What is Withholding of Removal?

Withholding of removal is a special court order issued by an immigration judge. Withholding orders are issued when a person can show that they have a more than 50% chance of persecution if they return to their country, but do not qualify for asylum. The same reasons for persecution apply as those used when granting asylum or refugee status.


Withholding of removal prevents deportation and is does not have a one-year filing deadline. However, it is a limited benefit that is less desirable than asylum or refugee status because:


     There’s no pathway to a green card or U.S. citizenship as a result of a withholding of removal order

     Grantees must pay a yearly fee for an employment authorization document if they wish to work legally while in the States.

     They are not eligible to receive all government benefits like asylees would be

     They can’t travel outside of the U.S. Doing so is considered a self-deportation.

People with a withholding of removal order are often required to remain under supervision by checking in frequently with immigration officers, much like a criminal on parole. They might be required to check-in for years, or forever.

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