What should you do about a Notice to Appear? A Notice to Appear, or NTA, is a legal document requesting you to appear at immigration court. You may be served the NTA in person or through the mail. An NTA is the first document in the deportation process against you. If you receive a NTA, you must take it very seriously. While the document itself is not lengthy, it is essential that you understand what it says and prepare for what to do next.

Understanding the Notice to Appear

The notice to appear contains quite a bit of important information. Review and understand this information to prepare for your appearance. The NTA provides your name, address, date of birth, and alien registration number. Make sure that this information is correct. The NTA provides the type of proceedings that are being taken against you. One of several boxes will be checked indicating why the deportation process has been initiated.

The most important part of the NTA is the list of allegations against you – the reason why you may be deported. For example, if you have overstayed the allotted time period of your visa, a NTA may be issued. The allegations are a list of reasons why you are considered removable. As part of your court appearance, you will have to admit or deny each of the allegations presented in the NTA. Additionally, the NTA has a section listing the exact charges of removability. During your appearance, also known as a hearing, you will be required to admit or deny these charges.

You Must Appear

The Notice to Appear is a legal request informing you of the hearing. You must appear at the hearing at the designated place and time. Failure to do so could result in a deportation order based on your absence. During your appearance, you will be allowed the chance to prove why the allegations are incorrect or why you should be allowed to remain in the United States. It is important to know that there are some defenses to such allegations and you have some rights, which you should take advantage of to ensure a successful resolution.

Know Your Rights

Those who deny the charges against them may require a subsequent hearing called a contested merits hearing. You have the right to be legally represented at your immigration court hearing. It is strongly recommended that you seek help from a qualified immigration attorney as soon as you receive a notice to appear. Your lawyer will review the NTA, examine your situation, and make a recommendation. He will also help you by representing you at the court hearing. The process of deportation can be a complex one and may be quite daunting. You can expect the best results with assistance from a knowledgeable immigration lawyer to protect and guide you through the process.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding What Should You Do About a Notice to Appear?, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.