What is an NTA?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security may issue and serve a Notice to Appear (NTA) on a non-citizen who is removable from or inadmissible to the United States.  An NTA is a charging document that signals the beginning of removal proceedings against the individual. If you receive an NTA, it means that you must appear in Immigration Court on a specific date, time, and location; or at a date and time to be determined in the future. An NTA, however, does not mean that you will be deported.

Must Appear in Immigration Court

If you receive an NTA, you must appear in Immigration Court as instructed. Failure to appear may result in being removed in absentia–in your absence. That means that a removal order was entered against you because you did not appear.

But an NTA does not mean removal is imminent. At the hearing, you will learn why you received the NTA, and will be given a chance to request time to retain an attorney and develop a legal strategy to help your case.

USCIS Changes Policy on NTA Issuance

In June 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service updated its NTA policy on referral of cases and issuance of NTAs in cases involving inadmissible and deportable non-citizens. This change in policy was a direct response to President Trump’s enhanced enforcement and removal priorities. NTAs can now be issued for a more reasons, although criminal activity remains the top concern. Other reasons an NTA might be issued include:

  • Having been convicted of any criminal offense;
  • Having been charged with any criminal offense that has not been resolved;
  • Having committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense
  • Having engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;
  • Having abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;
  • Are subject to a final order of removal, but have not departed;
  • In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security; in addition to
  • Suspected act of terrorism of espionage;
  • Cases of fraud, which could include claiming to be a U.S. citizen on a government form;
  • A conviction of a felony crime;
  • A denial of an naturalization on grounds related to a criminal offense in your home country, which raises question of moral character; and
  • Still being present in the U.S. after being denied an application or petition for immigration.

An Immigration Attorney is Vital if you Receive an NTA

There are many reasons why you may have received an NTA, including that it was improvidently issued. But if you receive an NTA, your first step should be to immediately contact an experienced immigration attorney to help you understand the process and your rights. Call Sanchez-Roig Law, P.A. today at 305-373-5385.