Deportation/Removal - Relief, Waivers, Cancellation, Suspension, VAWA & Withholding

During the alien's removal hearing with the immigration judge, there are various forms of relief available to the alien. For example, the following relief from removal proceedings are available to certain aliens:

Cancellation of Removal (INA §240A(a)).

Cancellation of Removal terminates the removal proceedings and the alien will not be deported. This relief is available to an alien who:

a. Was a lawfully admitted as a permanent resident for at least five years
b. Has continuously lived in the United States for seven years since admission; and
c. Has not been convicted of an aggravated felony.

Adjustment of Status (§ 240A(b)(1)).

The Attorney General may cancel the removal proceedings and adjust the status of the alien to that of lawfully admitted for permanent residence if:

a. Has continuously lived in the United States for ten years since admission;
b. Has been a person of good moral character;
c. Has not been convicted of certain offenses; and
d. Whose removal would result in hardship to the alien's United States citizen or lawful permanent resident family member.

Waivers and Exceptions to Grounds for Deportation.

The law provides for various waivers and exceptions with respect to the grounds for removal. As such, even if the alien has committed one of the grounds for deportability, he or she may qualify for a waiver that will prevent deportation.


After an immigration judge issues an order of removal/deportation, the alien may appeal the removal order. In most instances, such an appeal will operate to stay the deportation, meaning that the alien will not be deported until the appeal is resolved.

Voluntary Departure - INA §240B.

The Attorney General may also permit an alien to voluntarily depart the United States at the alien's own expense, instead of being subjected to removal proceedings under INA §240. The benefits to voluntary departure are that it permits the alien to enter into an agreement to leave the United States on his or her own terms, to resolve family arrangements, to dispose of property, and to avoid the consequences of a formal order of removal. Additionally it saves the taxpayers money because they do not have to pay for the removal process.

VAWA (Violence Against Women Act).

Alien Spouses or Children who have been battered by United States citizens may also be eligible for relief from removal under INA §240A(b)(2).  Read More Info

Withholding Deportation For Asylum Claims - (8.C.F.R. §1003.14(b)).

Aliens at removal hearings can file applications for asylum with the immigration judge. Such applications will also be considered a request for withholding of removal, and a request for protection under the Covenant Against Torture ("CAT"). This may allow the alien to avoid deportation and remain in the United States.