Foreign nationals may be subject to removal proceedings if they face charges of inadmissibility or charges of deportation. If an individual is facing any of these charges, they will be notified of this by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with a Notice to Appear (NTA) and/or a Notice of Hearing (NOH). Removal proceedings generally involve appearing in immigration court before an immigration judge.

However, it is possible to challenge the charges and/or seek relief from deportation or removal while you are in removal proceedings.

Types of Relief from Removal

If you are facing charges of deportation or removal, there may still be options available to you for relief. These forms of removal relief include obtaining legal status or protection, maintenance of legal status, or voluntary departure.

Adjustment of Status

If you are subject to removal proceedings but your immediate family member is a U.S. citizen, you may seek an adjustment of status as a defense to removal. Your U.S. citizen relative must file an immigrant visa petition with USCIS on your behalf. If the petition is approved, the application and all supporting evidence must be filed with the immigration court. You will not be removed from the United States if the immigration judge determines that you may adjust your status to lawful permanent resident.

Protection from Removal

There are several forms of protection for individuals who fear returning to their home countries. They are as follows:


If you fear returning to your home country due to the threat of persecution, you may be eligible to apply for asylum before the immigration court.

Withholding of Removal

This form of protection is available to individuals who are not eligible for asylum status but fear returning to their home country. You may live and work in the U.S. and may not be returned to the country where you fear harm.

Convention Against Torture (CAT)

If you do not qualify for asylum or withholding of removal but can demonstrate that you would be tortured by the government of your home country if you returned, you may be eligible for relief under CAT. However, you may still be subject to detention under CAT and may even still be removed, though to a safe third country instead of your home country.

Cancellation of Removal

An immigration judge may cancel your removal under certain conditions. You may qualify for Cancellation of Removal if you fall under a certain category and meet the requirements under that category. Cancellation of Removal may be an option for you if one of the following applies to you:

Lawful Permanent Residents

  • You have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years
  • You have resided continuously in the U.S. for seven years
  • You have not been convicted of a serious crime

Non-Lawful Permanent Residents

  • You are not a permanent resident but have an immediate family who is an LPR or U.S. citizen and your removal would cause them extreme hardship
  • You have resided continuously in the U.S. for 10 years
  • You have met the standards of “good moral character” during those 10 years

Victims of Domestic Violence

  • You are a noncitizen and you or your child is the victim of domestic violence by a U.S. citizen or LPR family member
  • You have lived in the U.S. for at least three years
  • You have met the standards of “good moral character” during those three years

Voluntary Departure

Voluntary departure is a preferable alternative to an order of removal. Voluntary departure will not have the negative impact on a future visa application that an order of removal will, should you be eligible to apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate in your home country. Removal orders also come with a bar from re-entry into the U.S., sometimes for up to 20 years. Voluntary departure will not carry this bar from re-entry, so you still may have opportunities for future immigration relief should you choose this option.

How We Can Help

If you have received a Notice to Appear (NTA) and/or a Notice of Hearing (NOH) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and are facing charges of inadmissibility or charges of deportation or removal, Youngblood & Associates can help you. We will carefully analyze allegations contained in the Notice to Appear, defend you through your hearing, and represent you in any next steps, such as an application for relief from removal.

Not sure what you need?

Call our office today at 931-274-7811 to schedule your consultation or complete a service inquiry form to get your process started today.

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