment of status may face deportation based on a number of factors, including certain types of criminal convictions. An experienced immigration attorney can help immigrants understand the types of convictions that may cause a person to be deported and the options for addressing these issues.

What Types of Crimes Make a Person Deportable?

Immigration laws are meant to protect the health and safety of those who live in the United States, and immigrants who commit offenses that may cause harm to other people may be subject to deportation. Some offenses will automatically lead to deportation, while others may lead immigration officials to detain a person and initiate removal proceedings because they believe that a person presents a risk of harm to others.

Generally, deportation proceedings may address the following types of crimes:

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DuPage County immigration attorneyA recent decision by a Texas federal judge has dealt a blow to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the United States, which currently provides protection for hundreds of thousands of immigrants. With the judge’s ruling that the program is illegal, the program will no longer be accepting new applicants, and the status of those who are currently in the program could also come into question.

The DACA Program

In 2012, then-President Obama created the DACA program in order to provide a reprieve from deportation for undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children. Many of these Dreamers–a term frequently used to refer to those protected by DACA–are now adults. Since the program was created, more than 800,000 Dreamers have been accepted.

In 2018, then-President Donald Trump tried shutting down the program, but was barred from doing so by a number of legal actions. In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled that the Trump administration could not dissolve the program since it had failed to provide a sufficient justification to end the program.

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