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Suspending Removal or Deportation for Extreme Hardship

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What is Removal / Deportation?

Removal / Deportation is the process where the United States government decides to forcibly transport someone living in the United States, without a proper visa or U.S. citizenship, back to their native country.

What is Suspending Removal / Deportation for Extreme Hardship?

In some cases a person can make a motion to suspend, or put aside, their removal / deportation on the grounds of extreme hardship or "exceptional and extremely unusual hardship."   Once the motion is made, the Attorney General will stop their deportation and allow for the application for permanent residency within the United States pursuant to 8 USCA § 1754(a).  

Immigrants who came the United States legally and illegally can usually make such motions.  Generally, these motions are can be brought up in any of the following instances:

  • Deportation hearings,
  • After a deportation order has been issued, or
  • During an administrative or judicial proceeding under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

When Can Removal / Deportation be Suspended for Extreme Hardship?

To qualify to suspend removal / deportation for extreme hardship, a person must have been living inside the United States for 7 to 10 years, be in "good moral character", and have some circumstance that leads to an extreme hardship.  Defining what circumstances lead to extreme hardship is very difficult to do.  Some past examples include:

  • Separation with family that will remain in the United States,
  • Emotional hardship associated with the deportation,
  • Being unable to obtain a visa to re-enter the United States at a future date, or
  • Terminating the ability to provide financial support for a family that will remain in the United States.

When Can Removal / Deportation not be Suspended?

Again, it is very difficult to define what is not an extreme hardship.  Some past examples include:

  • Economic impacts associated with the deportation,
  • Difficulty in readjusting to a native country,
  • Leaving a child with United States' citizenship behind,
  • No family ties will exist in the United States, and
  • When a child will be able to get adequate education in the native country.

Do I Need an Attorney to Suspend my Removal / Deportation for Extreme Hardship?

If you believe that your removal / deportation will cause you extreme hardship, it is strongly recommended that you contact an immigration or deportation attorney.  Only they will be able to explain the issues, determine if you are a candidate for suspending deportation, and help in any suspension.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 04-24-2018 01:37 AM PDT

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