The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on April 29, 2021, that “[n]onpermanent resident aliens ordered removed from the United States under federal immigration law may be eligible for discretionary relief if, among other things, they can establish their continuous presence in the country for at least 10 years.”

The Court noted that the period of continuous presence is deemed to end when the individual is served a notice to appear in a removal proceeding. This principle is called the “stop-time rule.” In this case, the government ordered the removal of petitioner Agusto Niz-Chavez and sent him a document containing the charges against him. Two months later, it sent a second document providing Mr. Niz-Chavez with the time and place of his hearing. The government contended that because the two documents collectively specified all statutorily required information for a notice to appear, Mr. Niz-Chavez’s continuous presence in the United States stopped when he was served with the second document. The Court disagreed, holding that a notice to appear sufficient to trigger the stop-time rule “is a single document containing all the information about an individual’s removal hearing.”

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