Can I Get a Green Card If I Stay Undocumented For 10 Years?

A green card is a legal document that shows that its holder is a permanent resident of the United States and is able to freely enter and exit, live, and work in the country. Getting a green card is one way that an immigrant can work to become a citizen of the United States as well. There are only a few ways that someone is eligible for a green card, including having U.S. citizens as family members, refuge and asylum from their governments, needed employees in specialized fields, ethnic diversity, and special scenarios.

When Cancellation of Removal Applies

Those living in the United States for 10 years or more may obtain a green card through a Cancellation of Removal. A Cancellation of Removal is not mean status will be immediately granted when someone proves they have lived in the country, but rather, it involves a strict set of guidelines that must be followed.

In order to apply for a Cancellation of Removal, an undocumented immigrant must:

  • Be involved in Immigration Court proceedings
  • Have lived in the United States continuously for 10 years or more
  • Have a spouse, parent, or child that is already a citizen
  • Show that leaving would cause the family undue hardship
  • Maintain a clean criminal record
  • Show a good moral character

If all these requirements are met, a judge will choose whether or not to allow the undocumented immigrant to remain in the United States.

Going to Immigration Court for the sole purpose of obtaining a Cancellation of Removal can be a risky move. There is no guarantee that a judge will grant the request even if all of the requirements are met, and there is serious chance for deportation. The only way to ensure that someone can live and work in the country is with a valid immigration visa or green card.

Visit our Ohio offices if you or someone you know is living in the United States without proper documentation. We can help you find the best scenario for you situation and may be able to prevent your deportation.

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