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What Should I Do if I Get a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court?

notice to appear immigration court

Receiving an NTA (Notice to Appear) in immigration court can be very scary, and if you are not familiar with the legal system, it becomes even more stressful. Getting an experienced immigration attorney to help guide you through the proceedings is extremely important if you want to remain in the United States.

What is a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court?

Receiving a Notice to Appear in immigration court is the start of removal proceedings against you. This notice will explain why the United States Department of Homeland Security thinks that you should be deported. Within 10 days of you receiving the Notice to Appear, you must appear in court before an immigration judge. You may be able to waive the ten-day notice requirement if you meet certain criteria, such as being held in custody, for example.

What is Included in an NTA in Immigration Court?

Personal and Case Information

  1. Your Address
  2. Facts/Allegations
    • Which country you are from
    • When you came to the U.S
    • How you entered the country
    • How long you were allowed to stay in the U.S (if you had permission to come to the U.S.)
    • If you committed any crimes, those crimes might be listed here too
  3. Charge(s)
    • Why the Department of Homeland Security believes you should be removed from the United States
      • The “charges” indicate the immigration laws that you may have violated
  4. Your Hearing Date
    • Date, time, and location of your first hearing
      • If your NTA does not have this information, the court will mail you a notice with that information

The first step you should take upon receiving an NTA, is to make sure that your name, alien registration number (A#), date of birth, and address are correct. If your address is not correct, you must file a Form EOIR-33/IC, Change of Address/Contact Information Form, as soon as possible.

Charges of Removability

Directly under your address, the NTA will have one of three boxes checked off, which represents which category you fall under:

  • You are an arriving alien. 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 lawfully admitted to the U.S. for a period of time, most likely on a nonimmigrant visa or a green card, but are no longer authorized to remain in the U.S. Common reasons for this are overstaying your visa or a conviction for a crime that renders you deportable

Ensuring that the correct box is checked is very important, because different non-citizens have varying rights in removal proceedings.

Legal Warnings and Certificate of Service

  • Your right to be represented by an attorney during removal proceedings, but at no expense to the U.S. government (in other words, you must pay for your own attorney)
  • The consequences of failing to appear for a scheduled hearing
  • Your duty to notify the court of any change of address during removal proceedings
  • Your duty to surrender to removal if ordered or to voluntarily depart if allowed to do so

Receiving an NTA can be very intimidating and scary, so hiring the right immigration attorney is crucial. I have years of experience as an immigration attorney and I will do everything I can to help you remain in this country. I commit to bringing a level of empathy, trustworthiness, and respect that will make you feel as comfortable as possible going into the immigration proceedings.

Call or text me today at (617) 295-7500 and let’s get started on your case.







Although I am an attorney, I am not your attorney.  Please do not rely on anything on this page as legal advice because any specific advice would depend on your situation.  Any results posted on this page are not guarantees of outcomes in your case.

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The court system is stressful, whether you’re being charged with a crime, being sued, suing someone, or fighting for your ability to stay and work in this country. You need someone who appreciates this and can dedicate the time not only to represent you effectively in court but to guide you through the process.

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