Applying for a Green Card Has Become Easier

Recent rulings by the Supreme Court could make it easier to request a “cancellation of removal.” This may, in turn, make it easier to apply for a green card. Let’s examine what these terms mean and how the laws are changing.

Removal Proceedings

Removal proceedings, sometimes known as deportation, take place in a courtroom. First, you receive a Notice to Appear (NTA), which will detail when and where you should appear in court. This hearing is called a “master calendar” hearing. It is crucial that you obey your NTA. Master calendar hearings are courtroom cases. In that context, you can make a case for why you should be allowed to stay or apply for a green card. If you ignore your NTA and do not appear for your master calendar, you can be immediately removed from the country.

Of course, all deportation conversation ends if you choose a voluntary removal (VR). A VR allows you to leave of your own free will, saving the government the trouble of forcing you. This can preserve your dignity, and it can keep you in a more favorable legal standing if you try to return.

After your master calendar, you may be allowed a merits hearing. Here, you can present your case for why you should be allowed to stay or apply for a green card.

Potential reasons for being allowed a green card application are:

  • You are seeking asylum.
  • You have married a U.S. citizen.
  • You qualify for a cancellation of removal.

Cancellation of Removal

If you have been in the country and in good legal standing for at least ten years prior to your NTA, you may qualify for a cancellation of removal. During this process, you may be able to apply for a green card, keeping you in the country.

Recent Supreme Court Rulings

Prior to the recent ruling by the Supreme Court, local courts were able to issue incomplete NTAs. You could receive an NTA with unspecified, “to be determined,” details for the date or time of your hearing. With an incomplete NTA, you could wait months or even years before it was officially scheduled.

The problem with this practice lies in the timing of a cancellation of removal. Your 10-year stay in the country could be cut short by a hastily written NTA. Many immigration advocates suspect that courts have been rushing NTAs, attempting to catch immigrants before their 10-year tenure. Courts could, in theory, send out a mass of NTAs to immigrants across the country, justifying deportations.

The Supreme Court has ruled that incomplete NTAs are “defunct.” Defunct NTAs will not count against someone’s 10-year time accrual. Immigrants who have received defunct NTAs will be eligible to request a cancellation of removal. This action will keep courts accountable. No longer will they be able to send out incomplete NTAs, deporting as many immigrants as possible. If they do not plan their removal proceedings in advance, they cannot issue NTAs. This will help immigrants who are close to accruing their ten years. They may now be able to complete their time and apply for green cards.

If you are facing removal proceedings, talk to us today. We may be able to help you stay in the country. Our number is (888) 493-6529, and you can contact us online.

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