LPR Cancellation

With immigration enforcement on the rise, including among immigrants with long-standing ties to the United States, “cancellation of removal” is an increasingly important form of immigration relief. “Cancellation,” as it is known, can allow green card holders and undocumented individuals who have lived in the United States for many years and have strong ties to the country to remain in the United States and either obtain or retain lawful permanent resident status.

There are two forms of cancellation of removal: one for individuals who are not lawful permanent residents (often known as “green card holders”), and one for lawful permanent residents. Both forms of cancellation are available only to immigrants who have been placed in removal proceedings.

Applicants for LPR cancellation must be lawful permanent residents, must have lived in the U.S. for at least seven years, and must convince the immigration judge that they merit the opportunity to stay in the U.S. The immigration judge will consider factors such as the applicant’s ties to his or her local community, employment history in the U.S., hardship to the applicant and/or close family members in the U.S., and rehabilitation from any criminal activity. Applicants generally present extensive documentation in support of their cases. An immigration judge will conduct a hearing on an LPR cancellation case, at which both the applicant and various witnesses may offer testimony.


Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents

American Immigration Lawyers Association

An overview of cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents.


Trial Prep in Immigration Court: Direct and Cross Examination

American Immigration Lawyers Association

In this podcast expert removal defense practitioners Rekha Sharma-Crawford, Andrea Saenz, and Rebecca Sanchez-Roig discuss how to prepare your client and witnesses for direct and cross examination in removal proceedings, and how to handle issues that arise during testimony.


Webinar on LPR Cancellation of Removal

Immigrant Legal Resource Center

This webinar provides an overview of the legal requirements for cancellation of removal for Legal Permanent Residents (“LPRs”) (a.k.a., greencard holders). 

Practice Guides

Practitioner's Toolkit on Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents

Penn State Law and Pennslyvania Immigration Resource Center

Practice Guides

A Roadmap to Winning Your Case for "LPR Cancellation of Removal"

Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project

This guide, originally prepared for pro se respondents, goes over the basics of LPR cancellation, from preparing and submitting the application through to the removal hearing.

Case Law

Pereira v. Sessions, 585 U.S. __, 138 S. Ct. 2105 (2018)

In Pereira v. Sessions, the Supreme Court held that service of a charging document that does not list a time and place for removal proceedings does not cut off a noncitizen’s ability to accrue the time in the U.S. required to qualify for cancellation of removal.

Case Law

Matter of C-V-T-,22 I&N Dec. 7 (BIA 2013)

In Matter of C-V-T-, the BIA first laid out the eligibility standards for LPR cancellation of removal under INA § 240A(a).


Matter of Perez, 22 I&N Dec. 689 (BIA 1999)

In Matter of Perez, the BIA first explained the “stop-time rule” for LPR cancellation of removal, in which a criminal arrest can prevent a noncitizen from accruing seven years of continuous residency.


Matter of Rivas, 26 I&N Dec. 130 (BIA 2013)

In Matter of Rivas, the BIA held that a stand-alone 212(h) waiver, without an accompanying application for adjustment of status, is not available unless the Respondent is an arriving alien.


Matter of Camarillo, 25 I&N Dec. 644 (BIA 2011)

In Matter of Camarillo, the BIA explains the effect of the issuance of a Notice to Appear on the “stop-time rule” for LPR cancellation of removal.


Matter of J-H-J, 26 I&N 563 (BIA 2015)

In Matter of J-H-J-, the BIA held that LPRs who adjusted to LPR status while in the United States are not subject to the aggravated felony bar for a 212(h) waiver.


Matter of Abosi, 24 I&N Dec. 204 (BIA 2007)

In Matter of Abosi, the BIA clarified that returning LPRs who are charged with a crime-related ground of inadmissibility may apply for a “standalone” 212(h) waiver without an accompanying adjustment of status application.


Matter of Abdelghany, 26 I&N Dec. 204 (BIA 2014)

In Matter of Abdelghany, the BIA laid out the full standards for eligibility for a waiver under former INA § 212(c) for a criminal conviction before 1996.


Lanier v. U.S. Atty Gen., 631 F.3d 1363 (11th Cir. 2011)

In Lanier, the Eleventh Circuit held that relief under INA § 212(h) is available to waive an aggravated felony where the Respondent adjusted status within the United States rather than being admitted into the United States from abroad as a Lawful Permanent Resident. Significantly, however, the law may vary dramatically from circuit to circuit in immigration cases, so use this one helpful appellate opinion as a starting point for your research in your particular jurisdiction.

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Guided Learning

If you are new to this area, we suggest the following training sequence to learn about representing detained immigrants in their bond hearings.

1. Webinar on LPR Cancellation of Removal
This webinar provides an overview of the legal requirements for cancellation of removal for Legal Permanent Residents (“LPRs”) (a.k.a., greencard holders).

2. Cancellation of Removal for Lawful Permanent Residents
An overview of cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents.