Deportation / Removal Defense - FAQs


How Long Do Removal Proceedings Take?

Like many answers from attorneys, the answer to this question is it depends. There are numerous factors to consider. If an individual is detained, their cases are expedited. The asylum docket is also expedited. Another factor is the jurisdiction. For example, in the Orlando Immigration Court for cases that are not expedited, the court process can easily last 1-2 years, due to limited hearing dates. The good news is, if you have the right to a hearing you will have the right to explore your options. You will not be deported immediately, unless subject to expedited removal. If someone is subject to expedited removal, and does not have a right to a hearing, they may be physically removed very quickly.


Can Non-Permanent Residents Qualify For Cancellation Of Removal

There are two main types of cancellation of removal:

  • For legal permanent residents
  • For non-permanent residents

Non-permanent residents must have a qualifying relative. A qualifying relative is a child (under 21 year old), a parent or a spouse who's a legal resident or a citizen. And you must demonstrate that these individuals will face exceptional and extremely unusual hardship, which is the highest hardship standard in immigration law. There's plenty of case law stating that merely being separated from your family, having a finance, of children being taken out of their high schools to go live with their parents in a foreign country do not qualify as “exceptional extremely unusual hardship”. Exceptional extremely unusual hardship is very hard to demonstrate, which means that even if you have children or you have a spouse you can still be removed or deported. Non-permanent residents must also have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than 10 years immediately preceding the date of applying for cancellation of removal. For this reason, it is key to document the time spent in the U.S. Cancellation of removal is a huge discretionary form of relief and if you have any negative factors it will definitely come into play when the immigration judge makes his/her decision. It is extremely important to make sure you are paying your taxes, that you demonstrate you are a person of good moral character, and that you avoid any criminal activity.


Can You Appeal A Voluntary Departure?

If voluntary departure is granted, and an appeal filed, the individual’s order will automatically convert to an order of removal. Voluntary departure is a very nuanced area of law, and an attorney should be consulted.


Can You Be Deported If You Are Married To A US Citizen?

To answer this question, we need more information, such as: how far along in removal proceedings is the individual, how did the individual enter the country, what is that status of the person getting married, etc.. There is not an easy answer, but we will state that getting married alone is not an automatic stop to deportation or removal. Even if you have children you can still be removed or deported. Unfortunately, this happens all the time when people don't have other forms of relief or don't qualify for something like cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents. Being married to a US citizen allow for new defenses or relief, but the fact of the case should be reviewed by an experienced immigration attorney.


Can A Deportation / Removal Order Be Reversed?

An appeal can be filed. If the time for an appeal has lapsed, there may be other alternatives like a Motion to Reopen, Joint Motion to Reopen etc. If you have an order of removal, you may still have options. Mubarak Law offices Orlando, has handled numerous joint motions to reopens, appeals, and similar cases successfully.


Can You Stop Deportation?

If an individual has already been ordered removed/deported by an Immigration Judge, and is in the process of being physically removed, an “Application for a Stay of Deportation or Removal” can be filed with ICE/ERO on form I-246. These cases can be very difficult to have approved, demonstrating exceptional circumstances and hardship is expected. We have handed many requests of stay for immigrants in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and throughout Florida.


How Can I Find Out If I Have A Deportation Order?

One of the fastest ways to check is by calling the automated court system at 1800-898-7180 and entering you’re A#. Please be advised the automated system can not solely be relied on. Anyone who believes they may have an order of removal or has ever had an application pending with USCIS/DHS/INS should seek the assistance of an immigration attorney.


Is Voluntary Departure Considered A Removal Order?

No. Voluntary departure is not considered a removal order. However, you need to be careful because even if you take voluntary departure from removal / deportation proceedings you may have consequences such as not being allowed to come back to the United States. When you have an order of removal from the U.S. you are penalized, and you will not be able to return for 10 years. In many cases even after the 10 years bar it will be difficult to obtain a visa. With voluntary departure you do not have the 10 years penalty, but you may be subject to a different bar of inadmissibility. For example, if you overstayed your visa for less than a year but more than six months you will be prevented from returning to the U.S for a period of three years, and If you overstay your visa for more than one year you will not be allowed to return for 10 years. This means that, if you take a voluntary departure after having overstayed your visa for two years, you will not be subject to the 10-year penalty for an order of removal but you will be subject to a 10-year penalty because you've overstayed and you've been in unlawful status for more than one year in the United States. In few words, voluntary departure may be better than having an order of removal, but it might not be the case if you have certain criminal grounds or if you've been in an overstay or have unlawful presence. So we recommend you to double check what your other penalties may be when you take a voluntary departure order. Often times the judge will read these warnings to you to let you know that even if you take a voluntary of departure order you may be found inadmissible for other reasons.


What Is Inadmissibility?

Inadmissibility is basically a test or a way to determine whether or not a foreign national is allowed to enter the United States under the immigration laws of the USA (INA).


Can You Come Back To The U.S After Being Deported Or Removed?

Yes, after you've served your 10-year punishment. However, you still have to get another visa to allow you to return to the U.S., which could be denied due to your past history. If you are married to an American citizen within that 10-year period there are waivers that you can apply for. These waivers are extremely difficult to get even if you wait the 10 years of the bar. Removal or deportation orders stay in your immigration file forever, so you are for example seeking a tourist visa after the 10-year bar has passed, you need to be very forthcoming and explain what happened and how the situation has changed.


Do Deportation Orders Expire?

Yes, they do once you leave the U.S. and after the 10 years of the bar has passed. Then you can try to seek a visa at the consulate to eventually re-enter the U.S. However, if you were removed because of criminal history such as a drug conviction, you may not be able to get the visa approved.


While I was in Boston, I received a deportation letter and my appeal has been pending for the past 2 years. If I move to Florida, does my appeal change because it is a different law or different state?

Typically, no. Immigration is federal law which means it should be applied uniformly through every state. The only thing that might vary is the different circuit court case law that have jurisdiction over certain States.

Immigration Law