Immigrants living in the United States may be forced to defend themselves against deportation for a variety of reasons. They may be accused of overstaying their visa, committing a serious crime while having permanent residency status or never having earned legal immigrant status.

No matter what your immigration status is, if you are facing potential removal from the United States, it is crucial to understand what options are available to you.

Top defenses against deportation

Whether you are undocumented or have permanent residency status, there are many legal defenses available for combatting deportation proceedings. Some of the legal arguments available are:

  • Applying for cancellation of removal: If you have permanent resident status and have lived in the U.S. for at least seven years, you may be able to cancel the deportation process. If you are not a legal resident, you must have lived in the U.S. for ten years to qualify. Lastly, this defense might be useful if you have an immediate family member in the U.S., who is a lawful citizen.
  • Obtaining a green card: Changing your resident status is another way of avoiding deportation. However, you must be eligible to earn this residency status. Immediate relatives or members of your family who qualify as preference immigrants can sponsor and help you receive a green card.
  • Requesting asylum: If you have reason to fear returning to your home country, asylum might be an option. You must be facing persecution based on your political opinions, race or religion for the court to grant you asylum.

To maintain living in the United States, it is important to understand the requirements for each of these legal defenses. Selecting the correct argument with the help of an attorney can increase your chances of avoiding deportation.

Immigration laws can be complicated and difficult to understand. If you do not have expertise on the subject, many things can be easily forgotten or missed. It may be in your best interest to speak with an immigration attorney. Your attorney will review your case and understand the options that are available.