Immigration Court and Removal Proceedings
Last Updated 11/14/2017
How do I know if I am in removal proceedings?
If you have been given a paper to go to immigration court, then you are in removal proceedings.
To check on your immigration court case, call 1-800-898-7180 and enter your "A-number." Your A-number is the "alien registration number" on the court notice.
What happens in removal proceedings?
The immigration judge will decide if you should be deported or if you qualify to stay. It is very important to attend all your hearings (court dates). It is always better to show up at court because you can fight your case or get extra time and a new court date.
What do I have to do?
- You have to show up. If you don’t show up, you can get ordered deported;
- You have to tell the court if you change your address. You are required to do this, but it also helps make sure you do not miss a hearing.
Do I need legal help?
If you can, it is always better to have a lawyer or DOJ rep for court. They can argue for all the ways you can stay in the U.S. The immi interview cannot help you with your court case. Click here for nonprofit organizations in your area that give legal help for less money.
My first court date is soon, what can I do?
- Find a lawyer or DOJ rep to help you with your case! If you don’t have a lawyer, still go to court;
- Tell the judge you need time to find a lawyer. The judge will give you a new date to come back;
- Do not tell the court what country you are from. Do not admit that you are here illegally. Tell the court you want to wait until you have a lawyer to talk;
- The court will have an interpreter for you. You can speak in your best language.
What if I missed my court date?
Find a lawyer right away. If you missed a hearing, the judge likely ordered you deported. A lawyer might be able to get your case reopened. Not all cases can be reopened.
What if I don’t know if I have a court case?
If you have an “A-number” or alien registration number, you can call 1-800-898-7180 and find out if you have a court date. You enter your A-number in the phone. Calling this number is safe.
If you do not know your “A-number,” go to an organization for help. A lawyer or DOJ rep can learn about your story and help you find out if you have a case in court. Talking to a lawyer or DOJ rep is safe and private.