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Texas Immigrants Seeking Cancellation of Removal Must Show Documentation Proving Continuous Presence in the United States

Immigration documentationThis is the next post in our series discussing what undocumented Texas immigrants need to know about applying for Cancellation of Removal. Our last article served as an overview of topics to come in this series and served to explain the basic criteria that must be met to apply. In this post we will explain what documentation an applicant should gather in order to demonstrate 10 years of continuous presence in the United States.

Texas immigrants bear the burden of proof when arguing they have maintained a continuous presence in the U.S.

The application for Cancellation of Removal will ask extremely personal questions. In order to qualify the applicant must show that their removal would be an undue hardship to family who are citizens or legal permanent residents. Applicants must also show that they have been living continuously in the United States for 10 years. Applicants will be asked the exact date they first entered the United States, the port of entry, and whether or not they entered with documentation. If you did not have documentation when you entered the country then you will be asked to explain. You will also be asked to document any instance in which you left the United States no matter how brief the trip.

You will be required to explain your financial situation. This includes your employment history, any real estate you may own, stocks, bonds or other assets you own, or a vehicle that is registered in your name. At the end of your application you will be asked to attach all supporting documents. These documents should include leases, bank statements, receipts, birth certificates, tax records, school records, employment records, and more. If you have specific documentation showing the exact day you entered into the United States then it is recommended that you include that in your application. Texas residents seeking to complete a cancellation application should contact a lawyer.

The “clock” stops once a Texas resident is served with a Notice to Appear in court

The law states that only those who have been continuously present in the United States for at least 10 years are eligible for ask for a Cancellation of Removal. For some people, the math may become tricky. “Continuous” means that you were living in the country and did not leave except for possibly very brief trips. A person who spent significant time in the United States, but was technically residing in another country before permanently moving, will likely have a difficult time counting that time. The exactly amount of time matters, as the “clock” stops once a person is served with a Notice to Appear. Once notice has been received, the applicant may only count the amount of time prior to their Notice date. If the amount of time is not at least 10 years, then it is likely that the application will be denied.

If you are not sure whether or not the time you have spent in the United States will be counted as “continuous” for ten years, it is important to consult with an immigration attorney. Contact our Austin lawyers today.

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