How many court hearings do you get?
Some immigrants have only one hearing before the immigration judge. In other situations, an immigrant may have six or more hearings over several years.
In immigration court, there are generally two types of hearings. These are referred to as "Master Calendar" hearings and "Individual" hearings. In some cases, "status" hearings are also scheduled. Your very first hearing will be a "Master Calendar" hearing. Generally, many immigrants are scheduled for Master Calendar hearings at the same time. Each immigrant is called up separately.
The immigration judge may decide to grant a continuance to an immigrant if he or she requests more time to find an immigration attorney, but the immigration judge will not grant an unlimited number of such continuances.
At a master calendar, the immigrant will be asked to admit or deny the allegations and charges in the Notice to Appear. If the immigrant denies the allegations, often the immigration judge will schedule the immigrant for a contested removal hearing where the government will have the opportunity to prove the allegations against the immigrant. However, sometimes immigration judges conduct the contested removal hearing right then and there. If the immigrant admits or the government proves the allegations and charges, the immigration judge will generally make a finding that the immigrant is removable. Then, the judge will schedule him or her for an "Individual" hearing where the immigrant can present his or her case for relief from removal, if the immigrant is eligible for some relief from deportation.
How long is the individual hearing?
An individual hearing may be scheduled for a contested removal or for the immigrant to present his or her case for relief from removal. For an adjustment of status, the individual hearing may take less than thirty minutes. For a complicated case of contested removal and several forms of relief, the case may take multiple days. Most individual hearings take from 1 to 4 hours, depending on the type of case and the number of witnesses.
How long does it take to get a notice to appear for immigration court?
That depends on how fast the Department of Homeland Security takes action and follows through. Sometimes this can be a matter of weeks and sometimes months. If you know your alien registration number you can check if the Notice to Appear has been filed with the immigration court by phoning the toll free EOIR number at 1-800-898-7180.
Are the immigration judges in Colorado very tough?
In general, we have a good group of immigration judges in Colorado. Each individual immigration judge has his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Colorado deportation defense lawyers may prefer one particular judge for a particular type of immigration case and another judge for a different type of case. However, nobody gets to pick his or her judge. Your case will be assigned to an immigration judge and, except in exceptional cases, that assignment will not change.
Can an immigration judge terminate proceedings?
Yes an immigration judge can terminate proceedings when it is proven that you are not subject to removal or deportation. Although it is infrequent, our immigration law firm has had several cases over the years where individuals who were actually United States citizens had been placed in immigration proceedings. When their citizenship was proven, the immigration judge terminated proceedings. There are also cases where the government overstates the immigration severity of the of an immigrant's criminal convictions. If your immigration lawyer proves that your criminal convictions do not make you subject to removal, the immigration judge will terminate proceedings.
What does it mean "to admit and concede removability"?
The Notice to Appear states several factual allegations against you. Then it states that based on those allegations, you are subject to removal based on a section of the United States immigration law. If all the factual allegations are true and accurate and if those allegations do support the charge of removability, you or your Colorado immigration lawyer may admit the factual allegations and agree that based on those allegations you are subject to deportation. That is to admit and concede.
This is generally done when you are eligible for relief from removal. That way the court can move on to considering your request for relief from removal, such as cancellation of removal, asylum, adjustment of status,. . .
Am I allowed to contest a factual allegation in immigration court?
Absolutely. . You or your immigration lawyer may contest all allegations and force the government to meet its burden of proof. You may also contest any incorrect allegation.
Can I change my lawyer during the individual hearing?
You can ask, but the decision will be up to the immigration judge. An immigration judge will generally not want the case delayed, unless you have a compelling reason for not being able to go forward with your attorney of record. In most cases you will be expected to change your immigration lawyer prior to an individual hearing.
How do I know if I have been put in removal proceedings?
You or your immigration lawyer will receive a Notice to Appear informing you that you have been placed in removal proceedings. If you know your alien registration number you can check if the Notice to Appear has been filed with the immigration court by phoning the toll free EOIR number at 1-800-898-7180.
How long after the Notice to Appear for removal proceedings do i have to wait for a court date to be established?
If you have been served with a Notice to Appear that says that you will be notified of when and where you are to appear for immigration court, it could take only a few days to as long as six months (perhaps longer, but six months is about the longest I have seen). You must insure that the immigration court has your correct address so that you will receive notice. Failing to appear for your removal hearing usually results in the immigration judge signing an order for your removal.
Will they set a date at an immigration hearing for deportation?
No. The Immigration Judge issues the deportation order but does not execute it. Generally you will receive notice some weeks later directly from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Where can you appeal if an immigration judge denies your case?
The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has jurisdiction to decide appeals from the immigration court. At the immigration court, you can obtain the form and instructions for filing an appeal of your case.