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3 Things to Do if You Receive an NTA for Deportation Proceedings

Posted on in Deportation

New Canaan immigration and deportation attorneyReceiving a Notice to Appear (NTA) in immigration court for removal (deportation) proceedings can be very frightening. An NTA means that you have been accused of breaking a law and that a judge is going to decide whether you should be deported from the United States. 

Be assured, however, that not every NTA results in a deportation. Here are three things to do if you receive an NTA:

1. Check the Accuracy of the Notice to Appear in Immigration Court 

The NTA will state:

  • Your name and current address. 
  • Your country of citizenship.
  • When you entered the U.S. and on what type of visa.
  • When you were supposed to leave, if your visa had a time limit.
  • The law you are accused of breaking, which is the reason that U.S. immigration authorities believe you should be removed (deported) from the U.S. 

It is certainly possible for one of the U.S. immigration agencies to make a mistake. For example, perhaps you renewed your visa, and the paperwork just got mixed up somewhere. As another example, the law you are accused of breaking may not be a serious enough offense to merit deportation.

2. Consult an Experienced Immigration and Removal Attorney About Your Options

You have the right to bring an attorney to immigration court, which is also known as the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). 

From the time you receive the NTA until your first court appearance, you should have at least 10 days to find a lawyer and discuss your options. The court may grant you extra time, if needed, to find an attorney. A lawyer with experience in deportation proceedings can help you understand your options and decide what to say in court.

For example, you may be able to ask the judge for a Cancellation of Removal if you have continuously resided in the U.S. for at least 7 to 10 years, can demonstrate good moral character, and meet other specific requirements.

3. Prepare for Immigration Court Appearances

Your first (and sometimes only) appearance in immigration court is called a Master Calendar hearing. An attorney representing the U.S. government will present the charges against you, as outlined in the NTA. If the judge is convinced by the government’s case, one of three things will happen:

  • If you fail to appear, the judge can order your removal.
  • If you appear and do not request relief from removal, the judge can order your removal. You may, however, be able to negotiate a voluntary removal, which may make it easier for you to apply for re-entry to the U.S. in the future.
  • If you appear and request relief from removal, the judge will schedule an Individual Merits hearing for a later date. 

During an Individual Merits hearing, both you and the government attorney may present arguments and evidence. The judge will then decide whether to order your removal or grant you some type of relief from removal.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the Individual Merits hearing, you can file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).

Talk to a Darien, CT Immigration Attorney 

If you have received a Notice to Appear in immigration court, discuss your options with a knowledgeable Fairfield County deportation defense lawyer. Attorney Hector Gonzalez-Velez will develop the strongest possible deportation/removal defense for you. Contact Gonzalez Law Office, LLC at 203-323-1440. 

Sources:

https://www.justice.gov/eoir/page/file/eoir_an_agency_guide/download

https://www.justice.gov/eoir/page/file/1079696/download

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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