As a Miami immigration lawyer, I always remind my clients of the importance of attending their immigration court hearing. This is especially the case if you have been summoned for removal proceedings in Immigration Court (received a “Notice to Appear,” or NTA), you are in a serious situation. Below are some frequently asked questions.

What are the consequences of missing a hearing?

If you fail to attend a hearing in immigration court, don’t count on being able to reschedule it for another day. You may be ordered removed “in absentia,” meaning the judge will assume that you have given up on your case, and issue a default judgment containing an order of deportation. This allows U.S. immigration authorities to deport you from the country at any moment. If you have any questions in regard to this, be sure to contact a Miami immigration lawyer.

What’s the number one reason people miss a court date?

Oftentimes, they didn’t receive the written notice that the court mailed to them advising them of their next scheduled hearing, because failed to give the court their most recent address. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney.

What happens if I don’t receive my Notice to Appear?

Unfortunately, if you do not receive your NTA, it does not excuse your absence in court. If you miss a court date because notice was sent to the wrong address, DHS just waits for the IJ to issue your deportation order and closes your case. This is known as “administrative closure.” A copy of the order will be sent to the same address. If you do not receive the removal order, you cannot challenge it, and this has serious consequences. If you have any questions in regard to this, you should speak with a Miami immigration lawyer.

What are the consequences of missing a biometrics appointment?

If you miss a biometrics appointment, your case can be stalled or the judge might grant you only limited relief granted “pending results” of your next biometrics appointment. Because notice of your next appointment and results are sent by mail, receipt of these crucial documents depends upon your filing any change of address. If you have any questions in regard to this, you may want to speak with a Miami immigration attorney.

Should I keep in touch with my Miami immigration lawyer?

Absolutely. Even if you haven’t received a notice of a court date, your Miami immigration lawyer will have likely received a copy. Help your attorney and help yourself by keeping in touch – for example, by calling your attorney’s office regularly, responding to calls from your Miami immigration lawyer (and making sure everyone in your household knows how important it is to pass on messages from your attorney) or stopping your Miami immigration attorney to ask any address-related questions after your hearing.

What should I do if I move to a new address?

If you have moved, you or your Miami immigration lawyer will need to submit a filled out Form EOIR-33 to the court.

If you would like more information on attendance at immigration haerings, please contact Miami immigration lawyer Michael G. Murray, Esq. at (305) 895-2500 or visit our website at www.mmurraylaw.com.