The formal process by which an alien in violation of the immigration laws is summoned before an immigration judge to determine their eligibility for relief from removal.

The removal process usually begins with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issuing the alien a Notice To Appear (NTA).

The NTA document will state the following:


  • Alien’s name and country of birth
  • Order to appear before an immigration judge and reason for order
  • Alien’s right to have an attorney (who alien will have to hire and pay for)
  • Consequences of failure to appear at hearing


If the judge determines that the alien can be deported because the information stated in the NTA is correct, then the alien can apply for relief from removal.


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