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Stop-Time Rule for Cancellation

Today, the BIA issued two precedent decisions addressing the issue of whether evidence that photographs and fingerprints were taken in conjunction with a noncitizen’s voluntary departure or return constitutes a formal, documented process sufficient to break continuous physical presence for purposes of establishing eligibility for cancellation of removal, where the noncitizen had the right to appear before an Immigration Judge but was not informed of that right. In the first decision, the BIA held that such evidence was not sufficient, in the absence of evidence that the noncitizen was informed of and waived the right to a hearing. In the second decision, the BIA found that this rule applies regardless of whether the encounter in which the noncitizen was photographed and fingerprinted occurred at or near the border.

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