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Understanding notice to appear and immigration removal process

Most people in Texas and the rest of the United States enjoy getting mail. You may joke about good, old-fashioned snail mail since getting mail nowadays may equate to text messages, emails or Snapchat photos. However, many agree it is still nice to open an actual mailbox once in a while to find a card or personal note that brightens a day. There are also many types of mail you'd likely rather not receive.

For instance, as an immigrant, you may dread opening an article of mail labeled as a notice to appear. In fact, such a letter may be enough to make your blood pressure soar or cause you to experience a full-on anxiety attack. Upon receiving a notice to appear, you may be able to remain calm and plan your next course of action if you understand the possible implications of the notice and the immigration removal process that will follow.

An invitation no one wants

When the U.S. government sends you a notice to appear, it lets you know that the possibility of deportation is a threat. The following basic facts may help you better understand this document and also what you might expect as the immigration deportation process unfolds:

  • A notice to appear is also known as Form I-862.
  • Such a notice should include identification of the immigration authority who has brought proceedings against you.
  • Your notice to appear must also state the violations you are accused of committing to warrant possible deportation.
  • The form must also provide information that lets you know the possible consequences and penalties for not appearing as requested.
  • Some time after receiving a notice to appear, you will likely attend a master hearing, which may be the first in a series of hearings regarding your threat of removal.
  • Not every master hearing leads to additional hearings.
  • If the court calls you to an individual hearing following a master hearing, you can expect events to play out much like a trial.
  • The court recommends that you retain experienced legal representation before attending any hearing related to your immigration status.

If you receive a notice to appear, it is not necessarily cause for panic. There are often forms of relief available that may help you halt the deportation process in its tracks. As long as you know your rights and are able to secure strong defense support, you may be able to avoid the court sending you back to your country of origin.

Who can help?

Many Texas immigrants preparing for master hearings ask experienced immigration and naturalization law attorneys to act on their behalves in court. Especially in cases where a significant language barrier exists, an attorney is a great asset to have by your side as you try to avoid deportation.

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329 South Guadalupe Street
San Marcos, TX 78666

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