212 (c) Relief

212 (c) Relief- Under former 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, aliens placed in removal proceedings because of criminal could seek a waiver of those convictions, and thereby avoid removal. The statutory eligibility for this waiver are (1) the alien must have at least 7 years relinquished residence in the United States (2) At least 5 years as a lawful permanent resident (3) and could not serve more than 5 years in prison after being finally convicted of an offense.

The alien be statutorily eligible and the immigration judge has to balance the positive factors versus the negative factors of the alien’s application so it is a discretionary waiver. This waiver is available to old conviction prior to April 1, 1997, even if it is an aggravated felony.

 Cancellation for Legal Permanent Residents- Cancellation may only be sought or granted by an IJ in a removal proceeding. Cancellation of removal for an LPR leaves the alien in the LPR status.The applicant for relief must establish that he/she has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence for at least five years as an alien with seven years of continuous residence in the U.S. “after having been admitted in any status” and has no conviction for an aggravated felony.

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