Adapting to life as a Florida immigrant is not without its challenges. From mastering English or trying to immerse oneself in a new culture, it is not uncommon to feel anxious, lonely or even frustrated while settling into a new lifestyle. If legal issues arise, stress levels may rise even more, especially if such issues place one at risk for removal. In such cases, it is important to learn as much as possible about adjustment of status relief options.
There are often several ways to petition the U.S. government for relief if removal proceedings are threatening one’s ability to stay in the United States. Such relief is generally categorized as either discretionary or administrative/judicial. Discretionary relief is typically available at the administrative hearing level, while administrative/judicial relief is available at the appellate level. If a person is eligible for relief, he or she may be able to avoid deportation.
An immigration judge might make a decision to grant relief during removal proceedings. The person at risk for deportation must prove why he or she should be allowed to avoid removal. If the judge in question is convinced that the evidence presented is worthy, the request to stay in the United States can be granted and deportation avoided. Another form of discretionary relief occurs when a person qualifies as a refugee and seeks an adjustment of status that would enable him or her to avoid deportation. To prove an eligible need for asylum, a person must make the request within a year of entering the United States and must convince the court that returning to his or her country of origin would pose an immediate danger, persecution or fear of future harm because of religious, racial or other discrimination.
If an alien or the Department of Homeland Services does not agree with a determination made at the administrative judge level, an appeal may be filed with the Bureau of Immigration Appeals. Though this administrative/judicial process, it is also possible that relief will be granted to avoid deportation. Because adjustment of status issues can be complex and difficult to resolve, it is helpful to seek consultation with an experienced immigration law attorney before completing the application process.