1994 US Code
Title 8 - ALIENS AND NATIONALITY
CHAPTER 11 - NATIONALITY
SUBCHAPTER II_2 - SUBCHAPTER II-IMMIGRATION
Part V - Deportation; Adjustment of Status
Sec. 1254 - Suspension of deportation

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Publication TitleUnited States Code, 1994 Edition, Title 8 - ALIENS AND NATIONALITY
CategoryBills and Statutes
CollectionUnited States Code
SuDoc Class NumberY 1.2/5:
Contained WithinTitle 8 - ALIENS AND NATIONALITY
CHAPTER 11 - NATIONALITY
SUBCHAPTER II_2 - SUBCHAPTER II-IMMIGRATION
Part V - Deportation; Adjustment of Status
Sec. 1254 - Suspension of deportation
Containssection 1254
Date1994
Laws in Effect as of DateJanuary 4, 1995
Positive LawNo
Dispositionstandard
Source CreditJune 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 5, §244, 66 Stat. 214; Oct. 24, 1962, Pub. L. 87-885, §4, 76 Stat. 1247; Oct. 3, 1965, Pub. L. 89-236, §12, 79 Stat. 918; Oct. 20, 1976, Pub. L. 94-571, §7(f), 90 Stat. 2706; Oct. 30, 1978, Pub. L. 95-549, title I, §105, 92 Stat. 2066; Mar. 17, 1980, Pub. L. 96-212, title II, §203(d), 94 Stat. 107; Dec. 29, 1981, Pub. L. 97-116, §§9, 18(h)(2), (j), 95 Stat. 1616, 1620; Nov. 6, 1986, Pub. L. 99-603, title III, §315(b), 100 Stat. 3439; Oct. 24, 1988, Pub. L. 100-525, §2(q)(1), 102 Stat. 2613; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100-690, title VII, §7343(b), 102 Stat. 4470; Nov. 29, 1990, Pub. L. 101-649, title I, §162(e)(2), title VI, §603(b)(3), (4), 104 Stat. 5011, 5085; Dec. 12, 1991, Pub. L. 102-232, title III, §307(m)(1), 105 Stat. 1757; Sept. 13, 1994, Pub. L. 103-322, title IV, §40703, 108 Stat. 1955.
Statutes at Large References66 Stat. 214
76 Stat. 1247
79 Stat. 918
90 Stat. 2706
92 Stat. 2066
94 Stat. 107
95 Stat. 1616
100 Stat. 3439, 2614
102 Stat. 2613, 4470
104 Stat. 5011
105 Stat. 1757
108 Stat. 1955
Public Law ReferencesPublic Law 87-885, Public Law 89-236, Public Law 94-571, Public Law 95-549, Public Law 96-212, Public Law 97-116, Public Law 99-603, Public Law 100-525, Public Law 100-690, Public Law 101-649, Public Law 102-232, Public Law 103-322


§1254. Suspension of deportation (a) Adjustment of status for permanent residence; contents

As hereinafter prescribed in this section, the Attorney General may, in his discretion, suspend deportation and adjust the status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, in the case of an alien (other than an alien described in section 1251(a)(4)(D) of this title) who applies to the Attorney General for suspension of deportation and—

(1) is deportable under any law of the United States except the provisions specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection; has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than seven years immediately preceding the date of such application, and proves that during all of such period he was and is a person of good moral character; and is a person whose deportation would, in the opinion of the Attorney General, result in extreme hardship to the alien or to his spouse, parent, or child, who is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;

(2) is deportable under paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of section 1251(a) of this title; has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than ten years immediately following the commission of an act, or the assumption of a status, constituting a ground for deportation, and proves that during all of such period he has been and is a person of good moral character; and is a person whose deportation would, in the opinion of the Attorney General, result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to the alien or to his spouse, parent, or child, who is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence; or

(3) is deportable under any law of the United States except section 1251(a)(1)(G) of this title and the provisions specified in paragraph (2); has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 3 years immediately preceding the date of such application; has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the United States by a spouse or parent who is a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (or is the parent of a child of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident and the child has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the United States by such citizen or permanent resident parent); and proves that during all of such time in the United States the alien was and is a person of good moral character; and is a person whose deportation would, in the opinion of the Attorney General, result in extreme hardship to the alien or the alien's parent or child.

(b) Continuous physical presence: inapplicability based on service in Armed Forces; brief, casual, and innocent absences

(1) The requirement of continuous physical presence in the United States specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section shall not be applicable to an alien who (A) has served for a minimum period of twenty-four months in an active-duty status in the Armed Forces of the United States and, if separated from such service, was separated under honorable conditions, and (B) at the time of his enlistment or induction was in the United States.

(2) An alien shall not be considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical presence in the United States under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) of this section if the absence from the United States was brief, casual, and innocent and did not meaningfully interrupt the continuous physical presence.

(c) Fulfillment of requirements of subsection (a)

Upon application by any alien who is found by the Attorney General to meet the requirements of subsection (a) of this section the Attorney General may in his discretion suspend deportation of such alien.

(d) Record of cancellation of deportation

Upon the cancellation of deportation in the case of any alien under this section, the Attorney General shall record the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence as of the date the cancellation of deportation of such alien is made.

(e) Voluntary departure

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Attorney General may, in his discretion, permit any alien under deportation proceedings, other than an alien within the provisions of paragraph (2), (3), or (4) of section 1251(a) of this title (and also any alien within the purview of such paragraphs if he is also within the provisions of paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this section), to depart voluntarily from the United States at his own expense in lieu of deportation if such alien shall establish to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that he is, and has been, a person of good moral character for at least five years immediately preceding his application for voluntary departure under this subsection.

(2) The authority contained in paragraph (1) shall not apply to any alien who is deportable because of a conviction for an aggravated felony.

(f) Alien crewmen; nonimmigrant exchange aliens admitted to receive graduate medical education or training; other

The provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to an alien who—

(1) entered the United States as a crewman subsequent to June 30, 1964;

(2) was admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant exchange alien as defined in section 1101(a)(15)(J) of this title, or has acquired the status of such a nonimmigrant exchange alien after admission, in order to receive graduate medical education or training, regardless of whether or not the alien is subject to or has fulfilled the two-year foreign residence requirement of section 1182(e) of this title; or

(3)(A) was admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant exchange alien as defined in section 1101(a)(15)(J) of this title or has acquired the status of such a nonimmigrant exchange alien after admission other than to receive graduate medical education or training, (B) is subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement of section 1182(e) of this title, and (C) has not fulfilled that requirement or received a waiver thereof.

(g) Consideration of evidence

In acting on applications under subsection (a)(3) of this section, the Attorney General shall consider any credible evidence relevant to the application. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Attorney General.

(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 5, §244, 66 Stat. 214; Oct. 24, 1962, Pub. L. 87–885, §4, 76 Stat. 1247; Oct. 3, 1965, Pub. L. 89–236, §12, 79 Stat. 918; Oct. 20, 1976, Pub. L. 94–571, §7(f), 90 Stat. 2706; Oct. 30, 1978, Pub. L. 95–549, title I, §105, 92 Stat. 2066; Mar. 17, 1980, Pub. L. 96–212, title II, §203(d), 94 Stat. 107; Dec. 29, 1981, Pub. L. 97–116, §§9, 18(h)(2), (j), 95 Stat. 1616, 1620; Nov. 6, 1986, Pub. L. 99–603, title III, §315(b), 100 Stat. 3439; Oct. 24, 1988, Pub. L. 100–525, §2(q)(1), 102 Stat. 2613; Nov. 18, 1988, Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, §7343(b), 102 Stat. 4470; Nov. 29, 1990, Pub. L. 101–649, title I, §162(e)(2), title VI, §603(b)(3), (4), 104 Stat. 5011, 5085; Dec. 12, 1991, Pub. L. 102–232, title III, §307(m)(1), 105 Stat. 1757; Sept. 13, 1994, Pub. L. 103–322, title IV, §40703, 108 Stat. 1955.)

Amendments

1994—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 103–322, §40703(a), added par. (3).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 103–322, §40703(b), added subsec. (g).

1991—Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 102–232 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 101–649, §603(b)(4)(B). See 1990 Amendment note below.

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–649, §603(b)(3), substituted “1251(a)(4)(D) of this title” for “1251(a)(19) of this title”.

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 101–649, §603(b)(4)(A), substituted “paragraph (2), (3), or (4)” for “paragraph (4), (5), (6), (7), (11), (12), (14), (15), (16), (17), or (18)”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–649, §162(e)(2), struck out before period at end “, and unless the alien is an immediate relative within the meaning of section 1151(b) of this title, the Secretary of State shall reduce by one the number of immigrant visas authorized to be issued under section 1151(a) or 1152(a) of this title for the fiscal year then current”.

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 101–649, §603(b)(4)(B), as amended by Pub. L. 102–232, substituted “(2), (3), or (4)” for “(4), (5), (6), (7), (11), (12), (14), (15), (16), (17), (18), or (19)”.

1988—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 100–525 amended Pub. L. 99–603. See 1986 Amendment notes below.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 100–690 redesignated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted “Except as provided in paragraph (2), the” for “The”, and added par. (2).

1986—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–603, §315(b)(1), formerly §315(b), as redesignated and amended by Pub. L. 100–525, §2(q)(1)(A), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–603, §315(b)(2), as added by Pub. L. 100–525, §2(q)(1)(B), designated former par. (1) as entire subsec. (c) and struck out provision that if the deportation of any alien is suspended under the provisions of this subsection, a complete and detailed statement of the facts and pertinent provisions of law in the case shall be reported to the Congress with the reasons for such suspension, and that such reports shall be submitted on the first day of each calendar month in which Congress is in session, and struck out former pars. (2) and (3) which read as follows:

“(2) In the case of an alien specified in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section—

if during the session of the Congress at which a case is reported, or prior to the close of the session of the Congress next following the session at which a case is reported, either the Senate or the House of Representatives passes a resolution stating in substance that it does not favor the suspension of such deportation, the Attorney General shall thereupon deport such alien or authorize the alien's voluntary departure at his own expense under the order of deportation in the manner provided by law. If, within the time above specified, neither the Senate nor the House of Representatives shall pass such a resolution, the Attorney General shall cancel deportation proceedings.

“(3) In the case of an alien specified in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this section—

if during the session of the Congress at which a case is reported, or prior to the close of the session of the Congress next following the session at which a case is reported, the Congress passes a concurrent resolution stating in substance that it favors the suspension of such deportation, the Attorney General shall cancel deportation proceedings. If within the time above specified the Congress does not pass such a concurrent resolution, or if either the Senate or the House of Representatives passes a resolution stating in substance that it does not favor the suspension of the deportation of such alien, the Attorney General shall thereupon deport such alien in the manner provided by law.”

1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–116, §18(h)(2), inserted “(other than an alien described in section 1251(a)(19) of this title)” after “case of an alien” in provision preceding par. (1).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–116, §18(j), substituted “immigrant visas” for “nonpreference immigrant visas”, and “section 1151(a) or 1152(a) of this title” for “section 1153(a)(7) of this title”.

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 97–116, §9, permitted certain exchange aliens not subject to a requirement of returning to their home countries, or who have satisfied the requirement or had it waived, to apply for suspension of deportation, prohibited foreign medical graduates who have entered the United States as exchange aliens eligibility for application under this section notwithstanding a waiver of the two-year residence requirement, and eliminated the restriction on suspension of deportation in the case of natives of contiguous countries and adjacent islands for which nonquota visas are otherwise available.

1980—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 96–212 substituted “1153(a)(7)” for “1153(a)(8)”.

1978—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 95–549 included reference to par. (19) of section 1251(a) of this title.

1976—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 94–571 struck out “is entitled to special immigrant classification under section 1101(a)(27)(A) of this title, or” after “unless the alien”.

1965—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–236, §12(a), removed all references to quotas and provided that in each case where an alien, other than a special immigrant or an immediate relative, has his deportation suspended, a number is deducted from the nonpreference immigrant visas authorized for the current fiscal year.

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 89–236, §12(b), inserted “subsequent to June 30, 1964” after “entered the United States as a crewman”.

1962—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 87–885 inserted “applies to the Attorney General for suspension of deportation and” in introductory paragraph; substituted “except the provisions specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection” and “extreme hardship” for “and is not a member of a class of aliens whose deportation could not have been suspended by reason of section 19(d) of the Immigration Act of 1917, as amended” and “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship”, respectively, and deleted “applies to the Attorney General within five years after the effective date of this chapter for suspension of deportation; last entered the United States more than two years prior to June 27, 1952” before “is deportable under any law”, in par. (1); redesignated former par. (5) as (2), struck out from former provisions “for an act committed or status acquired subsequent to such entry into the United States or having last entered the United States within two years prior to, or at any time after June 27, 1962, is deportable under paragraph (2) of section 1251(a) of this title as a person who has remained longer in the United States than the period for which he was admitted” after “section 1251(a) of this title” and “has not been served with a final order of deportation issued pursuant to this chapter in deportation proceedings up to the time of applying to the Attorney General for suspension of deportation” after “good moral character”; and struck out former pars. (2) to (4), which authorized the Attorney General to suspend deportation and adjust status for permanent residence of aliens deportable for act committed or status existing prior to or at time of entry into the United States, deportable for act committed or status acquired subsequent to entry, and deportable for being a criminal, prostitute, or other immoral person, subversive, violator of narcotic laws, and similar class of persons, and person who entered without inspection, at time and place other than designated by the Attorney General, or without proper documents, respectively.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 87–885 substituted provisions declaring the requirement of continuous physical presence in the United States inapplicable to aliens who served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States and were in the United States at the time of entry into service for provisions respecting the fulfillment of requirements of pars. (1) to (3) of former subsec. (a) and the making of reports to Congress, now incorporated in subsecs. (c)(1), (2) and (f) of this section.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 87–885 incorporated first three sentences of former subsecs. (b) and (c) in par. (1), striking out from former subsec. (b) “paragraphs (1), (2), or (3)” and from former subsec. (c) “paragraph (4) or (5)” before “of subsection (a) of this section” in first sentence, and from such former subsecs. (b) and (c) the requirement respecting the submission of reports on the fifteenth day of each calendar month in third sentence.

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 87–885 incorporated fourth and fifth sentences of former subsec. (b) in par. (2), prefacing provisions with introductory phrase reading “In the case of an alien specified in paragraph (1) of subsection (a) of this section.”

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 87–885 incorporated fourth and fifth sentences of former subsec. (c) in par. (3), prefacing provisions with introductory phrase reading “In the case of an alien specified in paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this section.”

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 87–885 struck out “area” after “reduce by one the quota of the quota”.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 87–885 substituted “paragraph (2) of subsection (a)” for “paragraph (4) or (5) of subsection (a).”

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 87–885 added subsec. (f) which incorporated the last sentence of former subsec. (b) reading “The provisions of this subsection relating to the granting of suspension of deportation shall not be applicable to any alien who is a native of any country contiguous to the United States or of any adjacent island, unless he establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that he is ineligible to obtain a nonquota immigrant visa.”

Effective Date of 1991 Amendment

Section 307(m) of Pub. L. 102–232 provided that the amendment made by that section is effective as if included in section 603(b) of the Immigration Act of 1990, Pub. L. 101–649.

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by section 162(e)(2) of Pub. L. 101–649 effective Oct. 1, 1991, and applicable beginning with fiscal year 1992, see section 161(a) of Pub. L. 101–649, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Amendment by section 603(b)(3) and (4) of Pub. L. 101–649 not applicable to deportation proceedings for which notice has been provided to the alien before Mar. 1, 1991, see section 602(d) of Pub. L. 101–649, set out as a note under section 1251 of this title.

Effective Date of 1988 Amendments

Amendment by section 7343(b) of Pub. L. 100–690 applicable to any alien who has been convicted, on or after Nov. 18, 1988, of an aggravated felony, see section 7343(c) of Pub. L. 100–690, set out as a note under section 1252 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–525 effective as if included in enactment of Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99–603, see section 2(s) of Pub. L. 100–525, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Section 315(e) of Pub. L. 99–603, as added by Pub. L. 100–525, §2(q)(2), Oct. 24, 1988, 100 Stat. 2614, provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (b)(1) [amending this section] shall apply to applications submitted under section 244 of the Immigration and Nationality Act [this section] before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 6, 1986]; but shall not apply to aliens removed from the United States before the date of the enactment of this Act.”

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–116 effective Dec. 29, 1981, see section 21(a) of Pub. L. 97–116, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–212 effective Apr. 1, 1980, see section 204 of Pub. L. 96–212, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 94–571 effective on first day of first month which begins more than sixty days after Oct. 20, 1976, see section 10 of Pub. L. 94–571, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.

Effective Date of 1965 Amendment

For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 89–236, see section 20 of Pub. L. 89–236, set out as a note under section 1151 of this title.

Cross References

Definition of the term—

Adjacent islands, see section 1101(b)(5) of this title.

Alien, see section 1101(a)(3) of this title.

Attorney General, see section 1101(a)(5) of this title.

Child, as used in subchapter III of this chapter, see section 1101(c)(1) of this title.

Child, as used in this subchapter and subchapter I of this chapter, see section 1101(b)(1) of this title.

Entry, see section 1101(a)(13) of this title.

Immigrant visa, see section 1101(a)(16) of this title.

Parent, as used in subchapter III of this chapter, see section 1101(c)(2) of this title.

Parent, as used in this subchapter and subchapter I of this chapter, see section 1101(b)(2) of this title.

Person of good moral character, see section 1101(f) of this title.

Special immigrant, see section 1101(a)(27) of this title.

Spouse, see section 1101(a)(35) of this title.

United States, see section 1101(a)(38) of this title.

Section Referred to in Other Sections

This section is referred to in sections 1151, 1252b, 1254a of this title; title 18 section 4113.

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