North Carolina Immigration Attorneys

Living in the United States Does Not Equal Citizenship

There is a common misconception that an undocumented immigrant in the United States can get a green card if they show they have been here for 10 years or more. While this is not necessarily false, it is not true either. The only way that the 10 year residency rule would apply is if the person applies for a Cancellation of Removal in Immigration Court.

How does a Cancellation of Removal affect deportation?

Those that live and work in the United States must be citizens, permanent residents, or in the country on a visa or face a forcible removal by deportation. If someone is caught undocumented in the United States, they will be given a trial to determine whether or not they should be deported. Deportation will remove them from the country and punish them with fines and jail time if they ever return.

If a person is facing deportation, a Cancellation of Removal may apply and grant them permission to stay in the country. However, this requires that a person both prove the strict standards necessary and be granted subjective approval by the judge on their case.

For a Cancellation of Removal, the following must be present:

  • Current involvement in an Immigration Court Hearing
  • Living and working in the United States for 10 continuous years
  • American citizenship of a parent, child, or spouse
  • Reliance of the family on this person's presence in the country
  • Good moral character and clean criminal record

If all of these requirements are met, it is up to the judge to decide whether or not to grant the green card to the person in question. The judge is not required to grant a Cancellation of Removal, and will only do so if evidence is presented. If the judge denies the request, the individual will be deported.

Our firm is here to protect immigrants to the United States. If you or someone you know has been living in the United States without documentation, it is not too late! Working with us can help ensure that you do not face being removed from your life in the United States. Give us a call!