Withholding of Removal/Convention Against Torture


Withholding of Removal/Convention Against Torture (CAT)

US Immigration Lawyer Assisting with Deportation Relief

Many foreign nationals seek asylum when they are trying to flee or avoid returning to their home countries (or other countries) because of persecution or risk of torture. For individuals who cannot obtain asylum, there are a couple of other removal/deportation defense options that may be available. These include relief through the 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 way 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!

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There are dozens of different types of visas available under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), but they can all be placed in one of two categories: immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The former is for individuals who are hoping to establish permanent residency with a green card and perhaps even to pursue the path to naturalization and citizenship. The latter is for those who are only planning a temporary visit to the United States, such as for the purpose of conducting business or attending school.

The INA sets limits on the number of people who will be permitted to immigrate to the United States each year using certain types of visas, while other visas are unlimited. Family immigration visas for the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are available on an unlimited basis, while there are annual quotas set for the relatives of lawful permanent residents and extended family of citizens, with a maximum quota of 480,000. The number of employment immigration visas is limited to 140,000 per year.

Pathways to citizenship include service in the United States military and adoption, but a large percentage of all people who become citizens do so through the process of naturalization. The basic qualifications for naturalization include:

  • Living in the U.S. as a permanent resident for 5 years (or 3 years for a spouse of a U.S. citizen)
  • Being at least 18 years of age
  • Living within the state where you will apply for citizenship for at least 3 months prior to the application date
  • Being physically present in this country for at least half of the past 5 years
  • Maintaining continuous residence in this country from the date you submit your application for naturalization
  • Being able to read, write and speak English
  • Have a basic understanding of U.S. government and civics

It is also necessary to supply evidence that you are a person of good moral character and are attached to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. We can assist you with proving these factors, as well as preparing your petition and helping you get ready for the tests.

In June of 2012, the Obama Administration directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin applying a policy that is referred to as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under deferred action, DHS is exercising discretion in its execution of the laws concerning deportation and removal of immigrants who are illegally present in the United States. Deferred action is not a change to the existing law, but is instead a change in the way that the law is being applied. You may qualify for relief under DACA if you were younger than 31 years of age on June 15, 2012, came to the U.S. before your 16th birthday, have continuously resided in this country since June 15, 2007 and are either currently in school or have already graduated from high school or earned your general education development (GED) certificate, among other criteria. With deferred action, you may be able to avoid being deported, though it does not grant any change of immigration status.

In its review of immigrant visa petitions, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) weighs factors related to the ties that the prospective immigrant has in the United States and the reasons why he or she wants or needs to come to live in this country. For example, a family immigration petition will not be approved unless the foreign national has immediate relatives such as a spouse, mother or father, child or sibling already living here as a citizen or green card holder. An employment immigration petition is more likely to receive approval if the applicant has a job offer in this country and is coming to fill a position that cannot reasonably be filled from the local labor market. A foreign national who is fleeing persecution in his or her home country may be granted an immigrant visa as a refugee or asylee.

There are many strategies for challenging a removal action. If the proposed deportation is based on a criminal conviction, it may be possible to appeal the conviction in order to have it overturned. Another option is to petition for cancellation of removal, a type of immigration relief which is available to people who are of good moral character and whose deportation would subject a family member who is a citizen or permanent resident to extreme hardship. The key to success in stopping deportation is to take immediate action by hiring a Virginia immigration attorney from our firm as soon as possible. Contact us now at Fayad Law, P.C. for a confidential consultation and to let us get started on your case!

Fayad Law, P.C. maintains offices in Richmond and Fairfax, Virginia. We work with individuals, families, and businesses across the world, providing them with assistance in resolving the legal issues involved with helping their loved ones and employees to immigrate to the United States. We work directly with foreign nationals living abroad, guiding them through the process of obtaining immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for entry to the U.S.

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We respect your privacy. The information you provide will be used to answer your question or to schedule an appointment if requested.

Note : All the fields Containing * are mandatory to fill.

Have questions about your rights? Ready to discuss your immigration case? Contact Fayad Law, P.C. now.

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