What Is A Master Hearing In Removal Proceedings?

What is a master hearing in removal proceedings? Removal proceedings can often be daunting to an immigrant due to a large amount of uncertainty that comes with this process. When the United States Government seeks to determine whether a foreign individual may be removed from the country for violating immigration laws, it must follow a specific series of steps. The first formal step of this process is called a Master Calendar Hearing, which is held in an immigration court. Having knowledgeable removal and deportation representation through an attorney is always a good idea.

What Is A Master Calendar Hearing?

An immigration judge will not immediately make a decision about a foreign individual’s case during the Master Hearing. Rather, he/she will speak with the immigrant and the government attorney in order to establish a timeline for the case. This stage of removal proceedings may involve deadlines for presenting evidence, discussing factual allegations, and the case that the government has for the individual’s removal, among other things.

The immigrant is strongly advised to arrive on time for this hearing, to dress appropriately, and to be respectful. The foreign national is permitted to bring family members to the Master Hearing, but depending on the immigration court, some family members may not be allowed to enter the courtroom itself and may have to wait outside. If you are appearing for your first Master Calendar Hearing, it may be helpful to you to have the Notice to Appear (NTA) with you, so that you have something with your A Number on it. The A Number is the “File No.” on the NTA and it is the number that the immigration court uses to track your removal proceedings.

Steps In The Master Hearing

A Master Hearing consists of three primary steps. Here is an in-depth look at each of these steps.

Review Of Charges On The Notice To Appear

After confirming the immigrant’s identifying information at the start of the hearing, the judge will review all the charges listed on the Notice to Appear. This is the document the foreign individual received either in the mail or in-person and that indicates the date on which he/she is scheduled to appear before the court. The immigrant should confer with his/her lawyer to verify that the NTA contains no mistakes and that they fully understand all the factual allegations. It is imperative to do this because this will help the immigrant apply for immigration relief and meet deadlines set by the court.

Deciding Which Type Of Immigration Relief Is Being Sought Out

Following an evaluation of the charges listed on the NTA, the judge will determine if the immigration is eligible for a certain type of immigration relief. Examples of the most common types of immigration relief include adjustment of status (to lawful permanent resident status, or LPR status) based on a visa petition, asylum, cancellation of removal, and voluntary departure. These types of relief from deportation are normally separated into two categories: administrative/judicial relief and discretionary relief.

According to the legal information website FindLaw, only the latter type of relief, which encompasses all the previously mentioned forms of relief, is available to immigrants during removal proceedings. In order to be eligible for relief, an immigrant must first provide information on relatives he/she has who are living in the U.S. and their legal status. The alien should also provide details on how he/she entered the U.S. and what types of visas he/she had in the past (if any), as well as any criminal history he/she may have.

Judge Sets Hearing Dates And Dates For Further Evidence Submission

After a decision has been made regarding which form of relief the immigrant qualifies for, the judge will schedule the dates for submitting any further evidence that is relevant to the case. The individual will have to indicate a country of removal, should that become necessary. The judge will also schedule the next hearing for the case. After the hearing is concluded, the immigrant will be able to go home.

Reach Out To A Professional Immigration Law Firm

Speak to the experienced immigration attorneys at Johnson & Masumi, PC in Vienna, Virginia for more information on Master Hearings and how they fit into removal proceedings. We are dedicated to serving clients throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC. We never hesitate to take on even the most complex cases and have had significant success in our removal cases. The lawyers at Johnson & Masumi have extensive knowledge of removal proceedings and deportation.

If you are an immigrant who is undergoing this process, we will begin to help you by reviewing your unique case and determining whether there is a solid and legitimate legal defense available to you. We can act as your advisor on your eligibility for any type of relief (asylum, adjustment of status, withholding of removal, Convention Against Torture Protections, etc.). Research shows that immigrants who hire attorneys have a greater likelihood of success with their cases. Call Johnson & Masumi today at (703) 688-8376 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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