Deportation Defense


Lim Law – Kissimmee & Orlando Immigration Attorney

The possibility of deportation or “removal” from the United States is terrifying for many people living here. The immigration lawyers at Lim Law know the stress caused by the fear of deportation. Our team is prepared and experienced in deportation defense. We are ready to help you.

Deportation proceedings start when you receive aNotice to Appear from the Department of Homeland Security / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This document orders you to appear in front of an immigration judge. If you receive a Notice to Appear, it does not automatically mean you will be deported. There may be relief options available to you. Contact an immigration attorney if you receive a Notice to Appear.

There are several types of possible relief from deportation. Some include asylum, withholding of removal, cancellation of removal, and adjustment of status. Each has different requirements and processes, but all of them have the potential to prevent or delay deportations. Additionally, some include a pathway to citizenship, and some do not.

If you receive a Notice to Appear, contact an experienced immigration attorney. Do not delay out of fear. Deportation defense lawyers at Lim Law can help you.


Deportation Defense Options



You can seek asylum if you are already in the U.S. but fear persecution if you were to return to your home country. Asylum is a form of protection that allows you to stay in the United States. Asylum seekers are required to prove a credible fear that your home country’s government will persecute you upon your deportation. Read more about asylum applications here.


Withholding of Removal

An immigration judge can grant a request for withholding of removal if you meet certain criteria. One of them requires you to prove it is “more likely than not” you will be persecuted because of your race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. This option is usually used when Asylum is not available to you.


Cancellation of Removal

The Cancellation of Removal option is an alternative available to all qualified people who are placed in removal proceedings. The eligibility requirements are different between those who are lawful permanent residents and those who are nonpermanent residents. The immigration judge may grant or deny cancellation or removal applications. To determine whether the judge will warrant cancellation, the judge might consider the length of residence in the United States, family and community ties, community service work, and hardship to certain U.S. relatives.


Cancellation of Removal for Permanent Residents  

Eligibility requirements for consideration for permanent residents are as follows:

  • You have been a permanent resident for more than 5 years
  • You have resided in the U.S. continuously for 7 years after admittance, before receiving the Notice to Appear or before committing a specific criminal or related offense leading to removal action
  • You were not convicted for an aggravated felony


Cancellation of Removal for Non-Permanent Resident

Eligibility requirements for consideration for non-permanent residents are as follows:

  • You have been continuously and physically present in the U.S. for no less than ten years (as measured from the date you entered the country to the date of your Notice to Appear in Immigration Court).
  • You are able to demonstrate good moral character.
  • You can prove that deportation would create exceptional and extreme unusual hardship to a member of your family (spouse, child, parents) who is a U.S. citizen.
  • You have no convictions for any of the specific criminal offenses that would make you eligible for deportation, and ineligible for relief from removal.

If you believe you may be eligible for cancellation of removal, schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney.


Deportation Defense Waivers

If you are facing removal proceedings, you may qualify for a deportation defense waiver.

The U.S. Attorney General applies the criteria for granting waivers to qualifying immigrants, under the direction of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The three most common types of deportation defense waivers, named after sections of the INA, are the I-601 Waiver, the I-601a Waiver, and the 212(c) Waiver.

I-601 Waiver

Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, is for individuals who are inadmissible to the United States and are seeking immigration benefits. If approved, you may become admissible into the United States. You may only file this form when you are outside the U.S., and you must go to the U.S. Consulate for a visa interview. Additionally, you may submit this form in conjunction with certain nonimmigrant visas and immigrant visas.

This waiver may be an option for you if,

  • you have a criminal conviction,
  • you are inadmissible in the United States for fraud or willful misrepresentation,
  • or you meet other criteria.

I-601a Waiver

To file the I-601a Waiver, you must be physically present in the U.S. This application is only for unlawful presence and you must submit the form before departing the U.S.

To qualify for an I-601a (provisional unlawful presence) waiver, you must prove:

  • you are married to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR),
  • deporting you would result in hardship to your spouse or children,
  • and your only violation is unlawful presence.

Your unlawful presence is determined from the day you entered the country unlawfully, or from the day your lawful status expired. If you are granted the 601a, you will have to leave the U.S. then have an immigrant visa interview at a consulate or U.S. Embassy. You must also have an approved I-130 petition filed on your behalf by a U.S. citizen.

212(c) Waiver  

If you are a lawful permanent resident and you pled guilty to or were convicted of a crime prior to April 1, 1997, you may be eligible for deportation relief under 212(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The requirements for eligibility are:

  • your guilty plea or conviction is dated before April 1, 1997,
  • you have been a lawful permanent resident for at least five years,
  • if you were briefly out of the country and are returning, it is to a lawful, unrelinquished residence of at least seven consecutive years,
  • you are not subject to deportation based on acts of terrorism or national security concerns,
  • you are not in the U.S. unlawfully due to any prior immigration offenses,
  • you were not convicted of a firearms offense affecting immigration or an aggravated felony offense(s) with a total sentence or sentences of five years or more, and
  • if convicted after April 24, 1996, you were not convicted of any aggravated felony or drug offense.

Laws and policies regarding deportation defense change frequently, and the consequences can be irreversible. Deportation defense waivers are granted at the discretion of the U.S. Attorney general who executes the  President’s policies.

If you are someone you love are threatened with deportation, do not sign or file anything without first consulting an experienced, trusted immigration attorney. At Lim Law, we help individuals and families find their way to a new home in the United States.

Orlando Immigration Court


In Central Florida, your deportation case will most likely be heard in Orlando Immigration Court. There are many reasons the government will deport noncitizens.

Certain crimes may be cause for a deportation. These crimes include drug or firearm offenses, aggravated felonies, domestic violence offenses, and crimes of “moral turpitude.” Additionally, some crimes can prevent you from becoming a citizen, adjusting your status, or re-entering the United States in you leave.

It does not matter if you are an undocumented immigrant or a legal resident, having a criminal conviction can lead to deportation proceedings. Also, it can cause issues if you travel abroad, apply for citizenship, or adjust your status. Even certain misdemeanors may lead to removal proceedings.

Reasons for deportation, however, are not limited to crimes. For example, if you violate the terms of your visa, fail to notify USCIS you moved, or apply for public assistance, DHS may seek to deport you.



Ask Henry

Our team will work with you and prepare you to face Orlando immigration court. You will work with an experienced lawyer long before your day in court. You can feel confident knowing our team has a former immigration judge who sat on the Orlando immigration bench for more than 20 years. We strive to build the best, most prepared deportation defense for every client.

Contact your deportation defense team at 407-897-8770 or email [email protected] to schedule your free consultation. Our first consultation is complementary. For over 20 years, immigration attorney Henry Lim has helped more than 10,000 families with their immigration issues. You can Ask Henry a question at [email protected] or submit a video question by sending a link to one of our channels.

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