What to Expect at Your Deportation Hearing

Deportation typically occurs when an individual is in the country illegally or because they have violated the terms of their legal status, by committing a crime, overstaying a visa, or working while on a visa that prohibits U.S. employment. [If you’ve done something that can get you deported, you will have to go to a deportation hearing.] This is what to expect.

1. Notice to Appear

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will send you a Notice to Appear (NTA), which will order you to appear in federal immigration court. The NTA will explain why you are at risk of being removed from the U.S. and provide the date of your initial hearing. [Typically, you have around 10 days before the hearing, so you’ll have enough time to consult with a lawyer.]

2. Initial Hearing

At the initial hearing, also called the Master Calendar Hearing, you’ll spend a few minutes before the judge; a final decision is rarely made during this time. Immigration officials will explain the deportation procedure to you, tell you your rights, and help you schedule an evidentiary hearing, where you will have the opportunity to challenge the deportation.

3. Evidentiary Hearing

At the evidentiary hearing, also called an individual merits hearing, a federal immigration judge will hear the evidence against you. This is where it will be determined if you are to be deported or not. A lawyer can help offer evidence, witnesses, and testimony to fight the charges against you. At the end of the hearing, the judge may issue an oral decision, or written later.

4. Appeal

If the judge rules against you, you have 30 days to file an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). If that decision goes against you, you may be able to appeal it to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

If you have received a Notice to Appear, contact our Clearwater immigration lawyers immediately. We can assist you throughout the deportation hearing process.

Call (727) 939-6113 or contact us online to learn more about our legal services.

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