Withholding of Removal

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Withholding of removal is a special type of order issued by an immigration judge if you can demonstrate there is more than a 50 percent chance you will be persecuted in your home country. The persecution is ordinarily on account of your religion, race, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or your political opinion. Withholding of removal protects you from being removed or deported to a country where you fear you may be persecuted. It is similar to protections provided to those who seek and qualify for asylum.

To qualify for withholding of removal under the federal immigration laws, you must establish it is more likely than not that your life or freedom will be threatened in the country to which you may be removed based on your religion, race, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or your political opinion. Only an immigration law judge can grant an order withholding removal. If an immigration law judge grants an order withholding your removal, you will not be removed to that country. However, it is possible that you will be removed to a different country where your life or freedom is not threatened.

You may also qualify for withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture. To qualify, you prove that in the country to which you will be removed it is more likely than not that you will be tortured. You provide a detailed explanation of why you fear torture, and you must include any incidents where you were mistreated or threatened by a government or someone connected to a government. If you do not qualify for withholding of removal on the basis of likely torture, it is possible that your removal will be deferred or put off until it is no longer likely that you will be tortured in the country of removal.

Regardless of the basis for your withholding application, you are not eligible for withholding of removal if:

  • You assisted in Nazi persecution or were involved in genocide;
  • You persecuted another person;
  • You have been convicted of a serious crime and thus pose a danger to the community of the United States;
  • You are considered for real reasons to have committed a serious non-political crime outside of the Unites States; or
  • You pose a danger to the security of the United States.

If you are granted withholding of removal, you will be safe from deportation to a country where you fear you will be persecuted. However, this does not give you the right to bring your relatives to the United States, and it does not give you the right to obtain your green card or become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. You also may no longer travel outside of the U.S. If you do, you will be considered to have self-deported, and an order of removal will go into effect. Additionally, you may be required to pay annual fees if you want to maintain the legal right to work in the United States.

The immigration laws concerning asylum and withholding of removal are complex. You have a right to provide your own legal representation during immigration proceedings. If you or a loved one is in need of one or more of our immigration law services, contact one of the Central Pennsylvania Immigration Attorneys or call (717) 920-2220 or contact us online today for your free and confidential consultation.