Adjustment of Status
In some cases, a person who is facing deportation may be able to adjust his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident based on a family relationship or on another basis.
Cancellation of Removal
In certain situations, both lawful permanent residents and others may have their removal/deportation “cancelled.” Typically, these cases require applicants to prove that they have good moral character, have continuously resided in the United States for a certain period of time, and that their removal would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to their U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse, parent, or (in some cases), minor child.
Often, people who find themselves in removal/deportation proceedings qualify for waivers. There are waivers of unlawful presence and waivers of certain criminal matters, among others.
Relief for Victims of Abuse and Certain Crimes
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) also provides an avenue of relief for people who have been victims of violence or abuse committed by certain relatives. Among other things, the VAWA applicant must show that he or she has been the victim of battery or extreme cruelty, and that he or she has good moral character.
Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Relief under UN Convention against Torture
People who are fleeing persecution in their home countries may have a basis for relief in Immigration Court. Typically, these types of cases require an applicant to prove that he/she is afraid of being harmed if he/she returns to their home country because of some statutory reason (for example, because of the person’s race, religion, or membership in a social group).
In some cases, voluntary departure may the best, or perhaps the only option for an individual who is in removal/deportation proceedings. A person who accepts voluntary departure is not being deported. This has two major benefits. First, it allows the person to leave on his/her own schedule, within the period of time that the immigration judge has set (typically 120 days). Second, if the person leaves in a timely way, he/she will not be deemed “deported,” and may have more options to return to the U.S. in the future.