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Given current political directives, deportation is a hot topic for many non-citizens in the U.S. We’ve assembled this list of common deportation questions to aid you in your search for answers.

1. What is a Notice to Appear? A Notice to Appear (NTA) is issued by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It is an order to appear before an immigration judge at a specific day, time, and place. NTAs include information about an immigrant’s status as well as allegations and charges of removability against the person served. Although an NTA signals the start of deportation or removal proceedings, it is not a guarantee of deportation.

2. What is a Notice of Hearing? A Notice of Hearing may be included in the Notice to Appear or it may arrive separately. The Notice of Hearing will list the date, time, and location of your Master Hearing.

3. What is a Master Hearing? Also called a Master Calendar Hearing, the Master Hearing is the very first meeting before the judge. This hearing is usually very brief and simply introduces the court to you and your case. You will have a chance to hear the allegations against you and reply to them briefly with “admit” or “deny”. You will typically be scheduled with many other people and will only appear before the judge for a few minutes. Even so, it is very important to attend the Master Hearing. Failure to attend the hearing can lead to the judge ordering your removal and rescinding your rights to apply for relief from removal.

4. What is an Individual Hearing? The individual hearing is also referred to as the Final Hearing or the Merit Hearing. This is when the merits of your case are presented and you have a chance to present evidence and defend your right to remain in the U.S. Witnesses may be called by both your attorney and the attorney representing the Department of Homeland Security. It is at this hearing that the immigration judge makes his/her decision as to whether or not you will be deported.

5. What are my options to stay in the U.S.? There are options for non-citizens to legally remain in the U.S. These include:

  • Marriage to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident,
  • Asylum,
  • Temporary Protected Status
  • Military Service, or
  • Cancellation of Removal

Consultation with an immigration attorney is necessary to determine the best solution to your specific situation.

6. How can I appeal my removal order? Orders of removal can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) in certain cases. You must have a “basis for appeal”, which means there must be good reason for the appeal. For example, if you are being deported because you were been charged with a crime but can prove your innocence, an appeal may be granted. Or perhaps you think the judge misinterpreted or applied the law and want someone to review the case. There are several ways an order can be appealed. You’ll need an immigration lawyer to help you understand your options and navigate the appeals process.

7. How can I reopen my final order of removal? In some cases, you may acquire new evidence or facts that would support your application to remain in the U.S. after you have received a removal order. In this situation, you can request that the Immigration Court reopen a deportation or removal order by filing a Motion to Reopen. This will result in a new trial where you can present your new evidence. In general, you have 90 days from the time the removal is ordered to file a Motion to Reopen. 

Meet With An Immigration Attorney For Free 

There are many variables that affect how deportation cases are handled. We cannot stress enough the need to meet with an immigration attorney for advice and representation in any deportation situation. If you have received a Notice to Appear or are worried that you may be targeted for deportation, contact Florida immigration attorney Gail Seeram right now. We offer free consultations where we will discuss your options.

Contact our Orlando immigration law office at +1 (407) 292-7730 to schedule a free consultation.