To be eligible for this form of cancellation of removal, a foreign national must establish the following statutory requirements:

  • 10 years of physical presence in the United States immediately preceding the date of application
  • Good moral character during the 10-year period
  • No convictions of an offense under section 212(a)(2) [8 U.S.C 1182(a)(2)], section 237(a)(2) [8 U.S.C 1227(a)(2)], or section 237(a)(3) [8 U.S.C 1227(a)(3)] of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA")
  • Exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the foreign national's U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident ("LPR") spouse, parent, or child, if removed
  • Favorable factors making you discretionarily deserving of relief

10-Year Physical Presence

This form of cancellation of removal requires continuous physical presence in the U.S. for a period of not less than 10 years. The period terminates when an individual is served with a Notice to Appear placing him or her in removal proceedings, or when the individual commits an offense outlined in INA § 212(a)(2). The period of physical presence is also broken when an individual departs the U.S. for any period in excess of 90 days or for any period in the aggregate exceeding 180 days.

Good Moral Character 

A showing of good moral character during the 10-year physical presence period is required. The following are found to be individuals unable to show good moral character:

  • Habitual drunkards
  • Prostitutes or individuals involved in commercialized vice
  • Individuals who have been convicted of, or admitted the commission of, a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT)
  • Individuals with multiple criminal  convictions
  • individuals who have been convicted of, or admitted of commission of, crimes related to controlled substances
  • Controlled substance traffickers
  • Smugglers
  • Certain foreign nationals who have been previously removed
  • Individuals whose income is derived principally from illegal gambling, and individuals who have been convicted of two or more gambling offenses
  • Anyone who has given false testimony to obtain an immigration benefit
  • Anyone who has been confined to a penal institution for 180 days or more in the aggregate
  • Anyone convicted of an aggravated felony under INA § 101(a)(43)

Exceptional and Extremely Unusual Hardship

An individual must establish that his or her removal would result in "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship" to a U.S. citizen or LPR spouse, parent, or child. The Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") has held that while hardship to a qualifying relative must be "truly exceptional," the hardship(s) need not be "unconscionable." Moreover, the hardship standard is not so restrictive that only a handful of applicants, such as those who have a qualifying relative with a serious medical condition, will qualify for relief. Matter of Recinas, 23 I&N Dec. 467, 471 (BIA 2002). In making that determination, the Immigration Judge should consider the age, health, economic conditions in the country of return, and the possibility of other means of adjusting status in the U.S. Matter of Monreal, 23 I&N Dec. 56, 63 (BIA 2001). Generally, lower standards of living, while relevant, will be insufficient to support a finding of exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. Additionally, the BIA found that "as with extreme hardship, all hardship factors should be considered in the aggregate when assessing exceptional and extremely unusual hardship." Id. at 64.  

Favorable Exercise of Discretion 

In addition to meeting the statutory requirements, and individual must also establish they are deserving of a favorable exercise of discretion.