Under U.S. immigration laws, noncitizens with lawful status can face removal or deportation for a number of reasons. Immigrants facing the possibility of removal have the right to seek ways of securing their place in the country.
One avenue that might provide a ray of hope is exploring the impact of marital status on the possibility of obtaining a cancellation of removal.
Understanding cancellation of removal
Cancellation of removal is a legal remedy that allows certain residents to avoid deportation. To be eligible, you must meet specific criteria outlined by immigration laws:
- You have an immediate family member who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident who would suffer extreme hardship upon your removal
- You are a law-abiding resident with no criminal history
- You have been in the U.S. for at least the last ten years
Meeting at least one of these criteria and being an individual of good moral character will increase your eligibility for a cancellation of removal.
Marital status as a factor
Marital status can play a role in the eligibility for cancellation of removal. Being married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can potentially reduce the chances of deportation. The law acknowledges the importance of family unity and may take the marital relationship into consideration.
Establishing a genuine marriage
For marital status to be a compelling factor, the marriage must be genuine and not solely for the purpose of obtaining immigration benefits. The immigration authorities scrutinize the relationship to ensure it is legitimate. Demonstrating your joint financial responsibilities and shared living arrangements can strengthen your case.
Positive impact on hardship evaluation
Getting a cancellation of removal may require demonstrating extreme hardship to a qualifying relative. Marital status can impact this hardship evaluation, as the separation of spouses can be a significant hardship. Providing evidence of the emotional, financial and social ties within the marriage can strengthen the argument for cancellation.
While marital status alone may not guarantee a cancellation of removal, it can certainly be a significant factor in building a strong case. Even so, it is important to understand your specific circumstances and explore all potential avenues for relief if you are at risk of removal.