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.

{ 124 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc May 24, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Hi Jackson,
I have been leaving in the U.S for while. I was granted WOR in 2012 by an immigration Judge while I granted WOR I was under Temporary Protect Status (TPS). In 2015, I applied for was travel document from USCIS which granted under my Temporary Protected Status then I traveled back to my home country to my Father funeral. Can I still have my WOR? Could get a travel document base on WOR and what could I do to adjust my status to green card.

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Marc May 24, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Hi Jackson,
I have been leaving in the U.S. I was granted WOR in 2012 by an immigration Judge while I granted WOR I was under Temporary Protect Status (TPS). In 2015, I applied for was travel document from USCIS which granted under my Temporary Protected Status then I traveled back to my home country to my Father funeral. Can still have my WOR and what could I do to adjust my status to green card.

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DAni May 16, 2017 at 5:19 pm

I did not know that WOR is a deportation order. When I filled out my paperwork for my green card I said my status is withholding of removal and I provided the paper work I also said I have never been deported because well I didn’t think I was since I have never been removed form this country. Fast forward to now I am a us citizen and I never opened my caSe up from the WOR. Now I am afraid I can be denaturalized due to falsification of paperwork but I just had no idea that I was considered deported by paperwork. My parents green card got denied and I have to open their case I am just very scared this could hurt me.

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Jason Dzubow May 18, 2017 at 9:19 am

I think you are fine. If you said on a form that you had WOR but that you were never deported, you have not really misrepresented anything – you told them that you had WOR, so – in effect – you told them that you were ordered deported and that the deportation was withheld. Plus, as a US citizen, you have a lot of protection and it is very difficult to denaturalize someone. Really, I think that only would happen if you were a criminal or a terrorist. So you should be fine. Take care, Jason

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Arlene May 16, 2017 at 4:02 pm

Hello Jason,

My husband is a green card holder, he got a felony in 2009 and there’s a slight chance he may be eligible for naturalization through his father, we are trying to prove that although his parents where never married they were considered common wealth couple back in 1980 in Dominican Republic. He was granted CAT, his lawyer is trying to appeal the naturalization, meanwhile, my question is, does he still have a green card or not? Should we get a EAD? TIA

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Jason Dzubow May 18, 2017 at 9:17 am

You have to ask the lawyer, but typically, if a person has been granted CAT, they have already lost the green card. Take care, Jason

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Valeska colombo May 15, 2017 at 10:01 am

Hello, I have a question . My dad was detained by ice , due to a deportation order he had but he applied for stay of removal and the application was denied. I’m trying to see if my dad is eligible for WOR now him being that he is Venezuelan, per the crisis of the conditions of Venezuela currently can this be some evidence to be used? Also my dad has family relatives that have been persecuted and had to flee Venezuela per getting death threats , will he be able to use these evidences as well? What other evidence can be used for this WOR application?

Lastly I will become a US Citizen in a year could I be able to petition for my father ?

Thank you!!!

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Jason Dzubow May 17, 2017 at 5:56 am

You should talk to a lawyer about the case, as he may qualify for WOR or even asylum, depending when the “changed circumstances” (in this case the persecution of relatives) occurred. But his eligibility would depend on many things and a lawyer could help. The procedure is essentially to file a motion to reopen the deportation case, and file an emergency stay of removal with the Judge or the BIA (whoever last had the case). Also, you would want to contact DHS to see whether they might agree to the motion based on the changed circumstances. If you are a US citizen and over 21 years old, you can petition for your father, but you would still need to reopen the deportation case (or if he is already deported, he would probably need a waiver to return to the US based on your petition). Good luck, Jason

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DAni May 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Hi my parents got their asylum denied in 2006. Then they got WOR granted in 2007 I am a us citizen that petitioned for them to get their adjustment of status this year Jan 2017. They got their i130 approved and denied their i485. The letter said they were ordered deported in 2006 and that’s why they got denied. What can I do? Do they not consider the WOR being grabbed in 2007?

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Jason Dzubow May 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

Your parents need to reopen their cases with the Judge. The WOR order is technically an order of deportation. However, with an approved I-130, you should be able top reopen the cases and then – if they are they eligible – they can adjust status and get their green cards. Talk to a lawyer, as you need to make sure they are eligible and you also will need help navigating the bureaucracy of the Immigration Court and USCIS. Good luck, Jason

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Ferry May 13, 2017 at 11:43 am

Hi Jason,
I was granted WOR in 2006. Usually when I check my case status by calling 800-898-7180 (automated case information hotline), the case decision is “granted WOR nov 2006”.
But this year when I checked again the case decision changed to “ordered removal” on nov 2006. Is this mean that they revoked my WOR status?

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Jason Dzubow May 14, 2017 at 7:50 am

I highly doubt it. A person with WOR has a removal order, but that removal is “withheld” as to her home country. You can try to call the Immigration Court and ask a clerk about this. You can find their contact info if you follow the link at right called Immigration Court. Also, when you apply for the new EAD, if it does not work, then you will know, but I would be surprised if you had this problem. Take care, Jason

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Mama May 23, 2017 at 2:37 pm

Hi Ferry
Am in the same boat as well, i was granted WOR in 2014, But this year when i checked by calling the hotline, my decision is changed to “Ordered Removal”. Am confused!!!

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Jason Dzubow May 23, 2017 at 10:11 pm

An order of WOR is an order of removal. The removal is “withheld” as to the country of feared persecution. Maybe they changed the way they provide messages on the phone hotline, but WOR is the same as it was before – there was no change to the law. Take care, Jason

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George May 12, 2017 at 7:37 am

Hello Jason. I came to the US when I was 5 with my family I had my gc but pled guilty to a felony that was reduced to 2 misdemeanors so I got picked up by Ice and spent 3 months in jail. Imigration judge granted me WOR and I was realsed from ice custody. But I recently get in trouble again and might be getting another felony in my record do you think this is going to affect me will I be detained by ice again? Can they take my WOR STATUS away and deport me back to Iraq? Thanks

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Jason Dzubow May 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm

They could try to take WOR away, and they might depending on the crime. However, if you qualified for WOR, you likely will qualify for deferral of removal under the Torture Convention, so I think it is unlikely you will be deported. You might want to talk to an immigration attorney before the criminal cases goes forward so you can (hopefully) minimize the effect of the conviction on your immigration status. Take care, Jason

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Noor May 9, 2017 at 12:10 am

Denies asylum and case is administratively closed. Can marrying a us citizen help avoid having to leave the country? What all needs to be done?

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Jason Dzubow May 9, 2017 at 7:01 am

If the case is admin closed and you marry a US citizen, you may be able to reopen and get the green card based on marriage. However, it depends on the case. If you entered legally with a visa and do not have a criminal record, it should be possible, but you need to talk to a lawyer to go over the specifics of the case to be sure. Take care, Jason

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Lawens May 4, 2017 at 11:22 am

Thank you for your response I have one more question if you don’t mind while I’m on withholding of removal what if I get married to my girlfriend do you think I would still need to leave the country another for me to obtain my green card or would it be possible at all to actually have a green card if I get married to her.

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Jason Dzubow May 4, 2017 at 12:17 pm

If you marry a US citizen, you may be able to get your GC without leaving the country, but it depends on different things (if you entered legally, criminal convictions). You would still probably want an attorney to help you through that process. Take care, Jason

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Lawens May 4, 2017 at 2:32 am

Hey Jason how you doing thanks for your response ok I have a question when I came into the us I was paroled in by my dad in 2007 I got arrested in 2010 got convicted in 2011 of felony battery but gen I came in the country immigration gave my dad 60 days to file for my I-485 but he fail to do so, so I was on probation for 2 years and on my 6 months of probation ICE came and got me I spent almost 3 years in there like I told you before and when I first see the IJ she said I was qualify for the 212h waiver and I-485 but the prosecutor argue that when I came in the country I had 60 days to file for my papers but I fail to do so but when I came in the country I was a minor I was only 16 years old so for that they denied the waiver and the I 485 but now my dad is a citizen and he file the I-130 for me while I’m on withholding do you think he can still give the green card under his citizenship and if he can do you think it’s gonna take a long time hope to here from you soon thank you.

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Jason Dzubow May 4, 2017 at 10:03 am

I do not think an I-130 filed by your father will benefit you, as you would most likely need to leave the US in order to obtain the green card, and that will probably not be possible. I recommend you bring your entire case to a good lawyer who can review it and advise you of the possibilities. Any lawyer who tells you that this is easy and that you should just give him some money to solve the issue is probably a liar, so be careful. Take care, Jason

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Tolu May 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm

My husband is on a deportation and withholding case,we have to see the judge finally next month,my name and my daughter was on the asylum application.how can we continue to fight to get asylum for my husband if the judge Denise him asylum

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Jason Dzubow May 4, 2017 at 6:35 am

Hopefully you have a good lawyer to help you, as that makes a big difference in court. If you lose, you can appeal. There may be other options too, and a lawyer can review the specifics of your case to tell you. Good luck, Jason

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Yubo qiu April 28, 2017 at 6:22 am

I granted withholding of removal at 2012 on Saipan(one of us protectorate territory that near Guam) ,and now I am in LA,is there have any chance can reopen my case for apply asylum since the time on Saipan no asylum until 2020.

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Jason Dzubow April 30, 2017 at 9:59 am

It depends on the case, and why you got asylum instead of asylum. You should talk to a lawyer about the specifics of the case. But generally, the only reasons to reopen are changed circumstances in your home country, marriage to a US citizen, if you have a US-citizen child who turns 21 and files for you, or ineffective assistance of the old lawyer. Even in these cases, reopening can be quite difficult. Take care, Jason

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Tshiru April 25, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Dear Jason, I want to thank you for the informative information you provide all of us, I have to tell you its has eased some of my fears. When you are in WOR how many motions can you file to adjust your status. Are you only allowed one?.

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Jason Dzubow April 28, 2017 at 4:42 pm

A motion to reopen the case has to be filed within a certain time period of the decision (I think 90 days, but I have been on vacation for a week, so maybe I am not remembering at the moment). After that, you usually file based on (1) changed circumstances, (2) ineffective assistance of counsel, or (3) ask the court to reopen sua sponte (meaning, on the court’s own power). If there is a reason to file such a motion, you can do it, and if it fails (and the appeal fails), you can try again if there is a new basis (or you think there is a new basis). Take care, Jason

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Hector April 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

I have WOR since 2011. I have a partner but we are not married (US citizen & children). What are my chances of being able to get a green card in the future if i were to get married?

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Jason Dzubow April 28, 2017 at 3:10 pm

It depends – if you got WOR only because you missed the one-year filing deadline, it may be possible. If you got WOR because you entered the country illegally or you have a criminal record, it is much more difficult. You would need to talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your situation to determine whether it is possible/likely. Take care, Jason

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Farhan April 24, 2017 at 4:46 pm

HI THERE THIS IS OPEN QUESTION TO ANYONE GRANTED WITHHOLDING OF REMOVAL, U KNOW USCIS RECENTLY STARTED ISSUING TWO YEAR VALID EADs, WHAT I NEED TO KNOW IS IF THERE IS SOMEONE WHO HAVE WITHHOLDING OF REMOVAL ISSUED TWO YEAR VAILD EAD ? I GOT WITHHOLDING BUT I GOT MY EAD ISSUED FEB 2017 AND ITS VALID FOR YEAR, SO AM JUST CURIOUS IF I AM THE ONLY ONE . THNKS FOLKS.

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Jason Dzubow April 28, 2017 at 3:01 pm

My understanding is that for people with Withholding of Removal, there is no change to the EAD card, so they only get it for one year (unfortunately). I will be curious to hear if anyone had a different experience. Take care, Jason

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Eliot May 9, 2017 at 1:05 am

No you are not the only one, I got mine this past FEB 2017 and its only valid for one year.

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Davinder April 22, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Hello last year I got withholding of removal by immigration judge bkz my border statement & my camp statement not matched at the time on my individual court date so I need a help if I reopen my case again then immigration judge decide to grant my asylum bkz I am married in my home country so I want to bring my family here is it possible please help me thank u

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Jason Dzubow April 25, 2017 at 8:41 am

I do not understand the question, but if you have asylum, you can bring your family (you must file within 2 years of being granted). If you are asking about reopening your case, based on the facts you provide, I think that will be very difficult, but talk to a lawyer about the specifics of the case, as it may be possible, but a lawyer would need to evaluate your case and see exactly what happened. Take care, Jason

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THANG KHAI April 12, 2017 at 7:38 pm

Hello Jason,

I came to the country with J1 visa and applied for asylum and got denied for the reason “not very well founded” and I have been referred to an Immigration Judge which have been rescheduled twice to May 4th 2017 in Chicago. But in the mean time, I got married to a green card holder a little over two years ago and we also applied for i-130 and got interviewed for that and the uscis interviewing officer told me I believe your marriage is legitimate at the end. I have three children born in the US with my wife in a little over two years. Now for my upcoming immigration judge appointment in May 4th 2017, what should I best do? Should I accept WOR if offered? I felt like I have had enough of pain just being on WOR, the limitation of benefits with WOR is becoming too many now. Also for my asylum case, everything was legitimate it was just the asylum officer thinking it’s not very well founded. I am thinking to stand my ground with this case at the upcoming immigration judge appointment. Please give me some advice.

Sincerely

Khai

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Jason Dzubow April 13, 2017 at 4:26 pm

If your spouse is not a US citizen, you probably cannot get your green card without leaving the US, and if your case is in court, this can be a real problem. You should talk to a lawyer about this. One common strategy is to delay your court case (or maybe administratively close the case if the ICE attorney (the prosecutor) agrees) until your wife is a US citizen, but again, it depends on the facts of your case. An attorney can learn the specifics of your case and assist you with this. Take care, Jason

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THANG KHAI April 13, 2017 at 5:00 pm

Let’s say they offer me WOR at the upcoming immigration judge appointment and I do not accept it and then they deport me, can I come back to the country with i-130 visa and how long does it take and how does that work? I have 3 children here and I ultimately cannot leave them for a long time.

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Jason Dzubow April 13, 2017 at 10:23 pm

If they order you deported, you can appeal, and maybe by then your wife will be a citizen. You could take WOR, and then try to reopen later when she is a citizen. However, if they know that is your plan, maybe they will agree to save everyone the trouble and just put your case on hold until she is a citizen. I do think you should have a lawyer to help you through this process, as it can make a big difference in the outcome, and here, it seems you have a good chance to get your papers. It would be a shame to lose the opportunity because you did not have a lawyer to help you. Take care, Jason

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THANG KHAI May 9, 2017 at 1:20 am

Jason,

We received USCIS i-130 approval letter for adjustment of status, but it says a visa is not yet available. My immigration judge appointment got rescheduled again to September this year. What should I do next now?

Sami March 28, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Hi Jason,
First of all I have been reading your posts for about a year now, I really appreciate for your time and expertise, you are truly helping people to have some perspective about immigration cases. Thank you!
I entered the United States legally thru student visa (F1 Visa), within three months I applied for asylum because of fear for my political view/participation in my country of origin Ethiopia, I had enough evidences for my arrest and persecution, however the Asylum Officer didn’t grant me asylum, his reasoning was “inconsistency”, there was no any issue in my case but he referred me to immigration judge. I went before IJ and presented my case, the prosecutor offered me withholding, the judge asked me if I can take the prosecutor’s offer, my lawyer advised me to take it because it’s better to accept the offer, per my lawyer the judge could take it as a negative so he could deny me all together, so I believed my layer at that time and accepted the withholding. After 11 year I just learned from my current lawyer that I had strong case and I should have never accepted the withholding. To begin with I shouldn’t have taken the prosecutor’s offer, I could have allowed the judge to make the final decision. The only reason I accepted the withholding was because I didn’t know what withholding is at that time, if I had the same understating as today about withholding I could have fought for asylum. Anyway now I am withholding granted married man.
To make the story short I’m withholding granted since 2006. I got married in 2014 and around November 2015 I applied for I-130 and approved in April 2016.
On my personal note, I’m a professional, working as lead programmer. In the last 11 years (since I entered the US) I don’t have any criminal record. I am hardworking man, I pay my taxes, I respect the rules. To be clear, I was stopped by police for traffic violation like speeding (6 miles over the speed limit, one time in 11 years), another time my car light wasn’t working (I didn’t know), it was a warning, that’s it, I don’t have any criminal record at all.
My question is:
1. Can I apply I-485 and cancellation of removal at the same time? Meaning until the judge cancels the removal meanwhile I can process I-485. Note that DHS has agreed to reopen the motion and dismiss the case. I am waiting the Immigration Judge appointment.
2. It has been three months since DHS agreed to dismiss the case but the clerk couldn’t able to assign it to a judge (Note that the first judge who had my case (in 2006) is not in the court anymore). The question is how long does it take the court to have a final say? is there a way I can expedite the case?
3. From your experience based on my story is there anything you can advise me? what is the chance the court to dismiss the removal proceeding.
4. Do you think the Trump administration has any impact on cases like mine? If yes, in what way?
My case is in Arlington, Virginia (Executive office for immigration review Arlington Immigration Court). I live in VA.

Thanks,

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Jason Dzubow March 29, 2017 at 6:48 am

1 – It sounds like you are on the way to getting your GC if DHS has agreed to reopen the case and then terminate proceedings. If you need the EAD, you can file the I-485 early, but that can get messy, and it is preferable to get a new EAD based on WOR and then, once the court case is terminated, file the I-485 (and for a new EAD if needed). 2 – You can call the clerk and ask about the case. Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has changed the priorities for judges, and a case like yours might be delayed as a result. 3 – It sounds like you will get the GC. If DHS has agreed, you should be in good shape. 4 – Only re: the court priorities, which will create additional delay. Take care, Jason

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Sami March 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Thank you so much, Jason. It is really helpful. I will definitely use WOR to request new EAD when needed. Regarding the IJ clerk call, my lawyer secretary told me that she is following every two weeks with the clerk, however I will try to call occasionally for any updates as well (I will make sure I am not compromising anything what my lawyer is communicating). Just FYI, I have the copy of the signed letter of the “Joint motion to reopen and dismiss/terminate removal proceedings” from DHS through Assistant Chief Counsel and my lawyer signed, the IJ sign is pending (empty in the letter).

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Jason Dzubow March 31, 2017 at 6:08 am

Unless your lawyer wants you to call also, I think it is best to let the lawyer call the clerk; not you. By the way, an EAD based on WOR should be free. Take care, Jason

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Sami March 31, 2017 at 4:33 pm

Thank you, Jason. I will follow that. I appreciate for your time and follow-up. Hopefully I will get rid of the WOR status soon. Even though I am grateful for the WOR status however after few years it becomes a big impediment of your personal and family life. You can’t have big plans, you can’t have vacation outside of the US, you can’t seek better jobs or better business opportunities in other countries. You can’t do work related travels. It is kind of imprisonment by hard choices. I totally agree with the headline of your blog “I Hate Withholding of Removal”.

Thanks,

Mona March 28, 2017 at 1:21 pm

I was charged with aggravated felony and ICE got me and made an immigration case that resulted in canceling my Green Card and granting me WOR status. Would it be possible to get my green card back? can my parents, who are US citizens, apply for me to get green card thru them?
what are my options?
Thank you!

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Jason Dzubow March 29, 2017 at 6:22 am

Maybe you can get a green card with a 212(h) waiver. Sometimes, that can work for people with aggravated felonies, but you would need to talk to a lawyer about that possibility, as it depends on your case and many factors. Take care, Jason

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Farhan March 28, 2017 at 2:04 am

HI Jason, i am really very grateful your timely responses on immigration matters in general and asylum in particular. I was granted withholding of removal 3 years ago by IJ , reason was firm ressettlement although i showed that i also had fear of prosecution based on nationality from that third country. The IJ found that i met the definition of refugee and eligible asylum from my home country but because of the third country firm ressetlement she granted me WoR. Noww i brought forward previously unavailble supporting docs and a lawyer filed Motion to reopen with the IJ. When i check with my A# the voice prompts tell me that motion to reopen was recieved and its pending. Its 1 year 5 months from the date the court recieved my MTR . I NOW have another problem back my home country where armed men kidnapped my mom recently and i am now very scared of her life , what are your thoughts about this? How can i reach the court to exediate my case ? What kind of supporting documents will the court require me to show my moms kidnapping? Keep in mind that my country doesnt have a government that controls the whole country and my family is member of particular social group who are minorty in my country . Pls i am in neeed of your opinion. Thanks again.

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Jason Dzubow March 28, 2017 at 6:32 am

I actually have a case on appeal now related to firm resettlement, and it involves the problem of the third country being unsafe (it is the case that inspired the above post). We’ll see what the BIA says. I think you need to contact the court to ask about your Motion to Reopen. Talk to the Judge’s clerk. Also, if there is new evidence (police report, news articles, letters from people who know about kidnapping), you can file that and ask the court to reopen. I am not sure how the kidnapping changes your case, though, as you already have WOR from your country. It seems the problem was firm resettlement in a third country and I do not see how the kidnapping affects that, but maybe I do not have all the facts. Take care, Jason

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Farhan March 28, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Many thanks Jason indeed for your quick response. What really interested me is this particular appeal case that involves firm resettlement. Although mine is related to south africa where i was granted refugee permit which on temporary bases where i had to renew every 2 or 4 years . After continous attacks on people like me especially somalis by south africans , i decided to escape. I have police police reports that i submitted along with motion to reopen, i dont knw if the case you mentioned is also from south africa, assuming that if you win, it may help me too to overcome this firm ressettlement bar. Pls i need to keep on touch with you regarding the case appeal and hope you win since i know how it feels like to have withholding of removal as a status. Pls is there a way i can get updated with this particular case? Thanks jason again.

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Jason Dzubow March 29, 2017 at 6:50 am

In fact, my case also involves firm resettlement in South Africa. The case is waiting for a decision from the BIA. It could come today or it could take another year or more. You can check back with me in a few months, but even if we win, it is most likely going to be an unpublished decision that may not help you too much (but it might help, so check back). Take care, Jason

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Farhan April 7, 2017 at 4:59 pm

HI Jason, i have hired this attorney to file motion to reopen which she did, when i dail my A# it says motion to reopen was recieved and its currently pending , i have paid the attorney all her money in advance , when i try to call she is either on voice mail or doesnt respond. even if try to schedule appointment the front desk girl gives me excuses. i dont know what to do at this point , can i directly call th court clerk to find out about my case? Do i hire another attorney of the same city where my court at ? Note the judge who handles my case is at different city than that of my attorney. Pls i need advice on what to do next

Jayna Renee March 24, 2017 at 1:38 am

Hello Jason,
My mother was granted WOR 24 years ago after being denied of asylum. She was then sponsored by her job through the I-40 application, and was approved, but has yet to be contacted on moving forward. I turned 21 in September, and petitioned the I-30 for her to get her green card. Do you think we have high chances of getting approved?

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Jason Dzubow March 24, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Once the I-130 is approved, you have to reopen the court case and then let her get the GC based on you. However, depending on many factors, that may or may not be possible. I suggest you talk to a lawyer to review the specifics of her case before you move forward. Take care, Jason

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Jose Giron March 21, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Hi jason i have a question i was deported four times i serve 2 years for reentry charge went to inmigration detencion and granted WOR I HAVE TO REPORT. BUT I HAVE A FELONY CHARGE (old one ) hows my chances of getting deported i have my EDA. DO THEY CAN SEND ME BACK TO MY COUNTRY

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Jason Dzubow March 22, 2017 at 6:16 am

If you have Withholding of Removal, you cannot be sent back to your country unless your country becomes safe for you. Take care, Jason

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Lawens March 20, 2017 at 2:47 am

Hi Jason I have a question I was in immigration detention center for almost 3 years the IJ grant me withholding of removal I’ve been on it for almost 3 years now I work I never got in trouble I go see ICE every year so do you think that they can just put hands on me and send me back to my country whenever they want without me violating my withholding of removal status thank you hope to her from you soon.

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Jason Dzubow March 20, 2017 at 12:27 pm

You cannot be sent back to your country if you have withholding of removal. That is the whole point of withholding, so you should be safe. Take care, Jason

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Victor Gonzalez March 13, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Hello my question is I came to this country illegaly in 1993 in 2003 ihave been granted withholding of removal in 2013 I get married with a citizen American ihave been approved my i130 in 2016 can I apply for i485 for my green card thank you

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Jason Dzubow March 14, 2017 at 6:16 am

Possibly – If you qualify under INA 245(a), then you can adjust using a form I-485 and pay a fine of $1000. You should talk to a lawyer to see whether you are eligible for that, but generally, it is for people who had an immigration petition or labor certification filed for them (or sometimes for a parent) prior to April 30, 2001. If you are not in that category, you probably need to leave the US and return with the green card, but this is tricky since it also requires reopening the old court case and getting permission to leave without a deport order. You should talk to a lawyer about the specifics of your case to see what you can do. Take care, Jason

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EDUARDO March 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Hi Jason!

I’m a subscriber, and a few weeks ago you helped me out with a question regarding my situation as an Asylum applicant on Withholding of removal. My question to you today is if you know any Organization that is currently helping asylees/refugees resettlement that is currently doing some amazing and efficient work/results

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Jason Dzubow March 15, 2017 at 6:11 am

There are hundreds of such organizations. It really depends on what you need. I did a posting on September 22, 2016 that might help. Take care, Jason

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Max March 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Hi Jason, I was granted WOR under INA 241 (b) (3) in 2013 and I have 2 kids who were born in here and now I have my own business. My question is there any way to adjust my status to get green card either from my daughter who turn 16 years old this year or from my business? Thanks

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Jason Dzubow March 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm

Not from the daughter, though maybe that would be possible when she is 21. Probably not from the business, but maybe. It would be complicated and would likely involve you leaving the US. You would need to talk to a lawyer to help guide you through it. Realistically, though, you are probably better waiting for her to turn 21 and then have her file for you. I do not know your case, so it may not work, but that seems to me the better option and it may not require you to leave the US. Anyway, talk to an attorney before you start the process to make sure you can get the green card. Take care, Jason

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Ke March 9, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Hi Jason,good evening pls I need some help.i have withholding of removal in the United States because I entered uninspected.now I have a fiancé who is a Canadian citizen and she wants to know if she can come and marry me in the untied states.is this possible?will this affect my status in the states?will the states know Am married to a Canadian?pls advice.

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Jason Dzubow March 10, 2017 at 7:40 am

You can marry her, but that cannot give her legal status to remain in the US. From an immigration point of view, you might be better off moving to Canada after she files for you, assuming you are eligible. Otherwise, she can try to stay here as any other Canadian person would – maybe she can talk to a lawyer about all the options. Take care, Jason

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kel March 22, 2017 at 12:38 pm

Hi Jason, thanks for your good work and response.
My cousin came to the united states uninspected and was later granted withholding of removal base on the fact that he was a Gay man from Africa. Now he his deeply in love with a Canadian citizen lady who is willing to come over to the united states to marry him so they can move and live in Canada together, The question is will this affect his current status since he can work and renew his EAD every year in the united states? will marrying the Canadian citizen lady in the united states trigger any sort of problems for him here in the united states since the withholding case has been closed. pls your advice will be greatly appreciated he his very worried.

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Jason Dzubow March 23, 2017 at 6:09 am

He cannot give any status to the lady, so she will have to find her own way to remain here legally. If he takes Canadian residency based on the marriage, he will lose his withholding status, and if he leaves to Canada, he will not be allowed back to the US, at least for a period of time. Take care, Jason

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kel April 3, 2017 at 11:15 am

Hi Jackson,
Thanks for your good work and God bless you always,
pls for someone who has a closed withholding case and has moved and now work in Michigan, is it possible for the case to be re open or transferred to Michigan from new York? the case has been closed since 2009 but married now in Michigan and will like to start the adjustment of status process he in Michigan. pls advice

Selby March 9, 2017 at 9:22 am

Last question for you jason, is it good to appeal my asylum case since they granted me the withholding of removal? If so how many chances that they may approve me with asylum? Or I should stay with this removal status & forget?

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Jason Dzubow March 10, 2017 at 7:07 am

If there is a basis to appeal, it is worth it. Generally, if you have withholding and you appeal, either you will get asylum or you will keep withholding. It is unlikely that you will lose what you have. Of course, it depends on the case, so talk to a lawyer about the specifics, but it may be worthwhile to appeal if you have any chance for success as asylum is the much better outcome. Take care, Jason

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Sam March 8, 2017 at 12:27 pm

Hi Jason, my name Samuel and I am from Ethiopia. I have removal withholding status. I report/check-in at ICE every year. I will be check-in sometimes May this year. I have a DUI (misdemeanor charge 8 years ago), do you think ICE will detain/deport me. I heard from the news ICE detained people when they show up for check-in, but the news doesn’t mentions about the detainee’s current immigration status.
Thanks

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Jason Dzubow March 8, 2017 at 11:39 pm

I think I answered this when you posted it before. Please check that. Take care, Jason

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sami March 6, 2017 at 10:21 pm

hi Mr Jason I have ordered deportation and my order withhold since 2010 and my case closed can i get my EAD if can what I can do and what my status

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Jason Dzubow March 8, 2017 at 10:38 pm

If you have withholding of removal/deportation, you can get an EAD (and there is no fee). The form is the I-765, available at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Mari March 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Hello, I have someone with WOR and recently received a rejection letter. We are confused as why. There is no receipt number or anything else. It just states extra remittance was sent which is not required for his application.

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Jason Dzubow March 5, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Are you referring to the EAD? A person with Withholding of Removal does not need to pay a fee for the EAD. Take care, Jason

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Mari March 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Thank you. We didn’t understood what was going on. We got his receipt yesterday. So, that made me feel better.

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Mari March 6, 2017 at 9:51 am

Hi Jason, another question. This person was granted WOR under INA 241 (b)(3) and WOR under CAT in 2011. Previously, he had a green card that due to the charges he had he end it up in that situation. He never appealed his case to see if he could get his gree card back. His charges were vacated. I’ve read about how you can open the WOR case. So, I was wondering if he had any chances?

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Jason Dzubow March 6, 2017 at 3:19 pm

If the charges were vacated, he may be able to. He should talk to a lawyer about that as soon as possible, as there could be time-limitations on when he can file to reopen. Take care, Jason

Mari March 14, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Hi Jason, can you provide me with a consultation quote? I would like for you to just look into his paperwork. The attorney said nothing could be done to appeal his case but a second opinion doesn’t hurt. CAT is not something very commonly given in NC and even she wasn’t aware that the EAD was fee. Just want to be 100%sure.

Mari March 9, 2017 at 9:20 am

Thank you. Sorry for all the questions but we haven’t been able to get the attorney on the phone. We received the receipt Saturday (it says it’s in process)and we haven’t been able to track the case online. Any idea how long it would take for the system to show any info.? Thanks

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Jason Dzubow March 10, 2017 at 7:05 am

You cannot track asylum cases on-line. The best you can do is check the Asylum Office Scheduling Bulletin (a link is at right) to get a general idea of the waiting times. Take care, Jason

mari March 10, 2017 at 7:44 am

I just saw that bulletin. Does this also applies to renew EAD? He wasn’t are of not paying for it and now not tracking it. Even the attorney was wrong.

Selby March 3, 2017 at 9:43 pm

Hi Jason.

I was denied asylum but granted a withholding of removal status, I wanna know that is it possible to get a green card through marriage? 2nd question, how safe I am that I won’t be deported? I have 3 kids who were born here and I’ve been here for 10 years. Last question, what is the worst scenario can heppen to me?

Thank you so much

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Jason Dzubow March 5, 2017 at 11:32 am

It may be possible to get a GC based on marriage, but it depends on your case – You can talk to a lawyer about that. I think it is very unlikely that someone with withholding will be deported, unless you become a resident of a third country and you get deported there. You are protected by US law and by an international treaty, so I think you are safe. Worst case, if you are a danger to the community, you can be detained, but given that you are not detained now, that seems unlikely. Take care, Jason

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Thulie March 3, 2017 at 2:16 pm

Hi! I was denied asylum so I’m under the removal withholding status. Is it possible to invite the child that i left in my home country? If it’s possible how to go about that? Thank you.

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Jason Dzubow March 3, 2017 at 5:09 pm

This is a difficult situation. The child would have to get a visa the same as anyone else who wants to come here. I recommend you talk to a lawyer who specializes in consulate/embassy cases, as it will probably be more difficult for the child to come here since you are here and the US government will probably think that the child plans to come here permanently. Take care, Jason

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Eliot March 1, 2017 at 1:24 am

I have a removal withholding status. 8 years a go i was charged with DUI (misdemeanor). Will i be affected/deported by the new law?

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow March 2, 2017 at 7:29 am

If you have an old DUI and you currently have withholding, I do not think the DUI will have any affect on your status. Take care, Jason

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kunmi February 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Hi,I and my kids fled our country for the US and we have stayed more than a year but my husband came in months after us,and is still within the 1yr range we plan to seek for asylum .my fear is won’t my kids and I won’t be affected since we’ve past 1 yr.thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 28, 2017 at 10:45 pm

If your husband is the lead applicant and he is eligible for asylum (filed in less than one year), then you and your children should be able to get asylum too if his claim is accepted. Take care, Jason

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Zac February 28, 2017 at 1:18 pm

Jason thank you for your response. My application for asylum was granted 🙂

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Jason Dzubow February 28, 2017 at 10:41 pm

Great news – Congratulations, Jason

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no February 26, 2017 at 12:24 pm

ttttttttttt

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Eli February 25, 2017 at 12:19 am

How often or is there any chance the IJ waiving the removal status to able adjust the status?

Thanks

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Eli February 25, 2017 at 12:08 am

HI,
I have a removal withholding status. I entered into the US illegally, is there any chance i could adjust my status to permanent resident through marriage? if so how? have you ever heard anybody who adjust their status with the same status(entered illegally)?

Thanks

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Jason Dzubow February 26, 2017 at 11:25 am

It is possible (especially if you entered the US before December 2000 and you meet other requirements – see INA 245(i)), but probably not. Most likely, you would need to reopen your case, close your case without a removal order (withholding is considered a removal order), leave the US, and then re-enter with a green card. You would need a lawyer to help you through this process, as it is pretty tricky and involves different US government agencies. Take care, Jason

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Julieta Martinez February 24, 2017 at 6:57 pm

I have been reapplying every year under WOR, every year (Since 2009) my application either gets delayed or has errors. This time it never moved from the acceptance of application since 11/07/2016 till 02/14/2017. I called and requested an expedite of my case under the severe financial loss request. Yesterday I received a confirmation that my case had been denied.I have not received the letter confirming a reason, but what could be a reason for this denial? Should I start thinking on applying under DACA?

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Jason Dzubow February 26, 2017 at 11:15 am

I do not know the reason – you will have to wait for the denial letter to see. I cannot think of any changes in the law that caused the denial, so maybe there was some error on the application. If you are eligible to apply for DACA, you can, but I do not know whether you are eligible with WOR. You may need to talk to a lawyer about that. But if you can get the work permit, WOR is probably a better status than DACA because it cannot be taken away very easily (though you could have both statuses if you are eligible). Take care, Jason

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Mari March 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Julieta, can you email me? We got a rejection letter for his work permit application for WOR and we are kinda confused.

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Mari March 4, 2017 at 12:38 pm
Julieta March 4, 2017 at 12:55 pm

Of course, direct me to your email I have one I can add. Please note mine wasn’t through Assylum. It’s actually not under WOR, it’s under administrative closure.

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Branny February 24, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Hi Jason,

I have WOR and understood that this is a lesser status of Asylum, but I may be wrong. So under immigration law, I’m considered an asylee under a lesser status?

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Jason Dzubow February 24, 2017 at 5:33 pm

USCIS does not rank the statuses, but for the reasons described above, WOR is not as good as asylum. Take care, Jason

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samuel February 23, 2017 at 9:15 pm

hi jason
why do immigrants under withholding of removal status pay federal tax, while they are not entitled for any federal benefit?
how about Social security and medicare deductions ? how is the future during the retirement ?
am I paying this all and get nothing back in the future?

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Jason Dzubow February 24, 2017 at 7:18 am

Unfortunately, that may be another disadvantage of Withholding of Removal, but I do not know whether you can get benefits with your status – maybe you can. Maybe if you contact the Social Security office or Medicare office, they can clarify whether you are entitled to benefits (Medicare, I doubt it, but SS, maybe). If you do this and learn anything, please let us know. Thank you, Jason

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Cesar February 22, 2017 at 8:08 pm

I have withholding if i catch a case can i be removed to the 3rd country

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Jason Dzubow February 23, 2017 at 7:44 am

Only if you have lawful status to live permanently in the third country. Take care, Jason

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Clive February 21, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Can you be romoved from the states when you have a withholding of removal with crimal history but never been convicted?

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Jason Dzubow February 22, 2017 at 7:10 am

You cannot be removed to the country where you face persecution, and unless you have status to live in another country, you cannot be removed to another country either. Take care, Jason

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Eli February 21, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Hi,
Is the person who under removal withholding status consider as illegal immigrant?

Thanks

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Mazy February 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Hi e

No
No legal ! 18’years ago the judge ruled that one day if BAHAI is Iran have full constitutional rights then there Can be a hearing to start deportation until then all
Is legal! Only thing is If i go out of states getting back maybe hard? I was first case in history of law given this ruling for a white collar offense

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:44 pm

“Illegal immigrant” is not a term under the law. The person you describe has been ordered removed (deported) from the US, but the removal has been “withheld” as to his or her country of feared persecution. Take care, Jason

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Eli February 22, 2017 at 2:46 am

Hi Jason,

I didn’t quite understand your answer. I understood the term “illegal immigrant” is not under the law and I also understood the meaning of removal withholding. I have EAD and my status is removal withholding. Am I undocumente immigrant?

Thanks a lot

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Jason Dzubow February 22, 2017 at 7:28 am

I cannot answer because there is no such thing as an “undocumented immigrant” under the immigration law – it is a term used by people, but it is not a legal term as defined by the immigration law. In my opinion, you are not undocumented because you have an EAD and you have withholding of removal status. That is about the most I can tell you. Take care, Jason

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Mazy February 21, 2017 at 4:58 am

Greetings ! I have been in Los Angeles 39 years and born in Iran . I am a BAHAI and have a doctorate degree and have lived here continually since 1979. When I was 28 I had to plead guilty to a bank fraud case. The judge allowed me to finish school and after they issued a withholding of removal since I had a green card for 35 years . The BAHAI faith is highly persecuted in Iran. Our holy site is Haifa Israel and my 10
YEAR old son and my wife want to go on our pilgrimage . Is there a way I can visit my Holyland and be able to return ?

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Jason Dzubow February 21, 2017 at 5:39 pm

I know of no way you can do that with withholding. If you leave the US, it is considered a deportation. Maybe another lawyer would know more about this than me. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow March 15, 2017 at 6:27 am
Jason Dzubow March 15, 2017 at 6:28 am

By the way, the EAD is free for people with withholding of removal under INA 241(b)(3). I am not sure about CAT, but it may be the same – you will have to double check. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow March 10, 2017 at 4:49 pm

You should be able to track the EAD renewal on line at http://www.uscis.gov. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow April 4, 2017 at 10:40 am

You need a valid reason to reopen (changed circumstances in an asylum case, ineffective assistance of prior counsel). The marriage alone is probably not enough. I think you will have a difficult time reopening, but you should talk to a lawyer to evaluate the likelihood of that working, as the lawyer would need to review your whole case to answer the question. Take care, Jason

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Jason Dzubow April 7, 2017 at 5:10 pm

You may want to send an email listing your attempts to talk to her, and that you need to talk to her. If that does not work, send a second email (it is good to have this in writing) stating that you will file a bar complaint unless she gets back to you. That should work. If not, you can call the court yourself (there is a link at right called Immigration Court that has contact info) and/or find a new lawyer. Good luck, Jason

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Jason Dzubow May 9, 2017 at 7:44 pm

You should have a lawyer help you – I do not know the facts of your case or the judge. It maybe possible for you to get a green card based on the I-130, bit I do not know, so find a lawyer to assist. Take care, Jason

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