Federal law defines “removal,” commonly known as deportation, as the process by which the government seeks to remove an individual from the United States for a reason specified by federal immigration law. Federal law specifies the reasons for which an alien, or non-citizen, is removable. Several common examples include:
- Entering the United States without proper authorization ― This is known as being “inadmissible at time of entry”
- Presence in violation of the law ― This may include overstaying one’s tourist or other visa
- Violating the terms of legal immigration status ― For example, working without a proper work authorization despite having legal status to be in the United States
- Being convicted of a crime
- Becoming a public charge ― Becoming dependent on public benefits, within the first five years following arrival in the United States
The removal process
The removal process begins upon receipt of a “Notice of Intent” from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), in what is known as an “expedited process.” The notice will specify the reason for removal, and you will have between ten to thirteen calendar days to reply to the notice. You are entitled to rebut the government’s allegations regarding your eligibility for removal in your reply, and you must enclose documentation proving your defense. If there is a question of material fact regarding your status arising from your rebuttal, the USCIS Service Officer may transfer the case to an immigration judge. You will then receive a “Notice to Appear” in immigration court, and a hearing will be held. These proceedings are administrative, not criminal cases, and as such, no lawyer will be appointed to represent you by the U.S. government. Nevertheless, you have the right to engage your own attorney. There are a number of potential waivers to removal that you may qualify for depending on your particular immigration circumstances that may help you stay in the U.S.
If you or a loved one is facing removal, time is of the essence to determine whether you qualify for a waiver that could potentially halt the removal proceedings. The immigration attorneys at BK Lawyers LLC will thoroughly evaluate the circumstances of your or your loved one’s entry and stay in the United States to identify any potential waivers to removal. Contact us to schedule your free initial consultation.