- have had green cards for five (5) years,
- have been living legally in the U.S. for seven (7) years, and
- have no convictions for an aggravated felony.
Non-permanent residents may qualify for cancellation of removal as well, though the requirements are far more stringent. However, victims of domestic violence may be able to avoid removal proceedings even if they do not meet all these requirements.
Note that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the government agency that determines whether to pursue removal against a particular immigrant. Depending on the situation, an immigration attorney may be able to convince ICE prosecutors not to bring removal proceedings to begin with.
Below our criminal and immigration attorneys discuss how removal proceedings can be halted in California.
- 1. How can permanent residents cancel removal in Los Angeles, CA?
- 2. How can non-permanent residents cancel removal in Los Angeles, CA?
- 3. Which courts handle “cancellation for removal” cases in California?
The Attorney General may agree to cancel a green card holder’s removal proceedings if he/she:
- has been a legal permanent resident for no less than five (5) years; and
- has lived in the U.S. for seven (7) years straight after having been admitted to the U.S.; and
- has not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
Note that what counts as an “aggravated felony” is not always clear. Depending on the case, an immigration attorney may be able to demonstrate that the immigrant’s prior convictions are not aggravated felonies.
Non-permanent residents such as visa-holders or even illegal aliens may qualify for cancellation of removal if the following four conditions are true:
- The alien has been physically on U.S. soil for at least ten (10) years; and
- The alien is of good moral character; and
- The alien has not been convicted of an offense under related sections described in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA); and
- The alien can demonstrate that removal would cause hardship to his/her spouse, parent, or child, who is a U.S. citizen or green card-holder.
However, victims of domestic violence may be able to have their removal proceedings halted without meeting these conditions:
Cancellation of removal through the Violence Against Women Act:
Non-citizens who are victims of domestic violence may be able to apply for cancellation of removal through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In order to qualify, the alien must show all of the following:
- he/she has been battered or suffered extreme cruelty by a spouse or parent who is or was a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and
- he/she has been on U.S. soil continually for no less than three (3) years; and
- he/she is of good moral character; and
- he/she is not inadmissible; and
- his/her removal would result in extreme hardship for his/herself, his/her child, or his/her parent.
Note that both male and female victims may seek relief through the “Violence Against Women Act.”
California has six immigration courts that have jurisdiction over removal proceedings. The court locations and phone numbers are:
Adelanto Immigration Court
10250 Rancho Road, Ste. 201A
Adelanto, CA 92301
Imperial Immigration Court
2409 La Brucherie Road
Imperial, CA 92251
Los Angeles Immigration Court
606 S. Olive Street, 15th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Otay Mesa Immigration Court
7488 Calzada de la Fuente
San Diego, CA 92154
San Diego Immigration Court
401 West “A” St., Ste. 800
San Diego, CA 92101
San Francisco Immigration Court
100 Montgomery St., Ste. 800
San Francisco, CA 94104
Need an immigration attorney in California?
Immigration law is extremely confusing, and any errors can have detrimental consequences. If you are facing removal from the U.S., phone our Los Angeles immigration attorneys for a free consultation today. We may be able to stop the removal proceedings and keep you on U.S. soil.
For non-citizens in Nevada, see our article on the cancellation of removal in Nevada.