Withholding of Removal/Convention Against Torture (CAT)

Virginia Immigration Lawyer Assisting with Deportation Relief

Many foreign nationals seek asylum when they are trying to flee or avoid return to their home countries (or other countries) because of persecution. For individuals who cannot obtain asylum, there are a couple of other removal/deportation defense options that may be available. These include relief through withholding of removal relief and through Convention Against Torture (CAT) protections. While these forms of relief do not extend the same level of protection as asylum, they can be highly beneficial to immigrants who are at risk of being returned to countries where their safety would be in at serious risk.

Our Virginia immigration lawyers at Fayad Law, P.C. can help you determine whether or not you are eligible for either of these relief options, and then we can guide you through the process of claiming this protection. Read the information provided below for an overview of withholding of removal relief and CAT protections.

What is withholding of removal relief?

In order to obtain this type of relief, a foreign national must prove that it is more likely than not that his or her freedom or life would be placed in danger if he or she were to be sent to the proposed country of removal. The foreign national must be able to specifically prove that this threat would be on account of his or her religious beliefs, political beliefs, race, nationality or membership in a certain social group.

Once withholding of removal relief is granted, the foreign national can no longer be deported to the country that the individual fears and can only be removed to a third country where the person is not placed in danger. Withholding or removal relief allows the non-citizen to temporarily remain and work in the U.S.; however, unlike with asylum, it does not create a pathway to permanent residence and citizenship.

What are CAT protections?

Under the United Nations Convention Against Torture, the U.S. agreed not to send non-citizens to countries where they would be likely to be tortured. The forms of relief offered under this international treaty provision are known as CAT protections. In order to obtain this relief, a foreign national must prove that sending him or her to the proposed country of removal would more likely than not result in his or her torture. For the purpose of the CAT protections, torture is defined as severe physical/mental pain or suffering that a public official (or someone in a similar role) intentionally inflicts or allows. The CAT protections applicant does not have to prove that the torture would be based on race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or membership in a certain social group.

CAT recipients may be allowed to temporarily stay and work in the U.S., though they will not be given a path to permanent residence and citizenship. These foreign nationals will not be forced to return to the countries where they feared for their lives—rather, they will instead be deported to another country where they are not expected to be tortured. There may be some cases in which a CAT recipient are detained, such as if the foreign national who obtained relief is a criminal. Withholding or removal is ways used to grant CAT protections.

Our immigration law firm serves clients internationally from our offices in Virginia and North Carolina. Contact us at Fayad Law for help seeking withholding of removal relief or CAT protections. We have more than two decades of collective experience, so you can trust that we have the knowledge and experience to guide you down the right path!