What does notice of hearing in removal proceedings mean? Removal proceedings are held to determine whether an immigrant is allowed to remain in the United States. This process is complex and can often be overwhelming to many foreign individuals. However, there are certain documents that can clarify some confusion about removal proceedings. One such document is a Notice to Appear (NTA).
What Is A Notice To Appear?
An NTA is a list of factual allegations against an immigrant that the U.S. Government must prove are true. If the government meets its burden of proof, it may have the authority to legally “remove” the named immigrant from the country. An NTA is served upon an immigrant either through mail or hand-delivery and represents the first step in removal proceedings. Generally, an NTA can be issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and Customs Border Protection (CBP). Nearly any type of immigrant who commits a crime, from a college-aged student to a longtime permanent resident, may potentially be subject to removal proceedings.
Categories Of Cases Where An Individual Is Removable
There are four types of cases where a foreign individual may be “removable.” Here is a close look at each of these categories.
Substantiated Fraud Or Misrepresentation Cases
If the federal government has substantial evidence that an immigrant committed fraud, he (or she) may be removed. The same is true if it can be proven that this individual misrepresented anything to obtain an immigration benefit. A misrepresentation is a false statement of a material fact that a person makes in order to obtain an immigration benefit. This category also includes cases where there is proof that the immigrant took advantage of a program that provides government benefits.
If an immigrant is charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, such as an assault on a family member, armed robbery, murder, drug dealing or theft, etc., he/she may be ordered removed. This is true even in cases where the individual’s criminal actions were not the basis for his/her removability. Depending on the specific circumstances of a case, USCIS may inform Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about it without issuing an NTA or making a decision regarding immigration benefits. In addition, the commission of a crime or the initiation of criminal proceedings could trigger an ICE detainer, resulting in ICE becoming aware of the immigrant’s criminal activity and thus, triggering removal proceedings.
Denied N-400 Form Cases
Form N-400 is an application for naturalization (becoming a U.S. Citizen), a process that involves an immigrant meeting certain requirements before applying for this status. If USCIS denies this form due to a foreign individual’s criminal conduct or a serious immigration violation, such as fraud, then the case can be referred for consideration of issuing an NTA so that removal proceedings can commence. In these cases, USCIS generally denies a naturalization application on grounds of “good moral character” or on the grounds that the immigrant was not lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
Unlawfully Present Cases
If an immigrant is unlawfully residing in the U.S. for any reason, (e.g. overstaying one’s visa or entering the U.S. without inspection) this individual may be removed. Be sure to check USCIS’s website for specifics on what is considered an “unlawful presence” and on the various bars to admissibility, which are also listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 212(a). This section includes details on 3-year and 10-year unlawful presence bars, as well as permanent unlawful presence bars.
Reach Out To An Experienced Immigration Law Firm
Speak to the experienced immigration attorneys at Johnson & Masumi PC in Vienna, Virginia for more information on a Notice to Appear and removal proceedings. We have successfully represented numerous individuals in highly complex removal cases for decades, and have achieved outstanding results for our clients. Since our founding in 1986, we have been dedicated to providing our clients with top-quality legal assistance that addresses their unique needs and concerns, regardless of how complex they are.
One of our licensed and experienced attorneys will review a case to first determine whether there is a strong and legitimate legal defense available to you. Statistics reveal that foreign individuals who acquire legal representation often have a greater likelihood of success with their case. At Johnson & Masumi, we prepare your applications for relief from removal, including adjustment of status, asylum and withholding of removal, and/or cancellation of removal, to name a few. Call Johnson & Masumi today at (703) 688-8376 to learn more about our work or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys, who are highly knowledgeable about removal and deportation defense.