Appealing a Removal or Deportation Order

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What's a Removal or Deportation Order?

A removal or deportation order may be issued to a foreign-born person if the government immigration authorities deem it necessary.  This can occur for a number of reasons, including:

In most cases, the person may have to appear at a hearing regarding the removal order.  During the hearing, an immigration judge will decide whether or not removal is an appropriate remedy for the situation.

Is Appealing a Removal or Deportation Order Possible?

In some cases, a removal or deportation order can be appealed or waived, depending on the individual circumstances.   However, an appeal isn’t always available for all removal or deportation orders.  It sometimes can depend on the grounds for removal

For example, if the removal order is based on the fact that the person committed a crime, an appeal may only be allowed for the purpose of convincing the judge that the person is innocent.  On the other hand, an appeal may not be available if the person has already been convicted of the crime, or if they have a criminal record on file.

What is a Waiver of Removal?

A waiver of removal basically requests the government to forgive the person’s illegal presence in the U.S.  This is not necessarily the same thing as an appeal, as the removal hearing may not have occurred yet with a waiver.  Waivers are usually available for non-criminal related removal grounds.

Another similar option is cancellation of removal.  This is usually only an option if the removal would have serious effects on your family, and if you’ve been living in the U.S. for at least 10 years.  Also, your family members must be U.S. citizens (whether naturalization or by birth).

What is Voluntary Departure?

Voluntary departure does not really prevent a person from being removed or deported from the U.S.  With voluntary departure, the person agrees to leave the country before they are legally required to do so.  This can have beneficial effects in terms of their ability to re-enter the country at a later date. 

In contrast, if a person resists an order to be removed from the country, it can have negative effects on their ability to re-enter the U.S.  For example, they may be banned from re-entry for a number of years, or even permanently.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Appealing a Removal or Deportation Order?

The process of appealing a removal or deportation order is very specific and is only available under certain circumstances.  In most cases, you’ll need to hire a lawyer if you are a facing a removal order.  Removal/deportation hearings are among the most serious types of legal proceedings, so be sure to consult with a qualified immigration attorney if you need legal representation. 

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Last Modified: 04-18-2013 11:59 AM PDT

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