I Hate Withholding of Removal. Here’s Why.

by Jason Dzubow on December 10, 2015

I was in court recently for an asylum case where the DHS attorney offered my clients Withholding of Removal as a “courtesy” in lieu of asylum. DHS did not believe that my clients were legally eligible for asylum, but made the offer in order to settle the case. I negotiated as best I could for asylum, and I think the DHS attorney listened carefully, but ultimately, he was unmoved. When the Immigration Judge (“IJ”) learned that DHS would agree to Withholding, he remarked that the offer was “generous,” which I took as a sign that he wanted us to accept it. In the end, my clients did not agree to Withholding of Removal, and so the IJ reserved decision. We shall see what happens.

So what is Withholding of Removal? Why did the IJ view an offer of Withholding as generous? And why did my clients refuse this offer?

Stop complaining - You're lucky we give you anything to eat at all.

Stop complaining – You’re lucky we give you anything to eat at all.

Withholding of Removal under INA § 241(b)(3) is a lesser form of relief than asylum. If a person has asylum, he can remain permanently in the U.S., obtain a travel document, petition to bring immediate relatives here, and become a lawful permanent resident and then a U.S. citizen.

A person with Withholding of Removal, on the other hand, has technically been ordered deported, but the deportation is “withheld” vis-à-vis the country of feared persecution. This means that the person cannot be deported to that country, but she could (theoretically) be deported to a third country. A person with Withholding of Removal is eligible for an employment authorization document (“EAD”), which must be renewed each year. However, unlike with asylum, she cannot leave the U.S. and return, she is not eligible to become a resident or citizen, and she cannot petition for family members. In addition, on occasion, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) attempts to deport the person to a third country. Normally, this consists of ICE ordering the person to apply to various countries for residency. This is essentially a futile exercise, and it usually involves hours of wasted time preparing applications and sitting around the ICE office. Maybe it is designed to intimidate the person into leaving, but at a minimum, it is another stressful hassle that the Withholding-of-Removal recipient must endure.

The bottom line for Withholding of Removal is that those who have it are never truly settled here. They risk losing their jobs and drivers’ licenses if their EAD renewal is delayed (which it often is). They cannot qualify for certain jobs or certain government benefits. They usually cannot get in-state tuition for school. They can never travel outside the U.S. to visit relatives or friends, even those who are gravely ill. They are here, but not really here.

For me, Withholding of Removal is more appropriate for some recipients than others: One reason a person gets Withholding instead of asylum is that he has criminal convictions that make him ineligible for asylum. In the case of a convicted criminal, it is easier to justify denying the benefit of asylum, even if we do not want to send the person back to a country where he could be persecuted.

In other cases, it is more difficult to justify Withholding. If a person fails to file for asylum within one year of his arrival in the United States, he generally becomes ineligible for asylum. He remains eligible for Withholding, but downgrading his status from asylum to Withholding because he failed to file on time seems a harsh consequence for a relatively minor infraction. Other people—like my clients mentioned above—might be ineligible for asylum because the government believes they were resettled in a third country before they came to the U.S. “Firm resettlement” is a legal construct and it does not necessarily mean that the person can live in the third country now (my clients cannot).

Despite the limitations of Withholding of Removal, many IJs (and DHS attorneys) seem to view it as a generous benefit, and they encourage asylum applicants to accept Withholding as a way to settle removal cases. They also tend to take a dim view of applicants who refuse an offer of Withholding: If the person is so afraid of persecution in the home country, why won’t she accept Withholding and avoid deportation to the place of feared persecution? I understand their perspective, but I think it fails to account for the very basic desire of people like my clients to make the U.S. their home. They don’t want to live forever unsettled and uncertain. Having escaped danger, they want to live somewhere where they can make a life for themselves and—more importantly—for their children. Withholding does not give them that.

Frankly, I think that most IJs and DHS attorneys underestimate the difficulty of living in the U.S. with Withholding of Removal. And these difficulties are not limited to practical problems related to jobs and driver’s licenses, attending and paying for school, and the indefinite separation from family members. For my clients at least, Withholding of Removal does not alleviate the stress of their situation. They have fled uncertainty only to find more uncertainty. Will they be deported to a third country? Will they lose their job if the EAD renewal is delayed? If their driver’s license expires and they must drive anyway, will they be arrested? Can their children afford college? If they buy property and invest in life here, will they ultimately lose it all? Such uncertainty would be bad enough for the average person, but we are talking here about people who have already had to flee their homelands. Asylum is a balm to this wound; Withholding of Removal, in many cases, is an aggravating factor.

Perhaps if IJs and DHS attorneys knew more about the consequences of Withholding of Removal, they would be more understanding of asylum applicants who are reluctant to accept that form of relief, and they would be more generous about interpreting the law to allow for a grant of asylum whenever possible.

{ 115 comments… read them below or add one }

Eli February 19, 2017 at 2:29 am

HI,
I was granted withholding of removal in 2007. The question i have for you is if i leave or deported how long must I wait before returning to the U.S.?

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:34 am

If you have withholding and you leave, it is considered a deportation, and you will be barred for at least 10 years from returning to the US. You may have other bars to returning as well, depending on your case, so it might be longer (or even a life-time bar). Before you leave, you might consider asking the Judge for Voluntary Departure. If you have this, it may eliminate the bar for you to return later. You probably would need a lawyer to help you with that process. Also, even if you have a bar to return, you may be able to return sooner with a waiver. Take care, Jason

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Freddy February 18, 2017 at 3:18 am

Hi Jason,
Thank you very much for your help,
my wife’ s lawyer just applied for her the with olding document , just wanted to know if she can be granted a asylum status and how long does take to be granted a witholding status.
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 7:04 am

I do not understand the question. There is no such thing as a “withholding document.” She can apply for asylum, withholding, and Torture Convention relief using form I-589. The length of the case varies depending on whether she is in the asylum office or in court, but in almost all cases, it is a process that takes at least a few years. Take care, Jason

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Hassan February 17, 2017 at 11:54 pm

Dear Jason

I got withhold removal status for one year time bar. Can I able to apply canada for asylum from usa.

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Jason Dzubow February 20, 2017 at 6:49 am

My guess is that you have to go to Canada to seek asylum there. You should talk to a lawyer in Canada before you try that, as there are restrictions on going from the US to Canada and then asking for asylum. We have seen people try that and then get deported from the Canada to the US, where they are detained by the US immigration authority. So you have to be careful and talk to a lawyer in Canada before you try it. Take care, Jason

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EDUARDO February 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Hello Jason!

I’m an asylum applicant currently under withholding of removal, and after the 150 days I applied to I-765 I–765 Application for Employment Authorization and everything was going well till my application got to the USCIS National Benefits Center or MSC. I called USCIS and they created a Service Request due to being Beyond Regulatory Time Frame i.e., beyond processing time. According with USCIS website – https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/ptAllFormsAverage.do – the actual average processing time for PENDING Asylum Applications for all USCIS offices is around 20 days. I already 50 days in, 29 of which for a SR in which an USCIS officer was assigned to the case for response.
The problem is I’ve been calling USCIS trying to reach a Tier 2 USCIS officer so that he may intervene with MSC on my case bcs it has not been resolved in a timely manner and I urgently need to start working because my bills are up to the roof man…but so far no call back, nothing.
So my question is: Should I file a complaint with the Office of Inspector General (OIG)?
Regards,
Eddie

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 7:25 am

We are seeing EADs take 2 to 4 months. I have not seen the cases take 20 days, and often the USCIS website is simply wrong about that. However, the rules changed last month, and now if you have your old EAD and your receipt, you are eligible to work for 180 days. I did a blog post about that on January 25, 2017 (with some links) and maybe that will help. Also, if you want to elevate the complaint, I recommend you contact the USCIS Ombudsman – a link is at right. I do not know whether the OIG would be of any help in this situation, but I suppose you can try that too. Take care, Jason

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EDUARDO February 17, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Hi Jason!

Just writing to thank you for your quick reply, as well as, your helpful & useful assistance. If by any chance you visit Los Angeles, we would be glad to meet you.
Your website, posts and replies really helps a lot of people, in particular in giving some hope when there isn’t any.

Best regards,

E

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Jason Dzubow February 17, 2017 at 6:02 pm

My pleasure – Thank you, Jason

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Zac February 15, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Hello Jason,

Based on your experience, what are the reasons for IJs reserving an oral decision in court and instead sending a written decision after an individual hearing? In February 2016, I had my MCH and was offered PD but my attorney declined and suggested we pursue asylum. My IH was scheduled for February 2017 and at the end the judge said he would mail the decision to my attorney. It’s been a little over a week and I’m so anxious… not knowing what his answers will be.

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Jason Dzubow February 15, 2017 at 11:31 pm

The decision can take months, so you must be patient. There are many reasons for reserving – maybe it is complicated case and the judge needs time to research it, maybe the judge wanted to leave at the end of your hearing to play golf, it could be anything. I think a case is no more likely to be granted or denied if it is sent by mail. Hopefully, you will receive a good decision soon. Take care, Jason

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HAIJ February 13, 2017 at 8:50 pm

Hi Jason,
Hope you are doing well.

My Asylum case has been referred by AO to an IJ and I chose to continue my Asylum case with the court during the Calendar Hearing, and my Merit Hearing is scheduled a year from now .
I’m trying to explore few options , and would like to get your opinion:
1- Can I switch to H1B without leaving the country if I got selected ?
2- Can I switch to GC based on an approved PERM?
3- Can I switch to TPS once I’m eligible to re apply?

Thanks in advance for all the great work you are doing.

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Jason Dzubow February 14, 2017 at 7:23 am

1 – I doubt it, but if you have that option, talk to the H1b lawyer to see whether there is a way. I do not know of a way to do that, but I also do not do H1b cases; 2 – Same answer as 1; 3 – I believe you can do this, assuming the TPS application period is open. If you have TPS, some judges will close your case, while other judges will allow you to present your case for asylum. Take care, Jason

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Natali February 13, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Hi, Jason. If I have withholding of removal and will win DV lottery, can I apply for green card inside Usa , without leaving. Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow February 14, 2017 at 7:17 am

Possibly, but it depends on many factors. If you win the DV lottery, at that point, you should hire a lawyer to help you try to get the green card. Take care, Jason

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Carline February 13, 2017 at 1:25 am

Hi Jason
I was granted withholding of removal since 2001 in 2010 after Haiti earthquake I was granted tps and went to my country to visit my sick mother and came back to U.S. with the humanitarian visa now with the new administration I’m scared I don’t know what to do I’m a single mother with 4 kids my oldest she’s 18 but I have 13, 8 and 2 years old I can’t sleep at night I’m scared what do you think I should do

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Jason Dzubow February 13, 2017 at 7:36 am

I do not think the Trump Administration will be targeting Haitians. Also, you are protected under law from being sent to Haiti, and I do not think the president will be able to change that. One issue may be your return trip to Haiti – if the US government concludes that you have no fear of return, they could try to take away your status. I would make sure you have evidence of the reason for your trip (mother’s medical records). Also, if your oldest child is a US citizen, that child can sponsor you for a green card once she is 21. You may or may not be eligible for this, and so I recommend you talk to a lawyer to see whether it is something you can pursue. Take care, Jason

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Carline February 13, 2017 at 11:41 am

Thank you so much

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Help February 5, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Hello Jason,
First let me say I also hate withholding removal. You were right in saying this status although allowing a person to live here you’re never really here. I have been living in the US since the age of 4 when my mother and I came here from Ethiopia. We were granted the status by a judge that I believed just wanted a speedy trial. Regardless I am now 21 and having this status has delayed everything in my life I thought I would do. Although my friends are now finishing up college, I have worked two jobs to put myself through community college (no financial aid) yet another advantage of my status, but I’m not bitter or anything. Although I am grateful to even be here especially during these more trouble times, it still kinda sucks. So my question for you is do you have any advice in anyway that could help me? I know marrying a citizen is an option, I just feel I’m to young for that and not desperate enough. Not yet at least.

Thanks for your Time

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2017 at 10:42 pm

Marrying is the most easy option from an immigration point of view (but not from a life point of view). You potentially could also be sponsored by another relative or a job, though both choices are tricky and would probably require you to leave the US and return, which may or may not be possible. You would need a lawyer for that. Also, it is probably too late, since you have been an adult for 3 years, but maybe you could try to file your own asylum case, or if the lawyer from your case when you were 4 was ineffective, you might be able to reopen on that basis. Frankly, these ideas are long shots, but if you have your case file, you can ask a lawyer to review it to see whether any of these ideas are possible. If you do not have your case file, you can file a form G-639, available at http://www.uscis.gov, to get a copy (though probably your mother would need to file this, since it was primarily her case). Take care, Jason

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Er February 4, 2017 at 9:35 am

Thank you very much for all you doing in this web site. I almost cry reading how too many people have my same fate with the “Withholding of Removal” relief, I never see before someone explain to clear this painful situation and as you said we never be “truly settled here” with this status.
God bless you

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Jason Dzubow February 5, 2017 at 11:26 pm

Thank you. I do hope you are able to find a way to obtain a better status here one day. Take care, Jason

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Aya February 1, 2017 at 11:57 pm

Hi Jason. Me and my boyfriend came to us in 2011 andby j1 visa.In 2012 ICE got our passports and we paid a bond.Since then we never had a hearing for 5 years.Recently in 2017 we had our first hearing with my attorney.And the judge told us to come in 2018 to individual hearing.We failed our 1 year asylum,beacause we were waiting for our hearing..I applied for asylum in 2016.Is there any chance I can get granted for asylum?Get approved?

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 12:10 am

I cannot answer that – there are exceptions to the one-year filing bar. Your attorney should discuss that with you. It is very important to try to find an exception to the bar; otherwise, you cannot get asylum. You can get lesser forms of relief, but these are not as good. It is not always possible to find an exception, but certainly, you (and your lawyer) should try. Take care, Jason

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Harry January 31, 2017 at 10:56 pm

Hi Jason,
First, I am thank you for taking time answers our questions.
Our family failed for Asylum then we went to Immigration Court. At court, we received the order from Immigration Judge with title:
“It is HEREBY Ordered that the case be administratively closed for the following reason: Upon joint request by both parties”….
My question is, this letter means we were granted withholding removal or not? I am not understand with “administratively closed” status.
When I summited this letter to renewing my driver license, DMV sent back to me with note: “Unknow status”. Also, I sent this letter for renewing my employment authorization, they asking me give them the “Order from the Immigration Judge or Board of Immigration Appeals granting you withholding of deportation or removal”.
Thanks.

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 7:10 am

This means that your case is still pending with the court, but that it is put on a shelf and you are not scheduled for a new court date. Maybe you never will be unless you or the government attorney put the case back on the court’s calendar. You should be able to continue renewing your EAD based on the pending asylum case. With this EAD, you should be able to get a license. If you cannot renew the EAD, something is wrong and you should find an attorney to help you review the case. Take care, Jason

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JeffW January 31, 2017 at 2:08 am

Hi Jason, I was granted a withholding status in 2003. A few years later I got married and at that time my wife had a H-1B visa. Years later she received her green card and is now in the process of applying her citizenship. My question is, is there anything that we can do right now to start the green card process for me while she’s applying for her citizenship? Or do I need to wait until she becomes a citizen first to start petitioning for me? We’re about to contact the lawyer who helped me in the past but I want to get your opinions as well.

Thank you much

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 12:07 am

If you entered the US with a visa and do not have a serious criminal conviction, you should be able to get your green card based on the marriage. To do that, she can file the I-130 marriage petition now, once it is approved, and once she is a US citizen, you will be eligible to reopen your court case and get the green card. The process can be tricky, and maybe you could reopen your court case even before she is a citizen, but that depends on the Judge. In any case, assuming you are eligible for the green card based on marriage, the lawyer can help you with the procedure, and it should work. Take care, Jason

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Marie Delgado January 30, 2017 at 5:29 pm

My husband’s case is the following.

He entered the United States illegally at the age of 21 ( he is now 33) He was granted withholding of removal. I married him four years ago and we have 2 little boys ( I am a US citizen ) Is there any chance he will be able to ever fix his documents and travel? His situation is stopping us from traveling and we would love to know if there is any hope. He came to this country in 2005, we married in 2013 and have a 3 year old & 5 year old. Please help!

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Jason Dzubow February 1, 2017 at 10:50 pm

You would need to talk to a lawyer about the specifics and get help, but the basic procedure is this: You file the I-130 (marriage petition) for him, it gets approved, he then files a “provisional waiver” (form I-601A), that gets approved, you re-open his withholding of removal case with the court, he takes voluntary departure, he leaves the US, he gets the “final approval” in some other country, he returns to the US with a green card (hopefully, he would only have to leave the US for a week or two). Assuming the “provisional waiver” program is not eliminated by Trump, this path may be an option for you, but it is not easy and you certainly need a lawyer to guide you. Perhaps there are other paths for him as well, but this is what I know about. Maybe if you sit down with a lawyer, you can come up with other ideas as well. Take care, Jason

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Marie Delgado February 2, 2017 at 11:23 am

Thank you Jason

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Gazmen January 27, 2017 at 6:10 pm

I’m here 2000 in 2004 Im with wold in rimo.what I have to do with now.

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Gazmen January 27, 2017 at 6:12 pm

Please Jason what’s your advice

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 10:06 pm

I do not understand the question, sorry, Jason

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Patrick Thomas January 27, 2017 at 1:12 pm

I have withholding of removal I was just wondering can I now be targeted by Trump’s deportation Force

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Jason Dzubow January 29, 2017 at 9:57 pm

Maybe, but you cannot legally be removed to the country of feared persecution, and unless there is another country where you have residency and can be deported to, you are probably safe from removal. The government could potentially detain you if they view you as a danger to the United States, but that is usually reserved for people with violent criminal convictions. At least that is how it has been prior to Trump. Take care, Jason

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Lia January 25, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Hi Jason, if an immigrant person with Withholding of Removal was to marry a Canadian citizen who lives and works in the U.S. on a temporary visa given by Canada, is it possible for the person with Withholding to safely become a Canadian citizen and come back to the U.S. to work with a temporary visa as well?

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Jason Dzubow January 26, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Maybe, but you may have some legal bars to returning to the US (related to overstaying a visa, entering illegally, or committing a crime, etc.), but otherwise, it may be possible. You will have to talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your situation. Take care, Jason

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Lia January 31, 2017 at 2:25 am

If it is possible, how long would the whole process take? (Until being able to work in the US with a temporary visa) And also, I have overstayed a visa, but that was only for 3 months and I was 8 years old, would that stop me from returning to the US?

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Jason Dzubow February 2, 2017 at 12:11 am

I do not know how long it would take. I doubt your overstay when you were 8 would have any affect. Take care, Jason

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Patricia January 22, 2017 at 11:57 pm

Hi Jason :
My husband and I have witholding of removal since 2001 , we
have three kids two born in our country, they came the six and 18 months , this is our home they don’t know more than here our third kid born here but is only 7 years, is any possibility to adjust our status ? Is almost have of our life’s here for my husband an me and for them all their life’s. Thank you!

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Jason Dzubow January 23, 2017 at 7:13 am

You could talk to a lawyer to see whether there are any options for you, but based on what you said about your children, I do not see how that would allow you to adjust status. When your oldest child reaches age 21, he/she can sponsor you for a green card, you can reopen your court case, and then get the green card (maybe – depending on your circumstances). There may be other options for you that I do not know about from your question, so you can talk to a lawyer to explore all the possibilities. Take care, Jason

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Juliana January 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Hi I have a quick question, so me, my sister, my dad, and my mom(now separated) have been living in the US for 19 years now. My dad came first, and later brought along us. We currently have the withholding of removal status and would like to know if theres any way we could possibly become citizens? I came here when I was only 6 months, so this is technically my home. We were granted with this status until the war in our country ended, however the war there has been going on for more than a decade. Our whole life is here, but our family is there. (Including some that me and my sister have never been able to meet). Now my concern is in the middle of my parents separation, my father did violate and injunction placed by my mother against him. He was in jail for about a week, but then was able to have the case dismissed and the charges against him dismissed as well. I would like to know what steps you recommend us take if we would like to become US citizens.

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Jason Dzubow January 17, 2017 at 7:41 am

I recommend you sit down with a lawyer and go over the specifics of your case. There may be paths for you to get status, but it is difficult to tell from your question. You might be eligible for a green card if you marry a US citizen, or you might be eligible to file for asylum in your on right (or file something called a nunc pro tunc asylum). You can talk to a lawyer about these possibilities and others. Also, there has been talk of an immigration reform under Trump, and maybe this could benefit you (if it happens). Take care, Jason

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Jorge January 11, 2017 at 10:37 am

Jason,
Good morning, my wife, my son and I have the withholding of removal since 2008. Do we have any chance or possibility to adjust our status?
Thank you!

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Jason Dzubow January 13, 2017 at 7:00 am

The most common way a person changes from Withholding to a green card is by marrying a US citizen, or by having a US-citizen child who is over 21 and who files for the person. Other than that, if country conditions change back home, maybe you could talk to a lawyer about re-opening your case. Perhaps, it is also possible to obtain a visa or green card through a job, but this would be complicated. In fact, the options are very limited. It may be worthwhile to sit down with a lawyer and go over your specific case. It has been over 8 years since you got Withholding, so maybe some things have changed and there is a path for you. Only a lawyer who knows all the facts can really advise you. Take care, Jason

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Jose January 13, 2017 at 8:23 am

Jason , I have withholding remove since 2007 do you think after 10 years can we get the green card?

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Jason Dzubow January 15, 2017 at 10:55 pm

There is no easy path to get a green card after 10 years of withholding of removal. The most common ways are to marry a US citizen or get sponsored by a US citizen child who is over 21 years old. Even then, it is complicated and depending on your case, it may not be possible. I recommend you talk to a lawyer to see whether these (or other) paths may be available to you. Take care, Jason

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Dino January 10, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Hi Jason my wife enters the USA in 2005 and she was engaged to someone else after a 7 months left him then we got married I’m USA citizen we have two American born kids they denied her I130 we went to court she had removal process they finicky desired to let her stay but no legal status she can’t leave the country for 12 years almost to go see her family what’s her status now what we should do. Thank you D

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Jason Dzubow January 12, 2017 at 7:39 am

Sorry – I can only answer questions about asylum here. I recommend you talk to a lawyer to go over the options. Take care, Jason

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Rana January 4, 2017 at 8:16 am

Hello Jason, I have withholding of removal status since 2002. I married a canadian citizen and I’m moving to Canada this year. I want to be able to visit my parents in the U.S, would I be barred from entering the u.s again or just deny entry? I know with deny entry i can apply for a waiver but i dont know about if they ever would let me back in as visitor uf im barred from entering the U.S

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Jason Dzubow January 8, 2017 at 7:39 am

My guess is that either you can get the waiver or once you are a citizen of Canada, it will be easier to return. One possibility would be to reopen your 2002 case and ask the Judge for “voluntary departure”. If they agreed to that, it would at least eliminate the deportation order against you, and so it might be easier to come back here (though there may be other bars against your return – I do not know). I recommend you talk to a lawyer in the US about this to see whether it is possible and whether it would help, but you would need to do this before you leave the USA. Take care, Jason

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Tia Richards December 28, 2016 at 7:24 am

My husband won his asylum withholding but he has yet been released it’s been over a month now why haven’t they released him yet do you have an idea

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Jason Dzubow December 28, 2016 at 10:35 pm

A person with Withholding of Removal may not be released if he is considered a danger to society or if DHS (the prosecutor) has appealed the case. Other than those reasons, I do not know why they might keep him detained. Hopefully, he has a lawyer and that person can give you more of an idea about the reason. Take care, Jason

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Mark john December 21, 2016 at 2:20 am

Dear Jason ,
I was granted asylum by IJ on October 26,2016 in san Diego . Last week i moved to NYC , the problem is my passport is with DHS attorney.i want it back after my case is closed .who should i contact ? ICE or USCIS ? CALIFORNIA office or NY office , i did an attempt to make an infopass and file form (return of original document ) but it failed as the officer told me your file isn’t here ! Should i try with ICE ?

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Jason Dzubow December 21, 2016 at 7:46 am

You should probably contact the DHS Attorney in San Diego. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called DHS Office of the Chief Counsel. It can be very difficult to get them to return your passport. If you cannot get it, you can apply for a Refugee Travel Document (form I-131, available at http://www.uscis.gov), which can often be used in lieu of a passport. Take care, Jason

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SELINA Baniya December 8, 2016 at 4:05 pm

Hey Jason,

I agree with you more than 100% on this, I know the pain of being in withholding of removal status, it is so true you mentioned above. I was granted withholding of removal by IJ in 2012. Ever since been renewing EAD/DL and have not traveled. I am married now and I have one child born in US. My husband recently got US citizenship and he is planning to file I-130 for me and once it is approved, as you mentioned in comments above, we will hire immigration attorney and file motion to reopen the case before we file I-485.

My question is, I am from NEPAL and USCIS has given Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of Nepalese citizen. I have applied for TPS and waiting for approval. Once TPS is approved will it be safe for me to travel out of US and come back safely by using TPS based advance parole ? I understand the fact that from my husband’s I-130 petition I am in the track to get the GC, based on my research and USCIS case backlog it will take little while to get it approve and just thinking to take advantage of TPS to travel abroad. Is it wise move to travel being in TPS or you suggest me to wait until I get travel permission from my husband petition?
Please advise ? Thank you so much.

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Jason Dzubow December 9, 2016 at 7:40 am

I am not sure – and I recommend that you be cautious about this. Maybe once you get TPS, you can try to reopen the case and then have proceedings terminated so that you no longer have a deport order. In fact, now that you have applied for TPS and you have a US citizen who is filing for you, you have two reason to reopen. Why not find a lawyer now and have the lawyer contact the DHS Attorney to try to reopen the case now? Maybe you can get things moving without waiting for an approved I-130 or an approved TPS. If you do get TPS and want to travel while you also have withholding (which is technically a deportation order that has been withheld as to Nepal), I highly recommend you talk to a lawyer who can research the issue for you, as you do not want to get stuck overseas – returning might be very difficult, even if you are married to a citizen. Take care, Jason

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Selina Baniya December 10, 2016 at 6:31 am

Thank you Jason for your reply. If I can reopen case before my TPS and I-130 approval, it would be perfect I will consult lawyer and will go from there. Appreciated!!

Thank you.

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Eli December 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm

What will happen if I decide to re-open my withholding status to apply for green card through marriage and fail. Will that affect my withholding status? Will I be able to keep the withholding? What are the main crimes that will affect the immigration status/process? How much will affect first time DUI(driving under the influence ) conviction ( misdemeanor charge)? I really appreciate your help. Eli

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Eli December 1, 2016 at 2:08 pm

Hi, I was granted withholding in 2007. I report every year in person to local ICE. The question I have for you is how often the ICE re-open the proceeding and seek to remove the withholding grant? For how long can I stay in the US with granted withholding status? I heard there are a lot people with the same status living in the US over 20 years. Thanks

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Jason Dzubow December 2, 2016 at 7:27 am

I have not seen them re-open such a case. As long as you do not commit a crime, I expect they will not do anything, and I also have heard of people keeping this status for many years. Take care, Jason

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Eli December 2, 2016 at 1:10 pm

What will happen if I decide to re-open my withholding status to apply for green card through marriage and fail. Will that affect my withholding status? Will I be able to keep the withholding? What are the main crimes that will affect the immigration status/process? How much will affect first time DUI(driving under the influence ) conviction ( misdemeanor charge)? I really appreciate your help. Eli

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Jason Dzubow December 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm

A DUI should not block you from getting a green card based on marriage to a US citizen. But you should talk to a lawyer about tat before you start the process. In any case, the first step is for the US citizen to file a petition for you (form I-130, available at http://www.uscis.gov). This will generally not be affected by criminal convictions – it is just an application to get the US government to recognize that the marriage is true. Once that is approved, you can reopen the court case and try to get your green card. Criminal convictions could affect this portion of the case. I recommend you talk to a lawyer before you begin this process in order to make sure you are ultimately eligible to get the green card. Take care, Jason

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Angel November 22, 2016 at 11:23 pm

Hi Jason, i was granted withholding of deportation in 2009, now I marry to a us citizen and we have two children together, we just applied form i-130 and get approved, so you think we now can apply form I-485 and I-485 supplement A

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Jason Dzubow November 23, 2016 at 7:35 am

It depends on your eligibility, but you would first need to reopen your court case. You should talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case to guide you through the process, as it is not so easy to do by yourself. Take care, Jason

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Davinder November 21, 2016 at 4:18 pm

I get withholding of removal in2016 so can I apply visa or asylum for Canada if I living in USA

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Jason Dzubow November 21, 2016 at 6:07 pm

I do not know. You should talk to a lawyer in Canada before you try that to see whether you might be eligible. Take care, Jason

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Suresh February 14, 2017 at 5:15 am

Davinderji koi jawab mila kitho? Pl update me
Thanks a lot

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Bekhzod November 19, 2016 at 11:49 pm

I got withholding of removal under CAT in 2011
I am legally married to US citizen from 2014
I also served 2 months for non agrivated felony on 2004
Can i have hope to get permanent status through my marriage?
Thank you

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Jason Dzubow November 20, 2016 at 11:39 am

Maybe, but this is a tricky path. I recommend that you talk to an immigration lawyer about the specifics of your case to see whether it is worth starting the process. Take care, Jason

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Adam November 19, 2016 at 10:52 am

Dear Jason,

I’m asylum applicant, my case referred to the immigration court, the master hearing so far – year from now . My concerns there is any way to requestet or expiration the master hearing to an earlier date?

God bless you

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Jason Dzubow November 20, 2016 at 11:29 am

You (or better yet, your lawyer) can file a motion to advance the Master Calendar Hearing. You can also file a motion to do a written Master Calendar Hearing and then schedule a final hearing. You should have a lawyer to help you in court, and the lawyer can advise you about all this (it works better with some judges than others). Take care, Jason

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Ed November 18, 2016 at 1:52 am

Would there be a benefit for withholding for a former LPR from Vietnam in the US since 1980s, guilty of an aggravated felony and with a final order of deportation from 2005, but who cannot foreseeably be removed? Is work authorization all that can be realized in either case? Is there a good resource that explains the evidence needed to support a I-765 in this type of case? Thanks!

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Jason Dzubow November 18, 2016 at 5:39 pm

I am not sure how you could get from a deport order to withholding. If you could, it is a more stable status, as you can currently be deported if the government of Vietnam agrees to take you (at least, this is what I gather from your question). As for the I-765 resource, I do not know of one, but the instructions to the form and the USCIS webpage are pretty good in this regard. Take care, Jason

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sumbal November 16, 2016 at 7:14 pm

Hi jason
i was granted withholding in 2015 i applied for appeal that was denied also , now i don’t have any other choice , if down the road i get married to a citizen guy can i change my status even though i have a hold on my deportation?(with holding)
thank you

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Jason Dzubow November 17, 2016 at 7:11 am

Maybe – If you entered the US lawfully and you have no criminal convictions, you should be able to do that. But if it happens, you should talk to a lawyer to be sure, and to get guidance through the process. Take care, Jason

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Ali November 14, 2016 at 4:05 am

Hi Jason I was granted withholding of removl 2011 how to get my EAD and my bound refund

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Jason Dzubow November 14, 2016 at 7:27 am

You apply for the EAD using form I-765, available at http://www.uscis.gov. You have to look for the category for withholding of removal. As for the bond refund, I am not sure about that, since technically, you have a deportation order. You should go to the local ICE office (whoever issued the bond) and ask them. If you cannot find them, you might try calling the DHS Office of the Chief Counsel for your region (there is a link at right), and ask for the duty attorney. Maybe that person can help you. Take care, Jason

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Ali November 15, 2016 at 5:16 am

Thank you so much Mr Jason did you think ice make refund the bond because my case closed and what abut question 16 on EAD and how I know my category

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Jason Dzubow November 15, 2016 at 7:36 am

If you look at the list of filing address, you should be able to find your category. It is also in the instructions. As for the bond, I am not sure, but I think you should try to get it since your case is resolved. Good luck, Jason

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Ali November 16, 2016 at 3:15 am

Thank you for your help

Julie November 11, 2016 at 10:55 pm

I came to the US 2002 with my husband and son,with DV lottery,he left voluntary b/cos he was accuse of commiting a crimes. Ice came after me even though I did not do anything except been married to my husband, the judge grant me and my son withholding of remover without explaining what it is to me. I have 3 US children
How can I appeal my case based on the facts that I was not inform by my lawyer or the judge. And how long will my husband stay outside the US for voluntary departure
Julie

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Jason Dzubow November 13, 2016 at 10:39 pm

You have 30 days to appeal. If your lawyer failed to inform you about withholding of removal, it may be considered ineffective assistance, and maybe this is a basis to reopen your case. However, the sooner you do that, the better. I recommend you talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case to see whether there is anything that can be done. As for your husband, I do not know whether he can return here at all – it probably depends on his convictions or any immigration violations. Take care, Jason

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max November 9, 2016 at 11:43 pm

hi Jason
I got withholding of removal in 2007 and up until today still got it
I have no criminal background and has renew my EAD and drivers license every year no problems at all
do you know if there is a change in the law that we can ask for relief and try to become a normal resident in this country?
txs
max

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Jason Dzubow November 10, 2016 at 6:25 pm

There is no change in the law that I know of. If you marry a US citizen, or if you have a US citizen child who is over 21 years old, and you are otherwise eligible, that might provide a path for you to get a green card, but you would need to talk about the specifics of the case with a lawyer to make sure you can do it. Take care, Jason

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Vidal November 9, 2016 at 10:48 am

I was granted withholding of removal in this years, can you tell me more abort that please?
Also I already have a EAD, what can I do/ just renew it or what?

Thank

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Jason Dzubow November 9, 2016 at 5:56 pm

I discuss that in the article above. You renew the EAD using form I-765, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Alena October 28, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Hello Jason,

My asylum case, have been refered to the immigration judge.
My lawyer offer me to request NTA termination. Please, can you tell me the advantages and disacabges of this request? Is good idea to move foray with this procedure, and how long it gonna take to hear the final decision of this request.

God bless you

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Jason Dzubow October 31, 2016 at 4:23 pm

It is often not possible to get the NTA terminated – this means that your removal/deportation case is dismissed. The most common way to do this is through PD or prosecutorial discretion, where the government attorney chooses to stop trying to deport you. Whether this is good for you or not, I do not know. In general, it is not great. It is far better to win the asylum case or find some other permanent solution. PD is temporary and can be taken away at any time. On the other hand, sometimes it is the best choice. Your attorney should be explaining all this to you before you have to make a decision. If the attorney is not doing that, you should find a new attorney. Take care, Jason

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Jim October 31, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Dear Jason,

Thank you for your help, I totally understand your expert answer. But my attorney mentioned that he suggest to file NTA termination, and return my case to the Asylum office for reconsideration since he believe I have very strong case, is that good move or bad.

Please, tell me your suggestions.

Thanks !!

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Jason Dzubow November 1, 2016 at 6:22 am

Maybe he is asking the Asylum Office to reconsider the decision. This usually does not work, but sometimes it does. There is no harm in trying. I do not know another way that he would terminate the NTA, aside from this and what I mentioned before. Take care, Jason

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Inna October 21, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Hello Jason,

I’m asylumist, my case was referred to the immigration court. Now I’m going to another state for school. I’m planing to leave my relative address just to avoiding my case transfer to the new state. My question is could I keep my relative address for the court, and get new driver license from the state that I’m suppose to study there only for a year or I have to keep the driver license address same as the court address.

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow October 23, 2016 at 10:02 pm

It would be better if you can get a driver’s license from the state where you are keeping your address. Often, this is allowed for students. Maybe ask the school to see whether they can advise you about this. Take care, Jason

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Jim October 20, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Hi jason,

My asylum case was referred to the Immigration judge, my individule hearing schedule in 2019, I filled my asylum case in 2011, I have been renew my EDA ever year. I am moving to another states do you think this might affect me when I want to renew my EDA ? OR it should be okay. Because I heard that the clock will stop when I move to another state.

Thank

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Jason Dzubow October 20, 2016 at 10:06 pm

Moving will not affect the EAD. Once you get the first EAD, there is no issue with moving. However, if you move, you have to change your address with the court (using form EOIR-33) and this could cause your case to move to a new court (which could be even slower, or maybe, it will be faster). If you have a court case, you should find a lawyer to help you. Take care, Jason

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awet October 16, 2016 at 4:01 am

thanks for the opportunity,
I arrived to USA illegally via transit, I seek asylum 16 years ago, first denied but returned by BIA to the IJ after appeal, she offered withholding of removal , I accepted it as I had credential fear and was struggling with PTSD. still it is a nightmare for me why IJ denies my asylum case with multiple evidences. Moving forward I am blessed thanks to the blessed nation I am safe and living. Regarding the difficulty of the status you clearly explained it all. I stepped up saved money , I paid my tuition with out any financial aid and become an RN currently working at the hospital. I and my wife have 2 kids born here in USA , she will become a citizen soon. how could I adjust my status. there is no way I can leave the country the regime who I fear is still in power. my passport expired long time ago where I am unable to renew it. How about my kids? how about my professional license? my home? my family are almost totally dependable on my financial income?
thanks

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Jason Dzubow October 17, 2016 at 6:32 am

If you entered the US before December 2000, and someone filed an immigration or employment petition for you before April 30, 2001, then you may be eligible to get your green card based on marriage to a US citizen without leaving the US (under a section of the immigration law called INA 245(i)). Other than that, I think you would have to leave the US. You do not necessarily have to go to your home country, but you do need some type of passport to travel. This would require you to reopen your Withholding case. Another choice – which would require the cooperation of the ICE attorney (the prosecutor) – would be to reopen your case, terminate your case, and then file a new case against you in immigration court, and then you could apply for something called Cancellation of Removal. In other words, there may be some possibilities for you, but they are tricky and depend on your particular situation. You need to sit down with a lawyer and go over the options. To be honest, except for 245(i), all of these options are difficult or impossible. Nevertheless, it may be worth talking to a lawyer to see whether any can be done. Good luck, Jason

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Suzan October 11, 2016 at 8:17 pm

Hello Jason,

My asylum case in the immigration court after referring by the officer I am about to relocate to another state because of my study. My question is its okay just to change the adress without transferring my case to the new state immigration court,. Do you think the court automatically will transfer my case after I change my adress or its up to me if I want to transfer the case or leave it and appear for the hearing !

God bless you

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow October 13, 2016 at 6:22 am

Each court does this differently. Sometimes, if you file a change of address, the case is automatically moved. Other times, they do not pay attention to this and then, when you come for the final hearing, they move your case (causing much more delay). If you are only moving for school, and you are keeping your permanent address the same, maybe you can avoid filing a change of address? If you have a lawyer, talk to the lawyer about what to do. If you do not have a lawyer, you should find one, as it is much more difficult to win in court without a lawyer. Take care, Jason

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Loma October 4, 2016 at 4:29 am

Hi Jason

My asylum case referred to the immigration court. It is possible for me to apply to DV lottery from inside USA, will this affect my asylum case. Please any advise.

God Bless you !

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Jason Dzubow October 4, 2016 at 6:38 am

You can apply, but even if you win, you may not be able to take advantage of it – that would require you to leave the US and go to the US Embassy to get your DV green card. Maybe this is possible, but I do not know, and it is normally not possible. Maybe you could also get your green card without leaving, but I also doubt that. Since it is free to apply, why not apply, and if you win, you will need to talk to a lawyer to see whether there is a path for you to actually get the green card. Take care, Jason

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Mery October 2, 2016 at 9:38 pm

Hi Jason:
I Applied for a L1 Visa. After 3 years it was denied. Can I Apply for witholding of removal?

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Jason Dzubow October 4, 2016 at 6:18 am

If you fear return to your country, and face persecution there, you can get Withholding of Removal. Normally, though, you apply for asylum and withholding (and Torture Convention). Asylum is better, for the reasons discussed above, but if you do not qualify for asylum, withholding is better than nothing. Take care, Jason

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Lina September 29, 2016 at 1:44 am

Hi Jason,

In 2012 I was granted with withholding of removal by the immigration judge. Last year I married from US citizen person. My question could I apply for permanent resident through him, what is the estimate time probably to reopen the case. Also, I do not have any criminal and I entered the Us legally.

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow September 29, 2016 at 6:33 am

Based on what you said, you should be able to do it. There is no estimate of the time frame, as it varies widely. I highly recommend you use a lawyer to help you, as the process can be tricky and it involves communicating with different government agencies. Take care, Jason

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Min September 25, 2016 at 8:46 am

Dear Jason,

I was granted withholding of removal by Judge’s order in 2008. My appeal to BIA was dismissed in 2009. I left the US in 2013. Before I left the US, I had no criminal or felony charges and legally lived there. Now I and my girlfriend who is a US citizen have decided to get married in 2016. Do you think that I may be barred to enter into the US again as a spouse? Or do I need any waiver before filing any papers to attain a marriage visa?
Thank you for your time.

Regards,
Min

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Jason Dzubow September 26, 2016 at 6:20 am

The withholding of removal order is the same as a removal (or deportation) order. I believe people who are ordered removed have a 5 year bar and I think that runs from when you left the US. But these are questions I am not sure about. Also, assuming you are barred only for the removal order, you may be eligible for a waiver, perhaps under INA section 212(i). That is a long way of telling you, “maybe.” I think if you want to return based on the marriage, you will need to hire a lawyer to research these questions and find the definitive answer, and then you can move forward accordingly. Good luck, Jason

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Min September 29, 2016 at 10:24 pm

Thanks for your reply, Mr. Jason.

I would like to know whether I should apply waiver first before I apply for marriage visa? Do you know how long the waiver will take to let me know that I can enter into USA again?

Thanks again.

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Jason Dzubow September 30, 2016 at 6:36 am

You may be able to apply for the waiver first, but I am not sure, as I am not familiar with your case. I think you would benefit greatly from consulting with a lawyer to go over the specifics of the case. Take care, Jason

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lizzy September 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm

Please can someone ordered withholding on removal file for green card through his son who is an LPR, or wait till his 19yrs old son citizen, turns 21yrs before he can adjust its status?

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Jason Dzubow September 23, 2016 at 4:50 pm

An LPR son cannot file for a parent; only a US citizen can do that, and he must be 21 to file for a parent. Whether you are qualified for your green card, I do not know. Before you start the process, you should talk to a lawyer to be sure you can get the green card. Take care, Jason

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Pavel September 22, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Hi Jason,
I was granted withholding(reason: 1year limit failure ) in 2015 and decided to move to Canada where I applied for asylum again and already received refugee status. My final withholding announcement hearing was scheduled for 2018 in the USA. Now I am thinking to get a tourist visa to the USA – do you know if I am inadmissible because I left the USA while still in procedure?

Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow September 23, 2016 at 6:01 am

You can call 1-800-898-7180 and enter your Alien number (it is a computer system, not a person). Then you can learn whether you have an order of removal. If you do, you probably at least have a 5-year bar to return. If your case is still pending, you might want to hire a lawyer in the US to go to court for you and ask for “Voluntary Departure”. Depending on the Judge, it may be possible to get that, and it could help you avoid the removal order and the bar to returning (though you may have other bars to returning; I do not know). If you do have a bar, you can request a waiver to allow you to return. There are different types of waivers, but if you are coming as a non-immigrant, look at INA 212(d)(3), which is the section of the law that applies to such waivers. Take care, Jason

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