Enacted in 1996, the Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents (“COR”) law is more commonly known as the “ten year law”.

Date: May 11, 2010

Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Residents (“COR”) is also commonly known as the “ten year law”. In 1996, the United States Congress enacted this law to allow those people in the United States for ten years or more the opportunity to gain lawful permanent resident status (“green card”). COR cannot be filed with USCIS as an affirmative application. COR is only defensive which means that one can only apply for COR while in deportation or removal proceedings. While most people think that merely being present in the United States for ten years or more is, in itself, sufficient to obtain a green card, this could not be further from the truth. An alien presenting a case for COR has an extremely high burden to show before an Immigration Judge will grant their case.

First, an alien must attain the ten years of continuous physical presence before the initiation of removal or deportation proceedings. The issuance of a Notice to Appear, which is the immigration charging document placing an alien in removal proceedings, stops the accumulation of physical presence of the alien. Second, the alien applying for COR must be a person of good moral character during the ten years immediately preceding the application. Most arrests and convictions will disqualify an application for COR. Third, the applicant must demonstrate that his or her deportation will result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, parent or child, or as they are collectively commonly known as, “qualifying relatives”.

It is usually the third factor which is the most difficult to prove. Somewhere along the years, this standard has become defined and the requiring of a severe medical issue regarding the spouse, parent or child of the applicant. In most cases, the applicant will be required to show that his or her deportation will result in hardship due to a severe medical condition suffered by the qualifying relative.

Presenting an application for COR requires a package consisting of proof of continuous physical presence, good moral character, and the hardship to the qualifying relative. It is important to note that the mere testimony of the applicant regarding these factors is not enough. The documentary evidence package must be comprehensive and well organized. Properly tabbing and pagination of the package is necessary to allow the Immigration Judge to easily review the package both before and during the individual hearing.

Proper preparation of documents and testimony will go a long way to securing a favorable decision from the Immigration Judge and, just as important, convincing the Office of Chief Counsel that the case you are presenting is deserving of a grant.

Our New York immigration lawyers have the experience it takes to represent you in all immigration matters. Contact us now for a free in-house consultation.