It may not be a commonly known fact but there are only 4000 available visas available for people who apply for cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents (referred to here as “42B cancellation”) per fiscal year. 42B Cancellation cases are among the most difficult to present and are not granted very often by immigration judges. The reason is the very high”extreme hardship” that needs to be established in order to win the case. In fact, it’s not really “extreme hardship” at all that needs to be established but “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship.” Isn’t that a mouthful l? Well, it’s hard to think of anything that is “extremely unusual” unless we come across a Dodo Bird, which goes to show just how strident the standard is. That being said, apparently the immigration judges found enough Dodo Birds to grant this relief 4000 times this year.
So what happens if the cap is reached? The Immigration Judges are supposed to “reserve their decision” until a visa number is available. This means that the next fiscal year, all “reserved decision” cases get in line until a visa is available. This may take quite a while but for any of you who have their cases “reserved” should know that your case hasn’t been officially “granted” but as long as you don’t get into any legal trouble, you’re just waiting until a visa is available.