As a Miami immigration lawyer, I have represented quite a few clients who have been served with a Notice to Appear. Below are some frequently asked questions.
What Is a Notice to Appear?
A Notice to Appear (an “NTA”), is the charging document that signals the initiation of removal proceedings against you. If you receive an NTA, it means that you must appear in Immigration Court on the date specified or at a date to be determined in the future. If you have received an NTA, it may be beneficial for you to speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.
How will I receive an NTA?
The NTA may be served on you personally (or by hand) or mailed to your last known address or to your attorney, if you have one. The NTA must also be served to the Immigration Court that will be responsible for conducting your removal hearings.
What should I do after receiving the NTA?
You should review the NTA carefully to ensure that there are no mistakes and that you understand the allegations against you. An understanding of the NTA is essential in order for you to apply for any immigration relief for which you may be eligible and to meet deadlines imposed by the Immigration Court. You should also give serious consideration to consulting with a Miami immigration lawyer, because receiving an NTA means that deportation (removal) proceedings have now been initiated against you.
What is on the NTA?
- Nature of Proceedings
- Directly under your address, the NTA lists three different statements, but only one box will be checked off. The choices are:
- Biographical Information
- The NTA lists your name, any aliases you may have used, your alien registration number (A#), date of birth, and address. You should this information to ensure that all listed information is correct and that there are no misspellings. For example, an incorrect address on your NTA, could mean that you miss receiving important information from the Immigration Court in the future.
- You are an arriving alien. This means that you have been stopped at the border or port of entry and have not yet been admitted to the United States.
- You are an alien present in the U.S., who has not been admitted or paroled. Typically, this box would be checked if you entered the U.S. without being inspected by a border agent or immigration officer.
- You have been admitted to the U.S., but are removable for the reasons stated below. This statement refers to noncitizens who were admitted to the U.S. for a period of time but are no longer authorized to remain. Common reasons for this are overstaying your visa or a conviction for a crime that renders you deportable.You should ensure that the correct box is marked. Notably, an arriving alien has extremely limited rights in removal proceedings. Additionally, people who entered the U.S. without being admitted or paroled have fewer opportunities for adjustment of status (applying for a green card) than those who entered lawfully. If the incorrect box is marked, you will need to provide evidence in Immigration Court to show that you have been classified incorrectly. Again, I would strongly recommend that you speak with a Miami immigration lawyer in regard to this.
- Factual Allegations
- Factual allegations against you will be listed. Typically, the allegations will be:
- You are not a U.S. citizen or national of the United States.
- You are a native and citizen of your home country.
- You entered the country on a certain date and through a certain city and whether or not your entry was authorized and if so, for what period of time.
- The alleged reason(s) why you are removable. (This could include criminal convictions against you, remaining in the U.S. beyond the authorized period of stay, or not having a valid visa to enter the United States.)
These factual allegations will form the basis for the charge of removability in the next section of the NTA. During a Master Calendar Hearing in Immigration Court, you or your Miami immigration attorney will need to either admit or deny each of these factual allegations.
- Charge(s) of RemovabilityIn the next section, the NTA lists the charge (or charges) of removability against you and the immigration laws that you are alleged to have violated. This is the legal reason why the U.S. government believes that you can be deported from the United States. Like the factual allegations, you or your Miami immigration lawyer will have to either concede the charges or deny them at your Master Calendar Hearing. If you concede the charges of removability, you must inform the Court what your defense from removal will be, if any.
How I will I know where/when to show up?
At the bottom of the NTA, it may list the date, time, and location of your initial Master Calendar Hearing. If it does not, you will receive a Notice of Hearing separately. Do not forget this date, because if you fail to appear for a hearing, you may be ordered removed in absentia and you will give up your rights to apply for relief from removal. Again, if you have any questions in regard to this, you should speak with a Miami immigration lawyer to discuss your options.
If you would like more information on your Notice to Appear (NTA), please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.